Gamba out to make life difficult for Reds


Gamba Osaka coach Masanobu Matsunami says the proud J-League club is not about to make it easy for the Reds to return home with three points.

Gamba Osaka coach Masanobu Matsunami says the proud J-League club is not about to make it easy for the Reds to return home with three points.

Unable to reach the Round of 16, there is nothing major other than pride on the line for Gamba in tonight-s final match of the Group Stage, but Matsunami believes there is definitely more than enough incentive for his team to win and put on a good showing.

“We no longer have a chance to qualify for the next stage, however this will be our last home game, and we lost the away game (to Adelaide United), therefore we would like to try and get some revenge and show our fans our pride to the end,” the 37 year old said.

Bottom of Group E with just one win from their five games so far, Gamba-s place in the J-League, Japan-s premier domestic competition, is not much better. The 2008 AFC Champions League winners have just two wins and eight points from their opening 10 games in the J-League this season.

A change of coach less than two months ago would not have helped their cause as Matsunami replaced veteran Brazilian Jose Carlos Serrao, who only survived a short stint after a string of poor results.

A former Gamba Osaka player who made 280 appearances and was part of the club-s 2005 J-League winning squad, Matsunami now has the task of getting Gamba back on the rails and he is expected to rest a host of his first choice stars tonight, particularly as they have a massive game away to Yokohama in the J-League on Saturday.

While this sounds positive for Adelaide United-s chances, the Reds are certain to still have their hands full as Matsunami gives a number of Gamba-s younger, less experienced players to impress.

When asked on his line up for the match at yesterday-s media conference, Matsunami was keeping his cards close to his chest but admitted it would be a highly competitive Gamba outfit.

“It (the team) will depend on the players- condition. The players who haven-t had the chance to play so far are in condition to be able to play as well,” Matsunami said.

“Therefore I-m thinking of appointing the players who can play aggressively for the match tomorrow.”

Ahead of the game, Matsunami also touched on where he thinks Adelaide United-s strengths lie and what Gamba would need to do to combat them.

“Adelaide United has many tall players with strong physical condition and some players with good technique,” Matsunami said.

“The A-League season is finished so I do not know the condition of Adelaide United, however of course I want to maintain the playing style of Gamba Osaka which is to pass the ball and attack quickly.”

“The point will be to defend in a balanced way, and the players and the ball need to be on the move as well.”

“We will be looking to play the ball on the ground rather than in the air.”

Kick-Off is at 7.30pm ACST.