I appreciate that many fans came all the way here to support us. My players worked hard throughout the game but the result was disappointing. Apologize. We scored an opening goal and managed to keep a good flow, but after conceding a goal, we were not in good form. But I would like to pay credit to my players for their effort to equalize against Sendai. Given today’s performance, I feel that the team has gradually improved. The second half started today. It may take some time to normalize the team. We want to be welcomed by our supporters.
Q: Why did you change both flanks without changing the top 2?
“It is for a set-up from a flank and a successful cross, but we missed many crosses. Sendai played very defensively, deploying many players in the centre. So, we needed to deliver precise crosses, but did not do so.”
Q: You have conceded goals successively after the interval, what would be the cause?
“Looking back many scenes where we conceded, I have found a particular pattern of our performance. While attacking, the opponents intercept our ball and score a goal. The other bad habit is a lack of concentration though my players say that they stayed focused on the game. However, in fact, the opponents exploited the moment they were interrupted. For the forthcoming games, we need to improve not only concentration, but also a tactic for cutting out opponents’ attack including positioning.”
Q: You scored a goal in the last minute. What do you make of it?
“ As we were behind, I had no choice. When Yamauchi came on and his interception was going well, I suddenly felt that something would happen. Soon, Kakitani sent me a ball. I intended to delver a cross, rather than a shot. It ended up deflecting off an opponent, which hit to the back of the net. As a defeat affects us a lot, a draw is not bad for us.
Q: What do you think of your free kick?
“ Everybody said: “Nobody touched it.” To be honest, it was not a brilliant goal. As uncountable chances occurs for scoring a goal from a set piece, I want to deliver a better kick next time.”
Q: Today, Mr Mori, the Japan national team’s manager, was watching the game. Would you like to be a member for the national team?
“ Not sure at the moment, but that is one of my goals. I will work hard for that.”
Q: What do you think of the result, a draw, today?
“ I am surprised by the late equaliser. I am taking it positively as we needed to salvage a point to level against our opponents. To be honest, I am partially disappointed in the result, because it was not such a hard game to win. That said, we have many things to do for better play. I will have a good preparation for the next home game against Kobe.”
Q: How would you like to improve the team for a win?
“ Every player worked hard and displayed a better performance though we conceded a goal. We have many things to do for the next game, focusing on details. Nobody is blamed for that. The whole team has to improve it. After winning an interception, the ball is taken, or our cross is cleared and opponents get a chance for a counter attack. It sometimes happens to us. As for attack, we need to have a more decisive finish.”