Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Kawasaki Frontale  

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 19th Sec match against Kawasaki Frontale

We had a match that enriched our careers today. I feel very proud of my work and the team. I believe our players’ ability to listen and observe discipline is at the highest level. They acted out our philosophy and the ideal way we execute our work from the very beginning of the match to the very end.

We had today’s match after only three days between our previous match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima not to mention a long distance to travel back. We have been having extremely hot weather for some time now. After having played against Sanfrecce Hiroshima in this hot weather, all I asked the team to focus on was their recovery.

What we had to face today was a high-quality team that has one of the best players in Japan. Kawasaki Frontale had 10 days between their previous match and today’s and they also have a very respected player Kengo Nakamura in their team. Against such a team, we were able to win the match today and I am truly proud of our achievement.

The one and only advantage we had today was the fact that we played in our home stadium. We had the advantage of having our fans and supporters bolstering us with their strong and passionate cheers.

Questions and Answers
Q: After the team scored a goal, players retrieved back and formed a block in your side of the field. Was that what you intended them to do?

A: I didn’t intend that. Having said that, certainly there is a basic rule that we need to defend ourselves firmly by forming a block when our opponent team passes the ball forward by controlling the game. After having scored a goal seven minutes into the match and as they were suffering from fatigue from their previous match, our players became defensive and formed the block as we played against Kawasaki Frontale which is capable of keeping and passing the ball around.
However, it was important for us to keep the front line high when our opponent execute a back pass. Otherwise, they could control the match and our team could have lost a goal as we experienced when we played against Nagoya Grampus. For this reason, I tried to correct our players’ stance by instructing them to move the front line forward so that we could take out the space created in front of the defense line.

Q: Over the past two matches, veteran players over 30 years of age joined the team mid-way through the match and did a great job. What do you think of the effect they have on your team?

A: Their experiences are highly important. I remember the match our team played against Kashiwa Reysol with Lee playing for Kashiwa when I was living in Japan previously. Moriwaki used to play for Sanfrecce Hiroshima. As for Abe, I believe our team played against him about 100 times before. They all have a clear vision of what type of game they play. They have a broad perspective. For this reason, I trust them and I know them to fulfill their role when young stars face some difficulties. That is why I select them to play in matches.

Q: Speaking of the overall trend of the match, Kawasaki Frontale hardly outmaneuvered your team even though they had the ball in control and were passing it around. I trust this was the trend we saw during the recent World Cup, too. What do you think about this trend?

A: We intentionally executed the match the way we did so that we could avoid such maneuvers from our opponent. For example, Akihiro Ienaga’s dribbling as well as Kengo Nakamura’s play can be very dangerous. As this was the case, I instructed my team members not to give those players any time to think and make them give back passes or side passes. When Ienaga turns around and starts to dribble, that is very dangerous. Nakamura’s head up pass is the same. For this reason, our players defended themselves by filtering those dangerous maneuvers. In other words, we didn’t allow our opponent team to execute sharp maneuvers.

Q: I believe that the only way to outdo is to execute a combination play by connecting one-touch passes.

A: That is right. When this is not happening, it is difficult to push the space created as many teams try to defend themselves compactly.

Q: You mentioned earlier that today’s victory was achieved as your team listened well and observed discipline well. You also said that you didn’t intend the team to retrieve back and defend themselves. I thought the team played a very strategic game today. As I am afraid this was not the case before, do you see tangible developments amongst your team since you came to the team as their team manager?

A: Our players are highly motivated and trying to follow the instructions I make. They are working together as part of an organization and as a team. By fulfilling such responsibilities, they are also showing their individual quality.
For example, Kashiwagi has recently given me nice surprises. He can read the match well and has great techniques. However, not only that, he supported the defense by moving back behind Moriwaki towards the end of the match today. Not only providing defense support, he created a great flow which resulted in the penalty kick. As for other players, I have known Koroki for some time now. I have come to know Fabrício more and more now. They are all showing their high skills. As for Kashiwagi, I believe he deserves to represent Japan not only us.
Thank you for your great job. I am totally exhausted now as I ran around together with our players (lol). Thanks once again for your kind attention.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Kawasaki Frontale