The team has played well over the last 17 matches-Team Manager Mischa  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the J. League 17th Sec match against Sagan Tosu

As I have said before, Sagan Tosu has won some of their matches and lost others. But, regardless of their results, they have always played boundary-pushing games against any team. We had expected that our match against Sagan Tosu would be a very tough one as they are a compact and fierce team. However, the match went in a way we had not expected for the first 60 minutes. Until that point, we were able to play well on the pitch. We were outperforming our opponent and the result of four to zero we had at that time was justifiable. When Yosuke received the ball from Mercio, the team had another chance to score a fifth goal. We had such good momentum.

However, it started to rain hard for the remaining 30 minutes. As a result, there were paddles of water on the pitch, which made it difficult for us to play soccer. Such a pitch condition turned out to be more advantageous to our opponent team as they have taller players who score goals by long balls. During the first 60 minutes, our team kept the ball well within themselves and we did not give our opponent many chances to score goals. However, under such a wet pitch condition in the last 30 minutes of the match, our opponent was able to capitalize on their strengths.

From the bench, I was giving out instructions loudly to my team members to kick the ball forward to the behind of our opponent. However, our players were not able to hear my instructions well and continued passing the ball to each other at the back. But, having said that, it was understandable that they tried to keep the ball in the way they did. Over the past six months, I have told my team not to kick the ball out into an open space in a blind way. We have always trained ourselves to build up attacks from the back. For this reason, some players might have found my instructions odd and responded differently to the instructions automatically.

However, by looking back at the past 17 matches Sagan Tosu has played, I do not think there has been any better team than ours who has outperformed them, though it only lasted for the first 60 minutes into the match. From now, we must learn how to play effectively under different conditions. We must learn from today’s experience that we should play a different type of soccer by kicking the ball forward when the pitch is very wet.

I am very proud of my players. I think they have played well over the last 17 matches. They played fantastically today for the first 60 minutes into the game. I thought the first 60 minutes showed what we have been building up over the past and the direction we are taking is right.

I feel also grateful to our supporters who supported us today. I am very proud of them. I am sure they enjoyed our performance during the time we scored the first four goals.

I regret that the match turned out in the way it did due to the wet pitch condition. I am aware that we may attract some criticisms as a result. Nonetheless, we are so pleased that we were able to win the match in the end. I had a shower and put on a fresh shirt before the press conference today to show how pleased we are (lol).
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

The team has played well over the last 17 matches-Team Manager Mischa