Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Oita Trinita  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 13th Sec Match against Oita Trinita

We are pleased that we were able to score goals against Oita Trinita which had recently been doing well with their hard defense. We are also glad that we won against them by coming from behind though they scored the first goal today. Recently, our team hasn’t performed well at the start of our matches. However, our team challenged themselves to today to keep a good defense in our front line as well as to switch themselves on. They did well for these points today. As a result, they started to suffer from fatigue a little towards the end of the match. Nonetheless, it was good that our players did well regarding those points.

Questions and Answers

Q: After Hashioka scored the second goal, your team seemed to have picked up their speed well and connected with ball passes really well amongst the team for a while. Wouldn’t it be good if your team could change their gear like they did today more freely at any time rather than only after they get hyped up?

A: I tend to agree with the what you pointed out here. Our team made a small mistake in terms of sliding when we lost the first goal today. As a result, they struggled to perform as successfully at that time. Following that, they started to relax and do better partly because they picked themselves up mentally and they were able to check their distance and positioning by communicating naturally among themselves.

Another point was that not only Hashioka scored the goal, but also Koroki and Leonardo started to perform better. In addition, Nagasawa and Sekine started to perform more smoothly in terms of their positioning.

Q: The team kept fighting well during the second half of the match today even though they were in the lead from the first half of the match. Regarding the member change, players who were originally appointed for a certain position at the beginning of the year were playing in other positions such as Yuki Muto who was appointed as a forward player playing in a right side position as well as Katsuya Iwatake who mainly plays for a right side position playing in a left side back position. I understand this type of thing happened in the past, but do you think having this type of breadth in players’ capability will bring something more positive in the future?

A: As for Iwatake, since he is always trained up to perform in both right and left positions, I don’t think it was a surprise for him to be sent to the position he was in today. As for Muto, though he is appointed for a forwarded position, he also practices performing in the right-side position during training. For this reason, our team is trained up to be able to respond to an unforeseen scenario if required. Having said that, I guess it’s better if this doesn’t need to happen. For example, it would be better if I can avoid putting Thomas in a different position.

As far as today’s match was concerned, when our team was pressed towards the end and there was an empty space in the middle, Sugimoto took the role of a mid-fielder player and took care of the space. Sugimoto mainly plays in a forward position, but he was able to respond to the needs created by the team today. I am really grateful for him about this.

Q: You mentioned that the team started to position themselves well and perform well from midway through the match today. Regarding the goal the team lost, apart from the sliding delay issue, what other points do you think the team needs to reflect upon?

A: When I talked about the team’s positioning, it was more to do with our offensive moves. So, I was talking about our team’s positioning in terms of building up our offensive. But, as for our defense and about the goal we lost, it would have been better if Hashioka was able to slide in. However, there must have been a different message amongst the team saying that he shouldn’t come in. For this reason, he couldn’t slide in. When a player slides into a space, the original space the player was in needs to be filled in by another player. But, our response was reactive today. Apart from this, I thought our players were responding well for the rest of the match. However, it was a shame that this one mistake led to us losing a goal today.

Q: Towards the end of the match, Shibato came lower down and it seemed as though five players were defending the back end. But, did you think it was okay for four players defending the back until then?

A: Regarding having four players at the back, as we planned for our side back players to take care of our opponent players, if an empty space was created, defensive midfielder players were to move into the space.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Oita Trinita