Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Shonan Bellmare  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 32nd Sec Match against Shonan Bellmare 【MATCH PARTNER Enecle】

Shonan Bellmare is a team that is swift in movement, is capable of returning back to their side of the pitch quickly and that runs around the pitch a lot. Against such a team, our team responded well during the early part of the first half. However, our players started to struggle to counteract well against them from mid-way through the first half of the match and received a few counter attacks from them.

We discussed amongst ourselves during half time to address this point. We had a little more open game in the second half of the match and our team tried to control the match to score a goal or two. However, we were not able to score any goals today.

What was important for us during today’s match was to keep good balance and manage risks. It was disappointing that we only gained one point by drawing the match today. We should have created more goal scoring opportunities. Considering that we lost four goals in our previous match and we lost a few goals in our recent matches, I am glad that we didn’t lose any goals today. However, it was regrettable that we couldn’t score any goals today.

Questions and Answers

Q: Hidetoshi Takeda made his debut during today’s match and he played in a position supporting the top player under the 4-2-3-1 system for about 10 minutes today. What did you say to him when you sent him off to the pitch and what did you think of his performance today?

A: When he is put under lots of pressure, he sometimes seems to find it difficult to show his true potential. However, he is capable of demonstrating many of his good skills when he is given the time to do so. I am expecting to see him achieve great things in our offense as he gets more comfortable with the idea.

The time he played in today’s match was rather short. We had him practice in the anchor or right midfielder position recently. However, I had him practice playing in the position he was in today during our training as I wanted him to play in the match. I felt he would do better in the position he was in today rather than playing in the front line himself. As such, I trust he will also be capable of playing in a lower position as well. It would be good if he can play more in those positions. I look forward to seeing his steady development from now on.

Q: It seemed as though the team was hesitant to make attacks on their opponent team today. What was the reason for this?

A: Our players didn’t get the sense of distance quite right today. For example, the distance from our defenders Hashioka and Yamanaka to our two front players was a little off. There were only a few times that our defenders passed the ball to the anchor player and the ball went through the middle since they often kicked it directly to the front line or by way of the outer players. As a result, Koroki had to retreat in order to get to the ball but this made the distance to the goal further away. This must have been quite frustrating for him as he didn’t get to touch the ball often today.

At the beginning of the match, our players were making swift attacks against our opponent and were successful in moving the ball forward to the goal area. However, this stopped after 20 minutes into the match.

We discussed about the distance issue during half time. We also had prepared to deal with this type of scenario before the match as well. However, we weren’t able to respond so well today.

Q: The team will play their next match against the champion team for the season in a few days. How do you feel about the next match?

A: This is the third time this season for us to play against our opponent in their season final home match. We were emotionally charged about playing such an away match for the last two matches. Our supporters also cheered us feverishly in the away stadiums. As our next match will be the third time for us to play under such a circumstance, we will do our best to fight well.

Q: Center-back player Tomoaki Makino wasn’t selected to be a member and Daiki Hashioka played in his position instead today. What did you think of Hashioka’s performance?

A: Hashioka is good at playing against a number of different players. He is also capable of covering and defending a broad area. Although he struggled to catch up with our opponent’s speed a little during the first half of the match, he did well in dealing with our left side opponent player. However, as I have mentioned earlier, there is still more to be desired when it comes to building up the game. Given his skills, he has been in a side-back position for some time now. Once he improves his tactical moves, he will be able to play even better.

As for Makino, he was unfortunately not able to make it into today’s match. He is working towards playing in the next match and I hope he can make it.

Since we finished the match with the result of 0 to 0, I talked more about negative points today. But, before closing off, I wish to touch upon some positives. I am glad that Takeda made his debut in today’s match. Yuki Abe who had been recovering from his prolonged injury also was able to play in today’s match. They were positive developments that happened before the end of the season for our team. We will work hard to do well in our remaining two matches to gain a positive momentum for the coming year. We will do our best by making the most of these positive developments. Thank you everyone for your support today.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Shonan Bellmare