Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Jubilo Iwata  

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 22nd Sec match against Jubilo Iwata

We had a very challenging game for the first half of the match. Jubilo Iwata is a very organized team with a number of smart players. They remain calm and strike their opponent team’s weakness at the right timing. They narrowly missed the opportunity to score a goal during the first half. Had they nailed the goal scoring chance they created, the rest of the match could have rolled out very differently. Certainly, we also created several opportunities during the course of the match. I trust today’s match outcome was determined by which team was able to make the most of the chances they created.

Having said that, looking back at the 90 minutes of the match, we were able to maintain our formation from breaking apart and moved the match well under our control. We had created several opportunities and nailed those opportunities in a timely manner. We were also able to score goals from counter attacks as we had aimed to do. In the end, we won the match by a big margin today.

Questions and Answers

Q: While the last two matches Urawa Reds played finished with no scores, the team finished the match with four goals today. What do you think of the differences the team had today and their last two matches?

A: I thought Jubilo Iwata performed a lot better than our previous opponent. Comparing our previous opponent Sagan Tosu and Jubilo Iwata, I trust Iwata was the one that was further away from losing a match.

As for the play style, since Jubilo Iwata’s style is to aim to have the ball in their control, it was easier for us to deal with. When we played against V-Varen Nagasaki two matches ago, they were always trying to break the match into small chunks to earn time as if we were playing a rugby match.

Q: Scoring the first goal seems to be of significant importance for the current Urawa Reds. I trust that the team can now play with high defense capabilities and score goals. How do you regard the importance of scoring the first goal.

A: It is important for us to build up good defense as a basis. Good defense functions as a filter against attacks and we can create a form that is less vulnerable to attacks. Once this is achieved, then we can wage attacks against our opponent.

When we have a good defense formed for ourselves, it will create confidence within us. This is because we have a sense of assurance that the ball we may lose after making attacks can be followed up by the members who are defending the team at the back. When we have this sense of assurance, we can wage strong attacks against our opponent.

Q: The team had a different starting member line up today. What was your impression of those players who replaced the regular members.

A: They did a great job. Both Abe and Moriwaki have the capability of being regular members. Because of his injury, Moriwaki hasn’t been a regular starting member for a long time. But, he has been preparing himself for a long time so that he can play as a starting member. The time he spends on the pitch has gradually been increasing as he prepares himself. I hope he can fully regain his condition so that he can play for the entire 90 minutes of a match in the near future.

As for Abe, I regard him as a rare gem. I want to make this unique gem to shine as long as it is possible. For this reason, I am always trying to work out at what timing in what match should we be utilizing his ability. I want his career to be extended as long as possible. I believe that the longer Abe can exert his ability the better it will be for the team.

Q: The team scored the first goal after 55 minutes into the match. Fabrício scored the second goal after six minutes from when the first goal was scored. Following that, for the remainder of the match for more than 30 minutes, Urawa Reds didn’t allow any chance for Jubilo Iwata players to utilize their back space though Jubilo Iwata is usually well known for their offence rather than defense. Do you think Jubilo Iwata tightened their defense as a result of the Urawa Reds’ image created by you?

A: What I instruct our players to do is to prepare for defense at the time of launching attacks. When a few members of the team are making attacks against the opponent, the rest of the team should not be bystanders wishing them to do well. Those who are not in the offensive need to prepare themselves well to defend against possible counter attacks. Our team members are working hard and have been doing exactly that. It is not easy to defend against a team like Jubilo Iwata that is capable of making fierce attacks. However, thanks to our players’ hard work, Iwata players were not able to utilize the space behind us and were not that successful in making counter attacks.

Q: Jubilo Iwata’s Team Manager, Nanami said that they were able to play as they had intended during the first half of the match but the team failed to pick up second balls and loose balls in the second half of the match and eventually lost the good rhythm going for them. Noting his comment, how did Urawa Reds correct their approach in terms of stealing the ball and defending themselves?

A: As for the corrections we made, we increased the number of the players playing in the mid-field. I instructed either Muto or Fabrício to move away from their positions to join Aoki and Kashiwagi. In addition to this, when the team was making attacks, we had Abe move forward to take care of the middle space. By making those corrections, we were able to have the ball in our possession and press our opponent more. It also became possible for us to move the ball to the sidelines from where the team was able to initiate drives.

Q: Fabrício had managed to score a hat trick today. How would you evaluate his performance?

A: I think Fabrício is still trying to reacclimatize to Japan. He was back in Portugal and away from playing matches for about 45 days before he came back to Japan. In addition to that, soon after he came back to Japan, he sustained an injury and had to spend some time for his recovery. For this reason, I expect his condition will improve even further not to mention his strength and good rhythm for playing matches.

Q: Ogiwara is registered as a defender but he assisted the team in a more forward position today. What was your intention and evaluation?

A: Ogiwara can be regarded as a utility player who is capable of slowing the attacks of opponent players as well as playing aggressively in the mid-field. One of the intentions of introducing Ogiwara into the team was to break the one-to-two formation created around Ugajin. But, I also wanted to utilize his strength to wage counter attacks against our opponent once we stole the ball from them. As a result, we were able to score our fourth goal today.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Jubilo Iwata