Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 34th Sec Match against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 【MATCH PARTNER Mitsubishi Motors Corporation】

We ended up with a disappointing result today. Our players worked hard to get themselves prepared well for the match. Players like Makino tried hard to get himself ready for the last match no matter what and worked hard over the last one week to condition himself well for the match. Aoki was the same. However, despite our players’ hard preparation work, we ended up with a very regrettable result.

Questions and Answers

Q: Your team had been playing in a four-back system throughout the season. However, you seemed to have suddenly changed the system to be three-back in this match. Why did you change the formation? I also felt that your players were slow in making judgements during today’s match. Do you think changing the system had negatively impacted the performance of the players?

A: Regarding the system change, even though the team got gradually used to the new formation, I agree that they didn’t do well at the beginning of the match. The main reason for our system change was due to the limited number of players we had available for the match today. Front-line players like Nagasawa and Martinus were not able to play due to the injury they sustained during the previous match. If we tried to play in a 4-4-2 formation, we only had substitute players to cover for the back positions. For this reason, we had to come up with a solution. As a result, we chose to play in the formation we did today. After all, we were to blame for our poor performance. At the beginning of the match, Yuruki was in a different position to his usual one. After Koroki was replaced due to his injury, we had three-back system and we started to settle in our positioning a little better. As you had pointed out, we hardly played in a three-back system throughout the season. Nonetheless, our players tried to play well in this system today.

Q: Having girded tight and adjusted the system to respond to your opponent’s system, did you wish to outdo your opponent on one-on-one level?

A: When I decided to go with our formation plan, I was really hoping that things would work out as we intended.

Q: When you went around the ground during the ceremony, you must have sensed the feelings of your fans and supporters towards you through their applauding and gazing even though they didn’t speak out their feelings.

A: I was appointed as the team manager of the top team on the 31st of May last year but including the time I worked for Urawa Reds prior to this, I worked with two presidents and three strengthening team members throughout my career with Urawa Reds. During this time, our fans and supporters bolstered and supported us in a consistent manner, and I cannot thank them enough for their devotion. Knowing how much they have been supporting us, I feel so regrettable about how we ended the season and I still feel that we could have done better.

Q: What did you say to your players in the locker room after the match?

A: As I will leave the team manager position, I commended and thanked them for their hard work throughout this year. While I came to know some of them only from this year or since I became the team manager, I have known others for a longer time since when I was the interim team manager or a coach. As for some players, I have known them for a lot longer. For example, I have known Nagasawa since he was a University student and I first asked him to come to Urawa Reds. I have also known a few players since they were in youth teams. I told the team that I felt so grateful for being able to work with them all and I wished them successful careers as soccer players.

In addition, although Koroki unfortunately got injured today, I told the team that the most important things in life are good health and family. I wished all of them well also in this regard.

Q: We wish to see you again in the Saitama Stadium as a team manager or coach of another team.

A: I feel that some kind of fate brought me to work in this field and brought me the chance to work with everyone concerned including all of you here today. Considering this, I would love to continue to work with you again and I will be so grateful if such an opportunity came again. I look forward to such a chance and to working with you again.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo