Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – press conference after the match against Sagan Tosu  

Comment from Team Manager Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 15th sec match against Sagan Tosu

We are very pleased to win the match in the end in Saitama Stadium after we had been pushed the way we were today.

Even though front-line members of Sagan Tosu were a little different from their usual line ups, perhaps due to some of their player’s injuries, they displayed powerful performances such as waging attacks against us by stealing a second ball from a long ball. It would have been better had our team been be able to control the match with more vigor. Nonetheless, we were able to score three points in the end by winning the match today. It was a significant step for us and we will keep working on our goal of building up on strengthening our performance for our next match.

Questions and Answers

Q: What made it possible for your team to win the hard match in the end? In addition, apart from the fact that Urawa Reds tend to score goals towards the end of the match, what do you think was the reason for the team to score a goal during additional time in its last two matches?

A: I trust all of that was made possible thanks to the hard work of our players as well as the great support our fans and supporters provided for us.

Q: You had Andrew play for today’s match soon after he recovered from his injury. I was under the impression that you picked several powerful players for the match. How did you think the match would play out and what was your impression of the match played today?

A: As I was concerned about the pitch condition, I was in close communication with our staff members in the stadium to check the condition of the lawn from the morning. I anticipated that the ball would roll well. For this reason, I didn’t pick Andrew based on his power. I wanted our team to work more on our tactical ball movements, but this is something our team has to address further. Our team has a lot that we want to improve on such as swift movement changes from defense to offense. I believe we still have a lot of potential to cultivate.

Q: When Sagan Tosu had the ball within their final line, while Urawa Reds usually would tackle from the front, the team responded differently by sidetracking the movement with Andrew. What was it that your team had tried to correct? Did you think the performance of Sagan Tosu was more superior than what your team had anticipated during your preparation?

A: I think we had our own issues. We prepared ourselves based on the way we anticipated the match. However, when we tried our tactics on the pitch, it didn’t work out exactly in the way we had intended. It took us a while to correct ourselves as a result. I had discussed this with the left side during half time. As it happened in front of our bench side, it would have been good had we been able to correct the movements in a better manner.

With regard to Ugajin’s maneuvers, even though our team lost the first goal as a result of him missing the ball, he had managed to score a goal in the first half of the match later under a similar circumstance. It was good to see him learn from his mistake. It is preferable that this type of learning happens during training. Nonetheless, it was great that our players were discussing this and Ugajin was able to show them how he addressed the situation.

Q: You put Nagasawa, Moriwaki and Martinus on the pitch towards the end of the second half. What was your intention?

A: I sent them onto the pitch in order for us to win. The match became open. When the match progresses with a tied score towards the end of the match, it is common for the match to be quite open. As our team was struggling to push, I introduced the players who could perform powerfully in an open match.

Q: How would you evaluate Koroki who scored the goal during the second half additional time? What do you think of his strength in terms of his goal scoring?

A: There is no point for me to evaluate players. I would like all of you to make evaluations as I think all the players we have are good players.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – press conference after the match against Sagan Tosu