Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – press conference after the match against Kashima Antlers  

Comment from Team Manager Otsuki after the J League YBC Levain Cup Prime Stage Quarter-finals 2nd leg match against Kashima Antlers

We set the aim to score three points today before we started the match. I discussed with the team that we won’t be able to move to the next round if we cannot score three points today. I said to the team that we needed to score three points but if we try to score goals, we may lose a point. It was a pity that Koroki sustained an injury today. Nonetheless, our team executed what we had planned to carry out pretty well until that point. Our team handled the accident we had well too. As such, I am grateful for our players today.

Despite the fact that a typhoon has been approaching, our fans and supports came to the stadium and filled behind the goal today. I wanted to make them feel good. But, I am terribly sorry that this didn’t happen today.

Questions and Answers

Q: During the first half, the team picked up a full head of steam and scored a goal as a result. What do you think were the reasons behind the good flow the team had during the first half as well as for being affected by the momentum Kashima Antlers picked up during the second half of the match?

A: As for the first half of the match, the match progressed more or less as we had predicted. For this reason, we had a good formation going for us to match the formation of our opponent. Mikasa moved down a little and this created something like a five-back system today and changed the area of advantage a little. Nonetheless, we had a good momentum goring for us. But, to be honest with you, it would have been best had we been able to score another goal during the first half of the match by making the most of the opportunities we created including the corner kick.

As for the second half, our team struggled to coordinate their movements and adjust the distance amongst themselves a little. Having said that, Sugimoto created a good opportunity that led to our second goal and we had a good pass towards the end of the match when our player jolted out to a space behind our opponent team. We need to work to create more of those good moves.

Q: Urawa Reds had to play in the Levain Cup matches as part of a very busy recent match schedule. Looking at the two cup matches the team played, what benefit do you think your team gained from those matches to move forward in the J. League and the AFC Champions League?

A: Both No. 24 (Yuruki) and No. 26 (Ogiwara) did a good job and contributed to the team by invigorating the left side today. It is pleasing to see their good performance like we did. It is great to see the development and good performance of those players who had worked so hard during training over the summer. I also heard that this type of development has created a healthy competition amongst our young players and those who didn’t join the team this time have also been doing really well during training. I think having this type of atmosphere created for our players is one of the benefits we gained from playing in the Levain Cup.

Q: Koroki had to be replaced after sustaining an injury today. Could you please let us know of his current condition to the extent that you know?
A: I am sorry but I truly don’t have an answer to your question.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – press conference after the match against Kashima Antlers