Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – press conference after the match against Ryutsu Keizai University  

Comment from Team Manager Otsuki after the Emperor’s Cup JFA 99th Japan Football Championship Second Round match against Ryutsu Keizai University

I am very pleased that our team fulfilled the goal of proceeding to the next round.

Questions and Answers

Q: I trust that it was a minimum requirement for your team to move to the next round. Could you comment on the team’s performance in addition to winning the match today?

A: Before the match started, I told my team that our aim and mission for today’s match was to move up to the next round and that was it. For this reason, we had the best outcome today.

Q: It looks like you gave some tough comments to your team during half time. How much frustration did you have for the second half of the match at the end of the first half?

A: I didn’t have any frustrations. The fact of the matter was that there was a little gap between what I had expected from our team members and what they had expressed on the pitch. I was not able to extract the true ability from our players which I know they have in them. If I was frustrated, that frustration was intended for myself. Our players are working really hard and I feel always so grateful for them.

Q: Since today’s opponent team was a university team, it must have been difficult for your team as there must have been an expectation that your team should win. In order not to make the difficult condition even more difficult, what did you think was necessary for the team and how did the team prepare themselves?

A: As you mentioned, it was quite difficult for us. This is evident just by looking at other match outcomes. For this reason, I spoke with my team members well that it was important to set a clear goal and what we needed to do to reach the set goal. In response, our players translated our goal into action and achieved the tangible result. I asked my team members to anticipate as many scenarios as possible and told them that anything could happen during the match.
With regard to our opponent team, the fact that they were university students didn’t have much to do with our preparation. However, our team had a big expectation to play well in the Urawa Komaba Stadium. As such, I wanted our players to play the match today by feeling such an expectation. There were moments that our team struggled on the pitch and I am sure our players felt that some aspects of their performance were not to their own expectations either. Nonetheless, it is important for us to note that we worked together to achieve today’s result. As we are now in with the chance of moving further up in the next round as long as we train ourselves well from tomorrow onwards, we must celebrate the current situation we are in. I would also like to commend our players for putting in 100 percent and for achieving our set goal.

Q: Up until near the end of the match, either team could have won the match today. What was the main reason that Urawa Reds was the one that won the match in the end?

A: The answer was the hard work of our players. They grit their teeth together to do their best. I am not sure how other people had evaluated our team working hard against the hard working Ryutsu Keizai University student players. Whatever the case may be, it is important for us to note that we achieved our mission. In addition, I had also told my team members that the match schedule should not affect their performance. It was great that they were able to bring themselves to the right place. As for the match content, we will continue to train ourselves.

Q: Are there any aspects that the team needs to work on in terms of their offense?

A: We must work not only on our offense but also our defense. Since both of them cannot be achieved by our players working independently, we must work more on keeping good balance and strength as well as good coordination. Having said that, as for our defense, our team members started to work better in terms of getting the ball and in team coordination including following up after our players changed towards the end of the match. Our team should be able to play like this during the first half of the match, too. That will be one of the challenges we must overcome. Nonetheless, our team did well at the end of the match.

Q: You decided to use some of the players who usually don’t have the opportunity to play in official matches such as the J. League and AFC Champions League today. What were the positive things you saw in them?

A: I wanted to give them the opportunity to play in the match today. They had been working hard during training by showing not only their enthusiasm but also their good quality. As such, I wanted to see them play in the match today. Some of them hadn’t played in an official match for a while but it was great to see them achieve a tangible outcome today.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – press conference after the match against Ryutsu Keizai University