Team Manager Mischa - press conference after the match against Ventforet Kofu  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company J. League 1st Stage 5th Sec match against Ventforet Kofu

It is difficult to make comments after having a match against an opponent team like the one we had today. As you are aware, Ventforet Kofu has a particular play style. It is not an easy opponent to win against.

Ventforet Kofu has achieved good results by playing very defensive matches over the past three years. During the first half of today’s match, though we had created a few decisive opportunities by controlling the ball for most of the time, we struggled to score goals. Opponent player Cristiano remained at the front line with the aim to make counter attacks by taking the ball. However, Abe and Endo took good care of him and defended our team well by giving him hardly any opportunities to do so.

After Ventforet Kofu lost one player as from receiving a red card, they started to play even more defensively. This made our situation harder compared to the time when we were playing against ten field opponent players.

If our opponent team hadn’t lost a player, Cristiano would have moved the ball forward after stealing it from us. Then, other opponent players would have supported Cristiano’s move, which would have allowed us to find sufficient space among them to make attacks once we had regained possession the ball. However, as a result of them losing a player, Ventforet Kofu players didn’t even dare to move forward. After Cristiano was replaced by another player, the match became a very difficult one to play as our opponent team just focused on guarding themselves from our attacks.

Under such a difficult situation, our players moved the ball around very patiently while trying to seek perfect opportunities to make attacks. As a result, our team was able to score two fantastic goals.

However, there is one thing I am not pleased about today’s match. Our players became too individualistic or playful after we led the match two to zero when they should be focused on scoring more goals as a team.

I often watch German Bundesliga matches. I study matches played by teams such as FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund. What is amazing about their players is that they have a very strong mentality to achieve landslide victory by focusing on scoring many more goals even after they lead their opponent team by two to zero. They will remain disciplined and focused until the very end of the match and will never undermine opportunities with their individual egos. They score many goals until the very end of the match. As for our match today, I am very angry about us losing a goal in the end. This is something I will discuss with our players in order to better address the situation.

Nonetheless, the fact that we won the match today is something to be recognized as Ventforet Kofu dose extremely well when they play away matches. They won a J. League match against Vissel Kobe and drew another J. League match against Sagan Tosu on away grounds. They also won against Kashima Antlers when they played a Nabisco Cup away match. Though they lose their home matches, they can certainly score points in their away matches. As this proves, they can exert their strength when playing away from home. For this reason, winning today’s match was not as easy as many people may think. There is no doubt about that. So, I would like to commend our players for winning the match today. Having said that it was not necessary for us to lose a goal at the end of the match.

Hypothetically speaking, if our team did not make any attacks against Ventforet Kofu during today’s match, I am sure they wouldn’t have come forward to take the ball either. For this reason, the match would have finished with a result of 0 to 0 while nothing really happening for the entire 90 minutes. It could have been very possible for both teams to gain one point each after drawing the match. However, if we finished the match with a draw under such a scenario, that would be us who would be criticized for it.

We must make bold attacks against such an opponent by taking risks. We may lose a goal by receiving counter attacks when playing such a game. However, we are the team that must carry out aggressive attacks. But, it is interesting to note that people expect us to be that way as we are a team of high quality.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Ventforet Kofu