Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Kawasaki Frontale  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 17th Sec Match against Kawasaki Frontale

I feel very regrettable that our opponent gained three points today. Their performance exceeded ours in many critical situations. When we lost the first goal during the first half of the match, our defensive mid-fielders lost the ball twice as our opponent team shifted the ball to the center. We lost another goal from a similar situation in the second half of the match as well. I feel really mortified by this. We need to develop ourselves further.

Our players tried to push themselves forward even after they lost the two goals today. I feel sorry that they appeared to our spectators that they were in a physically tough condition. Nonetheless, they showed their determination to push themselves further. I want to spend the next two days developing this determination to lead to a positive result in the next match.

Questions and Answers

Q: I thought that the team’s performance during the first half of the match reflected their hard work in the past and showed some positive developments. However, the team finished the match with a disappointing result today. What do you think is the reason for such a result and how do you evaluate the points that the team did well today?

A: Our players managed to execute what the team intended to achieve several times today. However, regarding the first goal we lost, our mid-fielders were led to move to the right twice while our opponent shifted the ball to the left. Knowing that our opponent players run well, our game plan was to quickly slide into a space created after opponent players run to other space. The goal our opponent scored after the volley shot was excellent, but it was a mortifying goal for us.

In addition to this, our team lost another goal soon after the second half of the match started. Though we were trying to be cautious at the start, we still lost the goal. However, even after we lost the second goal, our players were trying to keep their chin up to push themselves forward, which I feel really grateful for. Having said that, it was a pity that we couldn’t score any goals today. To be honest with you, it would have been good had we been able to score at least one goal even when we lost the match.

Q: Having finished the first half of the season, you must be planning to strengthen the team’s performance in the second half of the season. I imagine that the gap the team felt today by playing against Kawasaki Frontale would be what the team needs to fulfill to move forward. What do you think about this?

A: I would like to address some points such as improving the quality of our moves in between our opponent’s mid and back lines and getting one more support in the area swiftly after we take the ball away from our opponent.

Q: Though the team had a good start, things started to fall out of place as the match progressed. Towards the end of the match, Katsuya Iwatake attempted a good attack and tried to score a goal, which could have moved the team forward. Given this, what do you think was the reason why the team failed to pull out a good performance like that for most of the second half of the match?

A: In the lead up to our team attempting to score the goal towards the end of the match, our opponent’s defense formation was as though they had two center midfielders. As for the first half of the match, Kawasaki Frontale had a 4-3-3 formation with one anchor. As such, when the number eight player (Yasuto Kakizawa) came forward to put pressure on us, an empty space was created where he was. However, our opponent might have discussed and tweaked their formation as the match progressed. This was the point which we found quite difficult to address.

Q: Do you think you will change the training content in preparation for the second half of the season?

A: Since we will have only a few days between the four upcoming matches, we will have our training focused on our recovery. For this reason, I want to make sure all players are on the same page. Since it would be difficult for the same players to play in all four matches, I expect today’s substitute members as well as other members to make good contributions to the team.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Kawasaki Frontale