Mombaerts: Asia Challenge a boost for team unity

Mombaerts: Asia Challenge a boost for team unity

Yokohama F. Marinos manager Erick Mombaerts complimented his players following their 3-2 win over Bangkok United on Tuesday evening during the opening day of the J.League Asia Challenge in Thailand Interleague Cup.

The Frenchman praised a solid performance from a squad that has seen a number of major changes this offseason, including the departure of legendary captain Shunsuke Nakamura.

“Everyone played with superb balance across the pitch,” Mombaerts said. “We need to increase the speed with which we move the ball around, but today wasn’t bad. 

“We need to work to improve our ability to maintain possession, take it all the way to a shot, and finish with a goal.

“All of our foreign players participated except for (defender) Park Jeong-su and I want to continue to integrate them into the squad. I think they will bring an extra element to the team.”

The inaugural preseason friendly has given both F. Marinos and fellow J.League side Kashima Antlers an early chance to evaluate their squads ahead of the upcoming MEIJI YASUDA J1 League season.

“I think it’s good that this competition has caused us to train a bit harder and put together the team a bit earlier than usual,” Mombaerts added. 

“This opportunity to go overseas and train together will improve team unity and deepen the relationship between the players, and we saw that on the pitch today.

“After Thailand we’ll head to our camp in Miyazaki where we’ll want to improve even further ahead of the new season.”