Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Yokohama FC  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 19th Sec Match against Yokohama FC

Our team had some issues during the first half of the match, not only when we lost the two goals but regarding other points in the lead up to the goals lost. We lost the first goal after we had the ball in our possession, and we lost another goal after one of our players left the pitch. Our team wasn’t holding the ball tightly with a strong sense of tension today. They were loose in their ball handling after they lost the ball. We had a difficult match as this very point had a negative lasting impact on our team’s performance until the end of the match.

Questions and Answers

Q: When the team finished the first half of the match with the score you had today, the second half of the match would have been difficult to play. Given this, what was the first point that your team corrected in the second half of the match today?

A: Firstly, Kashiwagi was placed in the middle. For our defense, I also told the team to organize their alignment and refrain from moving forward. In addition, we tweaked the position of our players as we made too many mistakes during the first half of the match.

Q: You mentioned that your team had some issues and made too many mistakes during the first half of the match. Do you think they stemmed from their fatigue or were they due to multiple reasons?
A: There may be several reasons behind those issues. The fact of the matter is that our team made too many mistakes, and this was a big problem. Obviously, we will think through the causes of the issues we had today. It was very regrettable that we gave such a troublesome performance in our home Saitama Stadium match today. Having scored two goals, our opponent team had tightened their defense in the second half, which made things difficult for our team. Nonetheless, we should have performed better in the first half of the match to start with.

Q: Could you tell us how your team players were in terms of their physical contact?
A: It is our understanding that Chief Referee Hiroyoshi Takayama is relatively lenient as far as the physical contact of players is concerned and lets players play without interrupting their flow. As this is the case, I told the team to take this point into consideration and play without stopping the flow. However, given the number of matches our players have recently been playing, they must be suffering from fatigue and I am under the impression that they started to lose some physical control. I am afraid that they may sustain injuries and I am concerned about this. I felt that both teams’ players were performing without enough physical control because of the succession of matches they have recently been playing.

Q: Yusuke Matsuo scored two goals for Yokohama FC today. Given that he was mentored by you when he was a member of the Urawa Reds Youth Team, you must have had mixed feelings about his performance. Please tell us what went through your mind seeing how he performed today. Did you also give any comments to Matsuo after the match?
A: Irrespective of who scored the two goals, it was mortifying that we lost two goals against Yokohama FC today. I had exchanged a few greeting words with Matsuo before the start of the match but that was all.

Q: The team will play a home match against Tokyo FC in four days. Given that the team will have to focus on their recovery rather than training, what would you like to tell your team members in the lead up to the next match?
A: As the next match is waiting for us shortly, I want all of us to work together to overturn today’s defeat. I want our team to be well recovered and to be in a good condition to do our best.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Yokohama FC