Petrovic happy with break timing

Urawa Reds coach Mihailo Petrovic is glad the J.League's extended break has come at a crucial point in his side's season.

Urawa - who last claimed the Japanese title in 2006 - moved five points clear atop the table with a 1-0 win over Yokohama F. Marinos on Monday.

Takahiro Sekine's 79th-minute goal proved enough and it helped them extend the gap on the second-placed Gamba Osaka - who drew 1-1 with Vegalta Sendai one day earlier - with just three matches to play.

And Petrovic, who hailed his side's motivation after that win, feels the break - which does not see them play for almost three weeks - is needed.

"During half-time, I observed how our players were when they came back to the locker room," Petrovic told the club's official website.

"I was able to sense a very strong determination in their eyes.

"[The] match was not played as gracefully as the team usually does, [but] I was able to feel their firm determination to score a goal. I knew that they would score a goal.

"We will have a three-week break until our next match against Gamba Osaka.

"As the season is now entering the end stage, all our players are suffering from fatigue.

"As this has been the case, we would like to prepare well over the next three weeks by recovering and [then] training well."

Urawa can wrap up the title with victory against Gamba on November 22.