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

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 21st Sec Match against Sagan Tosu

I told our players before the match to expect it to be hard and difficult and we needed to brace ourselves for it. The game turned out to be as we had expected. Though we had very tough situations several times, having had one week to train ourselves helped us a lot. I am glad that we managed to win the match in the end.

Questions and Answers

Q: How do you feel about your team winning the goal and being able to bring a victorious result to your fans and supporters after losing three matches?

A: I had been feeling terrible about us not being able to score any goals and not winning matches for a while. I felt that our gears had been a little misaligned recently. We also had a few players who sustained injuries. As we were going through a tough time, we were determined to overcome our challenges together to do well in today’s match.

Our players worked on their training with fantastic attitude over the past one week. I felt that the atmosphere they created didn’t seem like one of those team’s that had actually lost their previous three matches and wasn’t able to win in their home stadium. I observed the team during the training well and I selected today’s starting members from those who were working well. I am genuinely pleased that those players managed to gain three points by winning the match today.

Q: Do you think today’s experience and good result will translate into something positive in the next match?

A: I work with our players every day with the aim that this would be the case. I will continue to work hard with them so that what we experienced today will translate into tangible results.

Q: What went through your mind when Goal Keeper Nishikawa blocked your opponent team’s penalty kick which only hit the goal post as well as when your team scored the goal?

A: When the penalty kick was about to take place, I was already thinking about how our team should play with a 0 to 1 score. However, I felt relieved when the score remained 0 to 0. Following that, my focus shifted as to how our team could score a goal from there as we were determined to gain three points by winning this away match under the current conditions.

With regard to the goal we scored, our team was pushed back to our side of the field due to some fatigue. So, we had to move our way forward by making counter attacks. I was really glad when I saw Yuruki run into the penalty area and score the goal in the end. Having seen Yuruki score a goal finally, I was able to feel the happiness that prevailed amongst all our players including those on the bench. We, including myself, were all very moved by this. Having witnessed the efforts Yuruki had been making, I was so happy for him.

Q: You changed the position of Kashiwagi to be closer to Sugimoto halfway through the match today. I am aware that you had tried this position during the camp training before. As such, I am sure this wasn’t done in an unexpected manner. Given this, what was the reason that you decided this positioning would be effective for the team today?

A: We had to respond accordingly to how our opponent built up the game. We were aligned somewhat vertically in the middle and towards the end of the match. As this was the case, we needed Nagasawa’s strength in the middle. It was good to have Kashiwagi move into that position. But, what was really good was to have Nagasawa in the holding midfielder position.

Q: What do you think about the fact that substitute players were involved in the goal the team scored today such as Yuruki and Sugimoto?

A: I feel really pleased when substitute players who join the team mid-way through also score goals. I am also grateful for Sugimoto making a positive contribution to the team through his good play today. It is also important to note that Koroki and Muto passed the ball to them beforehand. Some players didn’t play in the match today. Nonetheless, all of us working as one team made it possible to achieve the result we did today.

I only brought 18 players with me to the stadium today. I mentioned earlier that we had fantastic training this week. I would like to express my thanks to all our players including those who stayed in Urawa this time by showing their great motivation even when we were defeated. I feel today’s result was made possible thanks to a true team effort including the great performance by our substitute players as you saw today.

Q: I thought that both teams could have won the match today and I felt the same was true when your team played against Nagoya Grampus as well as FC Tokyo before. You said after those previous matches that your team’s performance reflected what they had been building-up for themselves even though they lost the match. Do you think today’s victory proved what you said earlier?

A: I am not sure what is right or not. But, I always tell our players that we cannot build up anything if we don’t make continuous efforts. I ask them to continue to perform what we have been working even though the situation would be different depending on the opponent team we play against. I tell my team we must win the match while doing so. But, in reality, we had not been able to achieve our objective as we set out to achieve, and I feel sorry about this for our fans and supporters. This is how I work with my team by talking through these things with them. We will continue to work hard so that we will have another positive result in our next match.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

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