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

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Fuji Xerox Super Cup 2019 match against Kawasaki Frontale

Hello everyone. It may be a little harsh to say this but we were not able to play a good game today. On the contrary, Kawasaki Frontale played such a good game and they deserved to win the match today. As for restarting our ensuing work, I am confident that we will be able to play better than how we played today.

Questions and Answers

Q: How would you evaluate the performance of Ewerton and Sugimoto during today’s match who played as starting members? Were there any other players who made a positive impression today?

A: Under a normal circumstance, I wouldn’t replace our players after half time as I did today. However, there was a requirement to change five players today. For this reason, I introduced our two newly joined players. I am certain that they will fit in well with the team as they play more official matches from now on. As for other players who were replaced, it was not because their performance was suffering but for other reasons. I put Andrew in as I wanted to take advantage of his speed in his position. I instructed him to go after our opponent’s defense. As for Abe, I put him in to stabilize our mid-field.

Q: What was the primary reason for the team not being able to play a good game today?

A: We couldn’t pull out a good performance playing against the number one J. League team. Though we won two matches against them last year, we were not able to replicate those matches again. I guess the absence of Muto and Aoki also had some impact in terms of the continuity from last season. They had a very clear task to fulfill within our team. Under the current situation where they are not with us, obviously we need to have different options, but it may take a while for those different options to fit in well.

Q: Kawasaki Frontale made it clear that they were trying to take the ball away from Kashiwagi and that led to some difficulties a few times for him. Given his physical aspect, it must have been tough for him to keep the ball to himself when he was surrounded by a few opponent players. I guess he needed support from other players, though the support didn’t come swiftly enough. What do you think of this?

A: That’s true. Just like we marked our opponent player Kengo Nakamura, they marked Kashiwagi. However, this is nothing new. When we play against any team, Kashiwagi is heavily marked by our opponent players. Likewise, when we play against Kawasaki Frontale, we heavily mark Kengo Nakamura as well. During today’s match, while we pressed Nakamura hard, Kawasaki Frontale players had managed to break away from the marking tactfully.

Q: I guess you are not too concerned about the performance of the team today as you have identified the reasons. But, what were the reasons for the team’s lack of overall physical movements during today’s match?

A: I am not too worried about our team as it was difficult to condition everything to perfection as we have just started the season. We had a game plan but we couldn’t execute it perfectly today while our opponent did. Having said this, it is not like I don’t have any concerns. I am always thinking about our team and I always aspire to make the team better. However, I know our players well and I am certain that they are able to play better than they did today in our coming matches.

Q: Your team won twice against Kawasaki Frontale last year. But, given your team’s performance and the result of the match today, do you now have a different impression of Kawasaki?

A: My impression of the team hasn’t changed. But, our team’s performance was more solid last year. As I mentioned earlier, this was because we had Aoki and Muto holding the team together well. We had new players playing in their positions today. But, it is difficult to do everything perfectly soon after they are placed in new positions. If you are talking about replacing a few parts of a car, things start to work without any problems immediately. However, every player has different strengths and characteristics. For this reason, while it may take little time for some to fit in, some may take a while. Either way, we need to take the time it may take into our consideration. Nonetheless, as I mentioned earlier, our team will get better without any doubt. I am confident that we can show you good games in our upcoming matches.

Q: When Urawa Reds took the ball away from Kawasaki, they pressed the team quite intensively. Was that something you had anticipated to some extent or do you think the team needed to have some specific measures against it?

A: With regard to this, we couldn’t handle it well today though there were times before when we handled it well. When we tackled this well, we won against them. I am confident that this is something we can improve through our training.

It looks like there are no more questions despite so many of you here. I feel frustrated. You mustn’t like me that much (lol). We will show you a much better match next time so that I get more questions coming from you. Thank you.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

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