J1 vs Nagoya Grampus: Player’s Comments

Ken Tokura

Nagoya’s ball possession was not a matter for us as they did not show any decisive attack, like the last game against Vissel Kobe. However, we had a problem when switching the play from defense to attack because we sat deep. We had no idea what to do, a build-up play or a long ball. This is what we need to work on to have the same idea in the team. It will take some time. That said, we made some good performances as well, such as a counter attack from another side and a curved run. So, we need to consider how to take advantage of our strengths. Not being straightforward to solve the issue, I would like to work on it at every game. As for a goal, Nagoya scored a superb goal, so we just need to switch our mind-set to focus on what we should do and deliver the goods.

Q: Is today’s problem that you couldn’t switch the play well as you sat deep?
In this game, each team possessed the ball in turn. Closing down opponents and pressing with a build-up play cannot be accomplished in just one or two months. Having said that, we should not be too pessimistic. Because, from my experience of the last season, when I played for Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, we were not good between the training camp to the third game and won at the fourth game. Eventually, we finished in the fourth in the league table. Today, we made several mistakes during build-up play, but such mistakes tell us that what brought the mistakes, technical miss or miss-judgement. Not trying is not good for the team. We are trying to play football based on Lotina’s concept. I would like to keep working hard.

Q: My impression is that the number of build-up play has increased, compared to your opening game.
As the opponents are different, I cannot compare it with the first game. At least I can say is, the number of touches they get on a ball has increased. However, in the past two games, we could not display our best, but we have done so to some degree during short periods of time. Our priority is keeping a draw 0-0 as long as possible during a game, which we have done well. So, I think that we are heading toward the same direction, and it is a matter of time to solve the issue, such as what to do after intercepting a ball and how to build up when we hold the ball.