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

Comment from Team Manager Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 24th Sec match against Matsumoto Yamaga FC

Our opponent came from behind and won the match by scoring two goals towards the very end of the match today. I feel I must apologies to all our fans and supporters who came to the stadium at the end of their summer break for how the match evolved and ended up. We had a very disappointing game.

Questions and Answers

Q: Urawa Reds scored the first goal marvelously and the team created a few great chances following that. However, that momentum was lost. What do you think was the reason for the team losing the good rhythm going for them?

A: We set up our objectives for the match and the goal our team scored was scored in the way we intended. It is true that we created decisive opportunities a few times. However, we were not able to bring those opportunities to our advantage during the 90 minutes. I also think that out team got frustrated after our opponent team scored a goal as well. During half time, I discussed with my team that we must change our formation and need to put two targets at the front at some point if our opponent started to get to us. However, before we got to that point, we had some troubles with our players. As a result, we had to put different members into the team which was not part of the original plan. It was a pity that we were not able to continue the good flow we had because of this. I also feel that our team should be able to create more good scoring opportunities for ourselves.

Q: Urawa Reds haven’t won their past five J. League matches. Do you feel some kind of growing pains from the team or something else different?

A: To be honest, I am yet to digest the match we had today. But, after all, I strongly feel that our team has been struggling to keep a good flow during games and to connect one positive development to another. While we are able to catch up well with our opponent team in some matches, in some cases, our opponent teams come from behind and we lose the match in the end like today’s match. We still have a lot to overcome such as pulling out a consistent level of performance, playing a match with good flow and connectivity as well as having good control over the entire field. We need to address those issues by working on two different sides. One is to improve the quality of our players’ performance through high-quality training. Another is to boost their stamina and make sure they are capable of keeping their high-quality performance. I must put these points into my consideration when selecting our players for the next match.

Q: You mentioned that you had to change players after some troubles. Can you elaborate on this?

A: I was hoping to keep Kashiwagi longer on the pitch and planned to put Sekine into the team first. However, due to the trouble Kashiwagi experienced, I had to put Muto into the team first instead. In addition to that, it was ideal had we been able to match and respond to the change our opponent team had in their mid-field and front player formation without changing a few of our players. However, since we had different types of players playing, we had to change our members in the way I hadn’t originally intended. Because of the gap, I am afraid that our players were not able to adjust themselves well enough.

Q: Matsumoto Yamaga’s Team Manager Sorimachi said that he introduced Matchida after 20 minutes into the second half of the match to change the mood. He said that he felt Urawa Reds let their emotional guard down. After Matsumoto Yamaga changed their formation, however, I didn’t think Urawa Reds performed so badly in reality. So, what do you think was the real cause of today’s loss?

A: Matsumoto Yamaga’s No 25 player (Yamato Machida) took the ball away from us in the negative transition. I didn’t think it would have happened had we had a matching number of players in our formation. We had a gap in our system as we ended up having three in the mid-field while our opponent had four. I was considering to rectify this situation when our opponent team scored the goal. We just missed the opportunity. I was hoping to change our formation.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

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