Here is some of the reaction from FC Gifu after yesterday’s game. My translation skills, much like the FC Gifu team, are a work in progress. I’ve tried my best to replicate what the people quoted meant, but please forgive any errors in nuance. These are taken from the official post match comments; they can be found in Japanese here and here

FC Gifu coach Ruy Ramos:

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  • “Shonan are a good team. They have been together a while, trained together, and more-or-less know how each other operate.”
  • (On the Alex-Namba HT substitution): I felt Alex would give us more options to move players around. He’s comfortable with the ball, so there was no worry for me putting him in a more advanced position. We wanted to try and keep the ball more in the middle of the pitch. Of course, we had to change this plan after Stipe’s injury.
  • “I wanted to see how Stipe & Nazarit would combine. I think Stipe is a natural “10” (playing off the front players) and I thought he would benefit from playing more centrally. I had to play him a bit wider because of the good form of Namba & Nazarit, and because Stipe is a really good dribbler. That’s why we had been playing him a little wide. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see him play behind Nazarit too much because of his injury.”
  • “I’ve said before that Mizuno has the potential to be a very good ‘volante’ (holding midfielder). But he needs more experience, he needs to know it isn’t only about running & fitness, he has to use his head as well. He needs to realize that that the more tired you get, the more mistakes you’ll make as the game wears on. I want to pass on the best advice to him to ensure he reaches his potential.”
  • “We, in the future, need to focus on OUR performances. If we do that, and we perform to how we want, the results will come from that.”
  • (when asked about the goals coming at the end of each half) “I have to give credit to my team, they never gave up. I don’t want my players to give up in front of our supporters at home. That’s why they kept fighting until the end.”

Gifu forward Nazarit:

  • “It was a difficult game because our opponents are a strong team”
  • “As a team, we gave the ball away too much. We need to take care of the ball a bit more.”
  • “We will improve, I definitely want to keep improving”

Gifu captain Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi:

  • “It was a contrast of teams: we are still finding our style while Shonan aren’t a work in progress, they are almost a complete team.”
  • “Of course there were some things that we didn’t do well today, we need to work on them. With improved performances come wins & points. That is what we have to aim for.”
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