Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 10th Sec Match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima

We had a very difficult match previously and had spent a tough week before we played the match today. It was a very hard match for us to play for several reasons including the mental recovery of the team. We also found it quite difficult to prepare for the match as well.

Against such a background, our team showed what they had been working on rather than what they had prepared during the match today. As we had expected, players played in extremely hot weather. The team tried many different tactics through trial and error and made corrections such as sliding tackles to play against Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s style of soccer throughout the match today. I thought they did a good job. However, they stopped moving a little due to the high heat. After we scored a goal, our balance shifted to the back. So, in terms of the content of the match, what you saw sums up things for us.

Questions and Answers

Q: I am sure that winning today’s match was extremely important for the team. But, as for how your team played the match, I believe that the team needs to build itself up more and create something great from now.

A: As far as the importance of winning is concerned, since our players often seemed as though they collapsed on their own accord after the season resumed, it was great that we were able to score the goal first today. However, with regard to the content of the soccer, we had a difficult match as the team failed to tick off some important points such as having the ball in our possession more. Having said that our team performed really well in some matches such as the YBC Levain Cup match against Cerezo Osaka in the past, though we couldn’t win the Levain Cup match. At any rate, we won the match today. We will reflect on the content of the match to make improvements and continue to work hard to move forward.

Q: You mentioned that it was quite difficult to prepare for today’s match. But, the team seemed to have had a strong determination to win today no matter what. What do you think about how your players played and won the match?

A: You are right. When the team scored the goal, they executed what they had been practicing for some time really well by breaking the opponent’s defense fantastically. But, it was a shame that we only scored one goal. Nonetheless, it was great that we won the match today thanks to the goal. Regarding the team trying really hard to win the match no matter what, yes, I agree that this was the case indeed.

Q: I thought the team had managed to hold their slim lead until the end of the match well and Leonardo scored the goal again today though it was from a penalty kick. This means the last four goals made for the team were all executed by Leonardo. Apart from the penalty kick, there seemed to have been some positive aspects about him as he seemed quite switched on in his attitude in making attacks. How do you evaluate him?

A: The team had the penalty kick opportunity thanks to Leonardo’s through ball. He also scored the goal from the penalty kick too. Though today’s match was quite hard, he has been making a great contribution to the team throughout the season such as in defense as well as pressing. Having said that, the winning result we achieved today was made possible thanks to everyone’s good efforts. Not only Leonardo but also Sugimoto and Taketomi who joined the team during the second half of the match as well as Sekine doing a fine job with one-on-one combat throughout the 90 minutes of the match. I wish to celebrate today’s positive result with everyone.

Q: With regard to the team’s offense, do you think the team needs to coordinate and connect in a better manner by strengthening their running as you mentioned earlier in the season?

A: It is important for our team to know at what point and where they should run. But, when the team struggles to move around like you saw today, things get even harder. I want to address this point well.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima