Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Yokohama F. Marinos  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 27th Sec Match against Yokohama F. Marinos

I feel sorry that we finished the match with a very disappointing result. It turned out to be a difficult match where Yokohama F. Marinos’s strength shone through. We wanted to better control the match from the get-go. But, we lost our control at the beginning of the first half including our mental side and all this had led to our bad defeat today.

Questions and Answers

Q: I didn’t think the match result reflected your team’s performance well. I felt that your team’s active offensive attacks led to the number of goals the team had lost today. Apart from the match result, what did you think of your team’s performance in general?

A: Yokohama F. Marinos loves to play an open match. That is how their strengths are best extracted. That’s why, I didn’t want our team to play an open match. Had we been able to progress the match with the score of 0-1 or at least 1-3 for some time, things might have been different for us. But, our opponent team was leading the match with 0-3. Soon after we scored a goal, the match score became 1-4. So, when the margin became three, we decided to play a little more open match and create more wiggle room for ourselves rather than taking a chance to see if things would turn out to be better for us by continuing to play an organized match.

If Martinus would start to lose his stamina and remain at the front, I was planning the space created to be covered by other players such as Leonardo, though this might give our opponent team members the opportunity to run into the space created and this could increase the chance of our team receiving more frequent counter attacks.

Looking at the amount of running today, there is no doubt that Yokohama F. Marinos members have good skills to make the match they play to be open after a quick restart. As this was the case, we wanted to stop this from happening. However, we lost our mental control a little after we lost the first goal today and this had made achieving our intention difficult.

Having said that, there were a few moments when our team members were doing well such as when Koroki tried to score a goal at the end of the first half of the match as well as us creating a goal scoring opportunity during the second half. We were hoping that those opportunities would be nailed, and our margin would be narrowed down. However, things weren’t that easy in reality.

Q: It seemed as though your team’s ball was often blocked by Ado Onaiwu behind the midfield anchor position today. Whereas I am sure there were times when Urawa Reds players were also hoping to take the ball from Yokohama F. Marinos players in front of the midfield anchor. How difficult is it to keep a good balance?

A: You are right. We had a game plan where we would have one player covering our opponent’s midfield anchor player and our two tops to cover their center backs. We had planned our center to be tight to control our opponent’s top players when they were vertically aligned. When Yokohama F. Marinos side back players tired to use the space created between our midfield anchor and side midfielders, we wanted to make sure we would mark them well in a compact manner. However, even though this was our intention, we lost our first goal after Yokohama’s top player managed to get away from our center back player. Following that, our team’s formation became a little bit back heavy.

Since we lost the first goal, I told the team during the match to go forward by moving our front line forward. Our players were also talking to each other to push themselves forward. Under the normal circumstance, they would be able to do this without any difficulties. However, being aware of the importance of today’s match, our players became quite impatient and rushed to move forward. As a result, they did this in haste. However, I wanted our team to approach this in a more organized manner. This was what our team didn’t do well at the beginning of the match. I also thought our players could have attacked our opponent team more in the second half of the match today.

Q: Although the result was disappointing for your team, we were able to see some positives in your team’s performance today. You always say that you reflect both challenges and positives from each match in order to move better forward in the next match. With this in mind, could you please share your determination for the next away match against Vissel Kobe that the team will play after a three-day break?

A: Since we would never be able to play the match we played today again, we will focus to do our best in our next match against Vissel Kobe. We will firstly have to recover ourselves well. Then, I will assess the condition of our players well including those who were on the bench and those who were not selected as a member for today’s match. I will also make some considerations to those players who got injured today as well. All in all, we will all work hard together as a united team in order to bring the team to be in the best condition as possible for our next match.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Yokohama F. Marinos