Ugajin demands respect for Reds in ACL

Ugajin demands respect for Reds in ACL

Urawa Reds defender Tomoya Ugajin is ready for a difficult AFC Champions League campaign as his team look to regain the continental crown they last won in 2007.

Last year’s MEIJI YASUDA J.League Championship runners-up have arguably been handed a Group of Death featuring FC Seoul, 2014 champions Western Sydney Wanderers, and Shanghai SIPG.

“From the officiating to the pitch, the ACL is different from the J.League so you have to adjust,” Ugajin said. “The schedule is difficult, but the tournament is worth the effort so you have to go into each match wanting to fight for every ball.

“Shanghai SIPG have players like Oscar and Hulk and it’s a great experience to play against them, but I want to play so well that they talk about how great Urawa Reds are. Last year we played a great match against Guangzhou Evergrande and I hope we can perform even better this year.”

Fresh off their FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP defeat, the Reds will open the group against the Wanderers at Campbelltown Stadium.