We will play with the confidence which we have shown over the last few weeks   

Comment from Team Manager Volker Finke on the day before the third round of the Emperor’s Cup against Tokushima Vortis

As for the number of our available team players, our situation has not improved dramatically. Certainly, we are a little better off as some of the members who were away have come back to the team again. Keita and Shunki have been able to join the team practice sessions again. Shunki had been away for about two weeks due to his injury but he now has been able to practice together with the team for about one week or so. Since he has not lost his good condition while he was away for the past two weeks, there is some chance of him playing in the coming match as one of the starting line up members.
Meanwhile, Keita’s situation is a little different. He had been away for eight weeks. I am certainly pleased that he has rejoined the team again. He has been able to participate and complete all the training programs I gave him. However, the contents of rehabilitation training and team training are completely different. Since there are big differences between the two in terms of the burden players have to bare, I am afraid that he is not fully ready to play as a starting line up member in matches yet. He is still experiencing lameness.
Our team has 16 field players for tomorrow’s match and three goal keepers practiced on the pitch during training today. Apart from one goal keeper, all these players will play in tomorrow’s match.
Our aim for playing in tomorrow’s match is to go on to the next round. Certainly, we do not know what will happen during a cup match. However, having said that, if we can play with the confidence we have had over the past few weeks tomorrow, I am sure we can go on to the next round.
The most important thing while playing in a cup match is to understand what is going on in your mind during the match. It is important to be mentally strong. If players become unvigilant and give up following the ball once they lose it or start to think that they can get away with putting only 90 percent of their strength into the match since they are only playing against players in the second league, then they will play a big price. We are preparing ourselves well to avoid these scenarios. We would like to have a good result tomorrow.
I have checked the results of the Emperor’s Cup matches held yesterday. What is interesting is that most of the teams that played against teams ranked below them only won by a one point margin. Most of these teams barely won their matches and Kyoto even lost their match. All the other results were terrible.
I also told my team that the condition of the pitch we will be playing on is quite terrible. The current pitch condition is not so good especially because it has rained over the last few days until today. On top of that, there will be a match played on the pitch before our match. For this reason, I do not think that the condition of the pitch will improve before our match tomorrow. Despite this, we have to stay very positive to play in the match tomorrow.
I intentionally avoided to have training on the Komaba pitch this time. I thought that our team practiced enough as they trained themselves well before the last match. What is important for our players is to have strong determination and team spirit to play well in the match. We have been able to show such a stance over the last few weeks. In order for us to continue to have a good result tomorrow, I hope all of our players will have such a mindset to play in the match tomorrow. We must believe that having a bad pitch condition actually works to our advantage against our opponent tomorrow.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]