Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – press conference after the match against Honda FC  

Comment from Team Manager Otsuki after the Emperor’s Cup JFA 99th Japan Football Championship Round of 16 match against Honda FC

I am sorry for our fans and supporters who supported us in the stadium today on Wednesday. I feel great responsibility for today’s outcome. We had the worst result.

Questions and Answers

Q: The team won the AFC Champions League match last week to move to the next round and the next J. League match will be a very important decisive match for your team. There were several reasons that your team might have been in a volatile mood during today’s match. How did you feel about the mentality of your players during the preparation, before the match started as well as during the first half of the match?

A: We played a number of matches over a short period earlier. Following that the team had a short break during which we had some training and a little break. We will play four matches over a short period again and today’s match was the first one of them. With this in mind as well as reflecting the fact that the Emperor’s Cup match is a one-shot tournament match, I spoke to our team and psyched them up for the match. However, it was very disappointing that our opponent team scored the goal first and that they scored another one in a similar manner shortly after that. Though we have a number of matches to play over the next week or so, my approach was to concentrate on today’s match and try to win the match with those players who played in the match.

Q: After your opponent team scored the first goal, you changed your players. I had expected Fabrício to be on the pitch but you had Ogiwara instead. Was there any accident or was it your intention?

A: Our team needed someone who could take care of the left side. We needed to put a player in who could supplement Furuki to take care of the space behind him. For this
reason, I put Ogiwara in the team. My plan was that having Yuruki and Ogiwara on one side would make it possible for Sugimoto and Muto to take care of the middle. As I wasn’t sure if having Fabrício would make the ball move forward, I made such a decision.

Q: People often say that there is nothing to lose for the teams in a lower category even if they lose in an Emperor’s Cup match. But, I believe Urawa Reds lost a lot of things today. What do you have to say about this?

A: You are right. That is way, I feel a great responsibility about today’s outcome.

Q: Reflecting back on Urawa Reds’ performance, I didn’t think the team outperformed Honda FC today. How do you analyze the reasons for your team members such performance?

A: I feel that I could have taken a better approach for the match including the selection of the starting members.

Q: During the first half of the match, your team was more focused on playing individually. I am not sure if your team members were trying to break the opponent team’s formation but your team members’ individual attempts to win the match were not followed through well to the finish line. What do you think about this?

A: When I put Muto into the team in the second half of the match, I wanted our team to run and follow through. Iketaka is also capable of doing this. I had good expectation as he had been showing good signs in this regard during training. It was possible for him to pick up his pace and execute some cross passes to move the ball forward during the second half of the match. Considering that our opponent was playing in a 4-4-2 formation, it was also possible to take some spaces created to utilize them. When chances are created, our players should be able to make decisions quickly and act swiftly such as kicking the ball to finish off or kicking the ball quickly through between the goal keeper and defense players. I would like to keep working on improving those points with our players.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – press conference after the match against Honda FC