We are definitely on the right path-Team Manager Mischa  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the J. League 22nd Sec match against Kashima Antlers

Kashima Antlers is a fantastic team. To me, the team is one of the best teams in the J1 League. Looking back at today’s overall match, it went as it did when we played against FC Tokyo. However, the difference between the two matches was that we were able to win today.

I thought our players were able to learn from our FC Tokyo match and they pulled off better defense at this time. We were able to see how we have been by looking at the last two matches. I think that our team has developed into one of the most aggressive teams in the last six months as long as the whole team is able to maintain their stamina during the entire match.

During the first half of the match today and in our previous matches, our opponents were not able to block our team. I thought our players also managed to defend their opponents well. As a result, our team members are able to perform really well as long as they can run around the pitch with good stamina.

Our team has become better after every match over the last six months. They can attack their opponents in various ways. Our team has been able to attack their opponents dangerously such as having a one-top-two-shadows combination after the ball is kicked into a wedge, changing sides and kicking the ball into reverse.
I also think that they are getting much better at controlling the match tempo. After fetching the ball from the opponent, they swiftly switch to attacks from defense. The team also attacks their opponents slowly by keeping the ball in their possession when their opponents withdraw. I think the team is able to control the tempo of a match very well.

However, when it comes to their stamina, I see problems. As their team manager, I see two issues here. Firstly, over the past 22 matches the team played, almost all the same members are playing in matches every time. Secondly, it is too much burden on our players to play in such harsh summer weather.

We now have been playing a different type of soccer. For example, Nagata as a libero has to attack our opponents with the ball. However, once the ball is taken by our opponent, our team has to move back. I do not think this type of thing happened before. Our players now have to bear many new burdens such as this. Our players must have been finding it tough to accustom themselves with the amount of movement they have to make. This is something new for them and as a result it puts burden on them.

In the past, Urawa Reds was reliant on individual highly capable players and fighting through by capitalizing on individual skills. However, what we are doing now is to play collectively as a team. This is not something that the team can achieve overnight. It takes time. However, as long as the team spends enough time, they will definitely improve. I am very proud of the fact that I can train such a team myself.

The team which was struggling to stay in the J1 has been among one of the top teams by staying at 3rd or 4th in the standings at the end of their 22 Sec match. I think the efforts our team has put in deserve a great respect. We had 44,000 supporters in the stadium today. I am very pleased that we were able to show a great soccer match to our supporters today. I would like to commend my team for their great efforts. I am sure the team will face some difficulties that may wait ahead of them. However, I think they are definitely on the right path and there is no doubt about that. What we will do from now is to work hard. We will keep working on our hard training. Working hard all the time will lead to the great development of the team. We will keep placing importance on every match we are to play. We will switch our minds to prepare well for the match against Shimizu S-Pulse. Anyway, I am very delighted about gaining three points by winning the match today.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

We are definitely on the right path-Team Manager Mischa