Since I first arrived in BEIJING, the team had never failed to win for four consecutive matches, so two draws and two defeats could have led to a lack of confidence in the group and generated negative thoughts prior to the game against SJZ Yongchang. Therefore, in the pre-match talk I focused on three very important aspects: SERENITY, PERSONALITY AND INTENSITY. It was essential to play calmly and to maintain trust in the same game criteria and strategies that had allowed us to remain undefeated for 21 matches in a row.
Despite playing a second consecutive game without any of our four central defenders, the team did well, winning and playing some excellent football at many stages. There were two fantastic goals by BATALLA and SHAO which I personally consider to be the best so far in the current season.
We are going through a rough patch with several important players suffering injuries, but I am sure that as soon as the whole team is back our performance will be the same as it was at the start of the season.
In order to be successful we must have mental tenacity and continue to work hard when we face obstacles and go through difficult times.
We are now preparing to play the most important match of the season in South Korea against SUWON. A victory or a draw would automatically classify us for the knockout stage of the AFC Champions League as group leaders, although we could also make it through even if we lost, depending on the scoreboard in BRISBANE.
This is why the victory against SJZ Yongchang was extremely important; because it gave us a good dose of confidence. Whenever a great team like Beijing stumbles, it must immediately recover and win again, and that is exactly what we are doing now, with conviction.
Gregorio Manzano Ballesteros
Head Coach of Beijing Guoan Football Club