Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Kashima Antlers  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 30th Sec Match against Kashima Antlers

We had a very disappointing result. We lost a goal shortly after the game started. We then lost another goal soon after the second half of the match started as well. We didn’t do well in terms of our game control, play strength, battles during crucial moments as well as losing those goals, and I am regretful about the result we had today. When our opponent’s performance exceeds ours during crucial moments like they did, the game becomes extremely difficult. This was what went through my mind for the 90 minutes of the match. It was a disappointing match for us.

Questions and Answers

Q: This match was the fourth match the team lost by four goals. When your team has all-out defeats, do you sense that some things are not functioning well?

A: I feel that things were a little different between our previous matches and the one we played today although we lost all those four matches by a four-goal margin. I believe those four matches were the ones we played against Kashiwa Reysol, Nagoya Grampus and Yokohama F. Marinos which we played more recently. As for the match against Kashiwa Reysol, we made some mistakes during the first half of the match and we failed to execute what we should have done when we had to push ourselves forward. Regarding the match we had against Nagoya Grampus, we executed what we intended to do but our opponent team outmaneuvered us from behind. The Yokohama F. Marinos match was also the same.

However, as for today’s match, there were several moments when our team should have done more. In this sense, we failed to express ourselves well from the get-go today. As for our game control, we lost our goals by our opponent’s counter attacks.

Amongst the four matches I had just mentioned, we lost one goal during the first half and lost three goals during the second half when we played against Kashiwa Reysol earlier and Kashima Antlers today. Whereas, regarding the match we played against Nagoya Grampus as well as Yokohama F. Marinos, our opponent teams led the matches by a big margin in the first half and we ended up playing an open match following that. For this reason, I feel it is important for us to distinguish these two types of matches a little more clearly.

So, what was common in the match against Kashiwa Reysol and the one we played against Kashima Antlers today was that we lost two additional goals towards the end of the match after we started to play an open match. At the risk of repeating myself, we had a regrettable performance from the beginning of the match and during our battles in crucial moments today.

Q: Some substitute players were playing in unfamiliar positions today such as Tomoya Ugajin playing as a side midfielder and Ryotaro Ito in an anchor position. What can you say about those players who were on the bench today?

A: When Ugajin was introduced to the team, we had a three-back system. That’s why he was actually put into a wing back position. As we formed a 3-5-2 system, Ugajin was introduced to take the right wing back position rather than a side midfielder.

As for (Ryotaro) Ito, since (Kazuki) Nagasawa received a yellow card during the first half of the match and as I wanted to put pressure on the ball, I firstly replaced Nagasawa with Ewerton. But, as (Takuya) Aoki sustained an injury, I put (Ryotaro) Ito into Aoki’s position as he could play well in the anchor position. Regarding defense, other players are better in terms of their strengths etc. However, since Ito has a great ability in taking and pushing the ball forward with his face up, I wanted to utilize him in the middle.

Q: I felt that today’s match result reflected the difficulties the team had in maintaining their motivation, the announcement of personnel changes confirmed for next season, as well as the current team condition as you mentioned during the press conference held last Friday. Considering the team’s tension during important matches and their performance swing throughout the season, it seems as though the team’s mental side really affects the outcome of the matches they play. I suspect this is a challenge the team has to address and overcome next season.

A: It is very regrettable that this is something I have to talk about. Each of us should be able to combat against and overcome such a challenge as individuals when we come to the stadium and stand on the pitch. I am disappointed in myself that I was not able to create an environment for this to happen for our team members.


Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Kashima Antlers