“We recently played the Cup match only a few days ago, so it was tough to play another game, but I would like thank the players who never stopped running until the real end. I am happy to be able to return a favour to those many supporters who came along to the stadium for cheering us on. About the game, I believe ‘concentration’ was the key to win or not today. When we lost a goal, we weren’t concentrated. Then also Vissel Kobe couldn’t keep their concentration and lost 2 goals, and that made today’s result. ‘Concentration’ made victory or defeat. We have one more game to play before the interruption period starts, so we will keep working hard to prepare well until the last second, and hope to have a good game.”
Q: The decisive goal was scored by Kota Mizunuma who was a substitute, and also another substitute Ryuji Sawakami showed very good play too. How was your view and feeling on these players for their contribution to supporting the team?
“Both Ryuji (Sawakami) and Kota (Mizunuma) showed great performance in the previous game. And they were also doing well in the training sessions. Of course we have other good players, but we decided to send them first today. Currently, everyone in our team has full of enthusiasm, so I know whoever be sent they will do very well.”
Q: What was your intention of taking Yoichiro Kakitani out at 59th minute?
“The main reason was to change the mood. At the time I made the change, I felt like it was stagnated on the pitch, and thought if we continued like that we could lose another goal, so we needed a player who moves vigorously. That was why I made the change.”
Q: What is your view about Kazuya Yamamura who scored a goal again and also assisted a goal today?
“I think he worked very hard and done very well today. I believe he is a player who can score and assist more, and he created such scenes today. If he can improve himself even more, he’ll become an even better player. Yamamura is so dedicated to the team and working hard right now, I am very impressed.”
■ Kota Mizunuma
“I’ve been feeling just frustrated until today, so having a goal was the simplest way to turn it around, and I am very happy.”
Q: How about the moment until you received the cross?
“To be honest, I was only thinking to shoot. I was wondering if I should strike it too far or near at that moment, then thought it was too straight forward if I kicked to far, so I changed my mind and kicked to near. And it was great the ball went into the goal, and I am very happy today.”
Q: It was rather early substitution. Do you think it was because there was good communication between you and manager, like he picked you at good timing?
“It was negative mood in the team so I was kind of expecting the change might be happening. Then when I was sent to the pitch, I wasn’t thinking of scoring but wanted to lead the team to a positive mood. So I am happy that I could change the flow, and also scored.”
■ Kazuya Yamamura
Q: Please retrace the scene of your goal.
“The ball was dropped perfectly behind the defender, so I am happy I could execute it. I made quite a few mistakes, like pass-miss on the crucial pass and not keeping ball well in the 1st half of the game, but because of the support my team mates gave me, it made the game go well, I suppose.”
Q: Please explain your execution by cutting through behind.
“I was aiming cutting through behind together with Kenyu (Sugimoto), then (Matej) Jonic made the fantastic pass, so I am glad I could cut through to behind. There was a distance to the goal, so the goalkeeper was almost stationary, and I thought I would receive the ball. It became rather longer than I imagined, but ended up working better, I think.”
Q: How about your assist to the 2nd goal?
“I saw Kota (Mizunuma) running in, and I’m glad I could make a good ball for him.”
Q: It seems the substitutions decided fate of the game, but do you think the team was good too?
“Yes. We have different line-ups for Levain Cup and the league, and it’s great that both are producing good result as a team. This current good mood within the team is leading us to the victories, so I want to keep & continue it, and have good preparation at training to win games whoever plays.”