J-League Preview: Petrovic upbeat about Urawa form

Urawa Reds coach Mihailo Petrovic is remaining upbeat despite his league leaders' indifferent J-League form.

The high-flying Reds, who face relegation-threatened Ventforet Kofu on Wednesday, have suffered two losses in their past three to have their lead at the top cut to four points by Gamba Osaka.

After his side's 4-2 loss at Vegalta Sendai, Petrovic said it was important to stay positive with six league games remaining.

"Though we lost the match, as the team manager, I don't think we need to view it pessimistically for longer than necessary," he was quoted as saying by the club's website.

"I would rather view it as something that happened in a timely manner before we are to play our remaining six matches.

"We will analyse the cause of our loss in detail so that we can perform better in our upcoming matches. I'd like to regard [the] loss rather positively."

Goals from Shingo Akamine and Kazuhiro Murakami sunk Urawa after they had fought back from 2-0 down at Vegalta.

Petrovic said his team tried to rely too much on individual efforts.

"I felt our team was not able to play our style of collective soccer. I thought each player played relying too much on what he thought best," he said.

"However, that is not how our team plays our style of soccer.

"Our style is for each player to share a common understanding about how we wage attacks against our opponent team. But, this was what we were slightly lacking."

Ahead of a trip to Kashiwa Reysol, Gamba Osaka will be hoping they can close the gap further with an eighth straight league win.

Third-placed Sagan Tosu, six points off top spot, face a tough clash at Kawasaki Frontale.

At the other end of the table, Tokushima Vortis are edging closer to having their relegation confirmed but could win at second-bottom Cerezo Osaka.

Shimizu S-Pulse also desperately need a win when they host Albirex Niigata and Omiya Ardija are eyeing a fourth straight league victory when they take on Yokohama F Marinos.

Tokyo and Sanfrecce Hiroshima, sixth and seventh respectively, also meet on Wednesday and Nagoya Grampus host Vegalta Sendai.

Fourth-placed Kashima Antlers will be looking for a return to form when they visit Vissel Kobe.