Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – press conference after the match against Vegalta Sendai  

Comment from Team Manager Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 18th sec match against Vegalta Sendai

Since we lost our previous J. League match in Oita, we felt that it was imperative that we win the match to gain three points today. Our players prepared themselves really well and I was able to feel their tension before the match started even when they were getting on board the bus. I always hope that I can make our team win but this feeling was even stronger today. It was great that our team was able to win the match and gained three points in the end.

Questions and Answers

Q: I trust that you strategically placed Nagasawa in the shadow position today. However, as a result of Ewerton getting injured, he had to move to the defensive mid-fielder position. Did you think it affected your original game plan?

A: Every position has a specific task and role. Each player’s characteristics can affect tasks that are shared amongst the team. As for Nagasawa, he is capable of fulfilling the role both in a shadow and a defensive mid-fielder position, there was no issue in terms of having Nagasawa play in Ewerton’s position.

Having said that, something we had expected from Ewerton’s characteristics was lost even though Nagasawa followed up the loss with his own strengths. It was a pity that Everton had to be replaced as a result of injury as I was expecting him to show his strength.

Q:Vegalta Sendai was playing quite hard from the beginning of the match and they made many fouls. However, they were not issued with yellow cards though their fouls were identified. You had challenged the referees quite strongly. Nonetheless, your players were dealing with the situation cool-headedly. What did you think of the way your team members handled the whole situation?

A: As I had mentioned during the flash interview right after the match, I feel sorry for those who watched our match that I behaved like I did by challenging the referees. I had shown an unpleasant part of myself today and I apologized to the team for it.

During half time, I also dried off my face with a cool towel and spoke to the team to calm myself down. But, our players didn’t get feisty and remained very calm. My players helped me through, and I feel grateful to them for that.

I am not quite sure about this but had they been able to control themselves a little more, I don’t think Vegalta Sendai would have received the red card in the end. I observed many matches Vegalta Sendai had played to date and they had played fantastically. We came to the stadium feeling quite nervous today. I am sure that Vegalta Sendai players were feeling it was a pity as the number of their players was reduced to ten. We feel pleased as we won the three points today by winning the match. But, I imagine that those who wished to watch Sendai players at their best must have felt disappointed today. As we were really looking forward to play against Vegalta Sendai today, it was unfortunate how the match unfolded.

Q: After your team started to lead the match with the score of 1 to 0, your opponent team had one of their members sent off from the pitch. I imagine you were feeling rather worried since there was only a one-goal margin between the two teams. As your team was struggling to score additional goals which would have a decisive impact for the outcome of the match, how were you planning to finish the match?

A: Naturally, I wanted our team to score another goal. I wanted to score one more goal without giving any chances to our opponent. Our team was going well until halfway through and Ugajin made an inswing cross kick and it would have been great had we been able to score another goal without taking any risks. But, when we were leading the match with 1 to 0, it was not necessary to take risks against our opponent. In this sense, it was good how we approached the match. Surely, I wanted to score another goal but we finished the match with three points by winning the match today.

It would have been possible for us to play more aggressively but I wanted our back to be stable. As you had pointed out, I was worried as any accident could have happened.

Q: Koroki scored the decisive goal today. What is your impression of him and what do you expect him to do from now?

A: He works hard during training and he is attentive to his colleagues and talks to them often. On the pitch, he clenches his teeth together to work hard. He also scores goals for the team. What I ask of him the most is not to get injured.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – press conference after the match against Vegalta Sendai