Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Sagan Tosu  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 15th Sec Match against Sagan Tosu 【Match Partner Nike Japan】

We lost a goal at an early stage in the first half of the match. Our team members wanted to secure good positions against our opponent’s defense in order to connect ball passes amongst ourselves. However, not only did we make many technical mistakes, we also lacked in speed. As a result, we started to lose good tempo in attacking our opponent and became emotionally a little unstable in the first half of the match.

During half time, I told the team to calm themselves down. I also discussed with them to address the technical issues in order to wage attacks against our opponent. It was great that our team scored a goal as a result. However, we lost another goal after that. Our substitute players filled with their power moved around and managed to score another goal to catch up with our opponent. But, as we had created several good opportunities for ourselves, it would have been better had we been able to nail those opportunities we had created to score more goals. Nonetheless, our team guarded off our opponent well as they also created good opportunities for themselves too. It was a pity that we didn’t win the match in our home stadium today. We will keep working hard for the next match.

Questions and Answers

Q: It looked as though the team was pressed hard by Sagan Tosu at the beginning of the match. But, the team started to gain more strength after the cooling break. You mentioned that the team corrected themselves after half time but did they also change any points after the cooling break as well?

A: During the cooling break, I discussed with the team about the team’s defense as a whole as well as on the left side. I also told the team that their positioning was good but they had to keep their calm.

Q: You chose Yosuke Kashiwagi as a starting member in the team after some period. What were you expecting out of him and what did you think of his performance today?

A: He lost his good condition for a while after he sustained his injury. But, since he has recovered, I decided to use him for the match today. Though he still has to do some catch up in terms of fulfilling our expectations, it was great that he was able to come back to play in a match.

Q: Compared to the previous match, the team seemed to have actively been seeking to create goal scoring opportunities from a distance today. Did you give any direction to the team in this regard?

A: Koroki scored the goal after receiving Sekine’s long ball. During the first half, the ball was passed to the vital area a few times such as front players receiving the forward pass to their feet and midfielder kicking the ball to the top etc. As our players were also passing the ball forward, we were trying not to miss those opportunities. Muto also scored a goal today. It is important for us to aim and nail those opportunities we create.

Q: You said that it was a pity that your team didn’t win the home match today. However, considering the fact that the team caught up with the opponent team coming from behind after losing the first goal, don’t you think the match had some positive aspect for the team to prepare to move forward for the next match?

A: It was good that our team finished the match receiving one point rather than zero. However, we also had the chance to gain three points rather than one. Well, the same thing can be said about our opponent. As we had created several opportunities both in the first and second half of the match, we must work more on how we could better approach to nail goals. After all, we want to exceed our opponents in terms of our score.

Q: The team seemed to have had compact defense until halfway through the second half of the match today. Apart from the goals lost, I thought the team was functioning rather well. What do you think of the team’s tactic development and how are they doing to get to the ideal stage?

A: With regard to ball holding and building up, I wanted our players to come forward more. During the second half cooling break, Makino actually pointed this out to the team and encouraged his team mates to push themselves forward. It would have been good had we been able to address this point in a better manner. When it is difficult to come forward, the team can build up a cluster and move the front line forward to push through. If our opponent breaks our line, our midfielders could intercept them. It would be great if we can move forward a little more purposefully. However, it is difficult in reality as we are dealing with an opponent.

Q: It seemed as through Shibato was trying to pass the ball forward more intentionally today. Did you give any instructions to him regarding this?

A: This was not just related to Shibato but I felt the number of actions directed to the two top players from other members were rather limited in the past including the previous match. I told the team about this although we cannot practice this particular point in our training often. During today’s match, it was great to see not only how the ball was handled in the front line but also how the ball was moving forward from midfielder positions too.

* As Team Manager Otsuki didn’t comment on Koroki’s 150th goal in the J1 League, we received his congratulatory message for the official website.

“Shinzo (Koroki), congratulations on the 150th goal you made!”

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Sagan Tosu