May 8, 2013
Something Afoot with Yokohama Marinos
May 8 – Yokohama – The Yokohama F. Marinos are enjoying their best start to a season in years.
The Nissan-supported Marinos team started strong, winning six games before the team fell to Albirex Niigata.
Despite another recent loss to Kashiwa Reysol that brought the total number of losses to two, the team remains in second place, and team manager Yasuhiro Higuchi has high hopes after the promising start.
“We spent last year’s season building a strong foundation for the team. We are playing with great confidence this year because we have that foundation. I think that an overall improvement in our defense has led to this year’s stronger start,” said Higuchi.
“We struggled to win at the beginning of last season because we had just started building up this team. I think we are doing better this year because we are bringing in what we had started last year,” said striker Manabu Saito.
Yokohama now trails first-place Omiya by six points, looking for a win for the first time in four games.
Even amid the recent slower pace, the players say it’s business as usual, as they train and stay fit for the rest of the season.
“We are bound to face difficulties in a season. What’s important is to hold our ground,” said Yuzo Kobayashi, a defender with the Marinos since 2011.
“When we face hardship, players can find it more difficult to keep good relationships, so it’s important that each one of us takes responsibility for himself.”
“We are mindful of our diets and the need for rest, while training is important,” added striker Marquinhos.
In such times players count on fan support, some of whom are as engaged in the games as the players.
“The players are playing with great confidence now, and I know that if more fans come to support us, it will increase motivation and we’ll play even better,” Higuchi explained.
“Our results come from our fan’s constant support. We will continue to fight to win this championship, so I look forward to continued support,” added Kobayashi.
The next game is against Nagoya Grampus at Toyoda Stadium on May 11, before returning to Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on May 15.