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

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 12th Sec match against Kawasaki Frontale
Questions and Answers

Q: Congratulations. How do you feel about your first winning match since you assumed the position of Urawa Reds team manager?
A: Thank you very much. We had to play the match under such a tough condition today. I had limited time to prepare the team for the match. The training session we had yesterday was the third time we had all team members training together since I came to the club. But, since we had the match to play today, I had to preserve our players’ energy. As a result, we were not able to do much yesterday. The team had struggled a little to build up the match at the beginning, but they made efforts to create right formations. I thought our players showed a winning performance on the pitch today.
Q: During the first half of the match, things were quite tight mid-way through and Urawa Reds team defended themselves hard. Why did things developed the way they did and how effective do you think your team’s responses were?
A: We had limited time to prepare ourselves, but we expected to have a tough and difficult beginning in the first half of the match. However, as you had pointed out, our players have become capable of playing the type of soccer we aim to play and they have become more confident about utilizing space. As a result of this, they have gained more confidence which had allowed them to control the game.

Q: You have known Koroki, who scored the two goals today, since your Kashima Antlers’ days. What is your impression of Koroki now?
A: Koroki has lovable characteristics. I met him for the first time when he was very young as a number 7 forward player. I still feel good about deciding to trust his ability back then. It is great to see how he has become a successful and important player. I am very pleased that he scored the goals which contributed to the team’s victorious result today.

Q: I trust the match your team played today was something that you, as the team manager, have been aiming for. Is that correct?
A: Today’s victorious match result provided us not only with the opportunity to calm ourselves down but also the reason to be courageous to carry on. It was quite difficult for us to prepare ourselves well as we only had a single training day before our match against Kawasaki Frontale. Kawasaki is last season’s champion team that can wage a wide variety of attacks. What was important for us during today’s match was to disable the source of our opposition team’s dynamic play, the point from which their forward players start to maximize their performance. I thought our players started to understand their roles and showed their quality performance with confidence. When players don’t have good mental condition, I don’t think they can pull out a good performance.

Q: During the last 20 minutes of the match, the team was pressed by ten opposition players. Did you see any issues in how the team finished the match?
A: The team is yet to train themselves to prepare for the type of situation they faced towards the end of the match. As this was the case, our team finished the match as they did today. Our team out-numbered the opposition team by one player at that time. For that reason, we should train ourselves not to lose any goals and win the match. In the end, it was good that our team won today’s match, but we should train ourselves to prepare for the type of situation we faced today. When our opponent team has one less player on the pitch, it is important for us to use the pitch widely and utilize empty space to score goals. We also need to practice preparing for the scenario where we have a reduced number of players. There may be a time when we have to score a goal at any cost even with fewer players than our opponents on the pitch.

I am not sure if you recall but when I was with Kashima Antlers, we had a match here at the Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium. Our opposition team was leading the match with one to zero and Atsuto Uchida was pulled from the match. However, Koroki had managed to score a goal to catch up with our opponent. I have had such experiences and others that I don’t even want to remember. But, there were some positive experiences like the one I had during the 2007 season. When a team has one less number of players on the pitch and is leading the match with more goals scored, it is important for them not to lose any goals. In the example of the match played in 2007, our team had scored a goal with one less player and after the goal was scored, they defended themselves firmly not to lose any score.

Thank you for your kind attention.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

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