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

Comment from Team Manager Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 16th Sec match against Kashima Antlers

It’s been a little while since our last match. We prepared ourselves well and wanted to achieve a positive result today by doing well against Kashima Antlers as we will play against them again in the Levain Cup. However, it turned out to be quite a tough match. I thought finishing the match with the result of 1 to 1 today was justifiable given it was not only hot but also because both teams were playing patiently against each other.

Questions and Answers

Q: Even though your team created two great opportunities at the beginning of the match, those opportunities were not nailed. Following that, the team created hardly any chances until halfway through the second half of the match. What was the reason for this?

A: Our opponent team got the ball and we had a short counter-attack situation at the beginning of the match from our mistake. As a result, we had a relatively open match where neither team was controlling the match dominantly. Under such a circumstance, good chances were created such as the one by Ewerton. Those opportunities were created since the match was open and not settled. Neither of the teams were dominant for a sustained period of time and that made it possible for us to play like we did then.
As for the second half of the match, our team took the lead at the beginning. However, it prevented the match from being an open match. Both teams started to suffer from a little fatigue after that. The match then became more open and both teams created good opportunities and scored a goal each.

Q: During half time, you took Maurício out and replaced him with another member that changed the defense line. Was it because Maurício was injured or did you have another intention?

A: I changed the members as Maurício had a little injury.

Q: The team performed vigorously to get to the goal front with their side attacks today. I trust that was made possible as a result of the team’s training to date as well as the dynamics created by playing against Kashima Antlers which played in the formation they did. What do you think of this?

A: When our opponent team plays in the 4-4-2 system by forming a solid block against us, it makes it more likely for us to play like we did today. Since Sekine was initiating a few attacks, I trust this also contributed to our team’s vigorous performance today.

Q: I trust that the weather condition would have a big impact on soccer games. When players have to play in a high-temperature and highly humid weather condition, what becomes the key?

A: The problem we have under such a condition is that movement of players would stop. When players cannot move, what do we do? We say that moving the ball around would help moving players. In order to move the ball well, players need to move well to create a good pass course. In doing so, players can improve their skills of blocking as well as kicking the ball. However, when it comes to how to get to that point, it is important for us to keep training ourselves on a daily basis to build up our skills.
Having said that, when it comes to the match we played today, it was the case of a match of patience and endurance. Under such a circumstance, even a simple matter such as which direction the ball moved has a big impact.

Q: Kashima’s Team Manager Mr Oiwa said that their players would have their switches on during the course of the match. What kind of switches do you think there are for your players?
A: When players block and get the ball from a counter attack, they will have a good switch on. Kashima Antler’s players do well in terms of turning their switches on. In other words, we must work hard to turn their switches off. For this reason, depending on which team has the ball in possession, the choices of making counter attacks etc. go between the two teams back and force.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

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