Press Conference - Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira  

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira from the press conference held at the Ohara Soccer Field on 4th May

Questions and Answers
Q: How do you feel about the upcoming match against Kashima Antlers, the team you used to direct?
A: I certainly have many fond memories associated with the club. I spent a great five years working for Kashima Antlers thanks to people of Kashima City, the members of the team and the club. However, that time has passed and I am the team manager of Urawa Reds now. For this reason, I want to do my best for the success of Urawa Reds. I trust the history I created at Kashima and the mutual respect I have with the club will remain. But, what I aim to achieve won’t change even when we play against Kashima Antlers. I have led more than twenty teams in the past and I can say that Kashima was one of the special teams for me. However, I am now a member of Urawa Reds.
Q: Kashima Antlers continues to play consistent soccer. What kind of attacks do you think work most effectively against them?
A: Since I left Kashima Antlers, they have had different team managers and players. Of course, some of the members I know from my time at Kashima are still with the club such as Sogahata, Endo, Doi, Nishi, Shoji and Ogasawara. But, the team is currently made up of both new and old members. Nonetheless, they have kept building a good track record after I left the club as well. For example, they reached the final of the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup.

Q: I saw that you gathered the club staff members together after training today and were talking with them. What did you speak with them about?
A: I always gather our staff members together to talk about our work. When I talk with staff, we basically discuss our work. But, we also need to have time to relax and I regard having good relations outside of the pitch is also important. In order for us to trust each other and build a good relationship with confidence, we also need to talk about something other than our work. We have a language barrier between us but I want to continue to have our talking sessions in order to help us work together smoothly.
What I said to the staff members today was that I want to go out for a meal together with them at some stage and also play soccer together to have some fun. I guess you (media people) are in a similar situation too but I am yet to have any time off since I came to Japan. As we have been playing a number of matches on Wednesdays and over weekends, I haven’t had any leisure time yet. But, when I will have such time for myself, I believe it is important for me to build a good relationship with them outside of the pitch.
All Urawa Reds staff members have been working very hard to create a great working environment for me. Everyone is considerate and is doing a good job so that I can work well. It may take a little more time for me to foster a deeper relationship with them to make our work run more smoothly but I am certain that we are moving in the right direction.

Q: How do you assess the current state of Kashima Antlers and what do you think Urawa Reds needs to do in order to win?
A: First of all, in order for us to win against Kashima, we need to execute good plays like we did against Kawasaki Frontale. We must be serious and execute good defense to pull out a great performance. It is also necessary for us to undermine our opponent team’s strength and hit their weaknesses.

As for the current situation of Kashima Antlers, the Japanese players I mentioned earlier are all really great and valuable players. I also had a chance to train Léo Silva. Unfortunately, Leandro hasn’t been able to provide impetus to the team due to his injury, but he is a player of high capability and quality. They also have high quality forward players like Kanazaki and Suzuki who can score goals. For this reason, I regard them as a challenging opponent.

Q: Ugajin said he wants to hug you after winning the next match. Do you think you the distance between yourself and the players is getting closer?
A: Certainly, the distance is getting closer. I am always open and want to communicate directly with our players. When they make mistakes, I will tell them off firmly but when they do a great job, I commend them. I believe a frank and honest relationship will lead to success. When I treat them all equally irrespective of their position, age, nationality and career background, I can show my sense of loyalty to them and I believe they will show their loyalty in return.

Q: How do you regard the J. League YBC Levain Cup 5th Sec match against Nagoya Grampus to be held on 9th May?
A: I regard the match to be very important as I want our team to win the cup to move to the next round.

Q: What is the weakness of Kashima Antlers?
A: If I were to comment on such a question, I would have made all training sessions open (lol).

If you don’t have any more questions, I would like to talk about Andrew before we closed this session. I won’t be able to take Andrew to the Kashima Antlers match. He dislocated his right shoulder and he sustained a little damage on his bones as a result. This happened when he made contact with the Kawasaki Frontale’s goal keeper. Since soccer is not a combat sport, players should not go all out against their opponent. Andrew was showing a great performance during the Kawasaki Frontale match. But, now we are not able to send him onto the pitch at least until after the World Cup break period. This is such a painful blow to us.

He had been training himself very seriously. He has improved himself even over such a short period since I came to the club by making good efforts. I don’t know how long it will take for him to come back to the pitch. The one accident he had may have negative implications not only for Urawa Reds but also for the Australian National Team.

I think this is something not to be overlooked. I am not sure if the consequence of being ejected from the pitch that Kawasaki Frontale’s goal keeper received was good enough. If he only gets suspended from playing one match, I don’t think it is fair because Andrew won’t be able to play more than one match. For this reason, I want to make a proposal. How about suspending the Kawasaki’s goal keeper until Andrew can come back onto the pitch? My question is what kind of consequence the J. League will impose following this recent incident.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Press Conference – Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira