Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Matsumoto Yamaga FC  

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 3rd sec match against Matsumoto Yamaga FC

The match we had today was different from our usual one due to the strong wind we had during the game. As a result of playing under the mistake-prone conditions, both teams played pressing soccer. We also avoided having the ball around the penalty area. In other words, we played more in the way of kicking long balls forward.

At the beginning of the match, thanks to the wind, Matsumoto Sanga FC was put in a difficult situation in their defense, which created a good opportunity for Andrew. On the contrary, Matsumoto Sanga players put pressure on our team by taking advantage of the following wind and created good opportunities for themselves during the second half of the match. Both teams fought hard around and over the long balls often today.

Both teams fought hard over the ball and played neck-and-neck today. I think we also played a fair game. When both teams received a foul call, those actions stemmed from our aggressiveness and were not from mal-intention.

I want to commend our players for their performance during today’s match. When the weather condition is good, players can play the type of soccer they aim to play by utilizing their skills. However, when they are affected by weather, it is difficult for them to play the type of soccer they intend to play be it strong wind just like today or rain which creates slippery ground conditions. When playing under such weather conditions and facing the difficulty playing the type of soccer intended, players need to have vigor to chase the ball with full steam like they did today. I trust that our players were able to show this today.

Questions and Answers

Q: During the first half of the match, when your players were holding the ball on their low side position, you seemed to have been frustrated. What do you think they should have done?

A: As I mentioned earlier, both teams were affected by the bad weather conditions today. However, players must overcome such difficulties in order to win. It is imperative for them to be able to overcome such challenges.

Q: You put Iwanami in as one of the three backs in the middle position. What was your intention for this and how do you evaluate his performance today?

A: He did well. We put him in the same position last year as well. As for Iwanami, I think he is suited for the middle or right position rather than left.

Q: You left Maurício and Ewerton in Urawa today. What was the reason for this? How are you planning to prepare your team for the next AFC Champions League away match?

A: Both Maurício and Ewerton were experiencing some pain in their adductor muscles. For this reason, I left them in Urawa so that they can recover and prepare themselves well for the match in Beijing next Wednesday. When they can recover well, they can come back to join the team.

When I return back to Urawa, I need to assess the condition of our players. I need to work out the team members depending on their recovery condition. As such, I won’t be able to tell you who would be playing in the next match we will play on Wednesday. Just like Iwanami took time off earlier and Maurício and Ewerton did not join the team today, I may have to give some of our players who have been playing for the full 90 minutes a break next.

Q: Matsumoto Yamaga’s played set pieces well. But, Koroki did a good job in defense. Did you give Koroki some specific advice regarding the defense of your opponent’s set pieces or did you work out something different with the team regarding this?

A: Koroki’s positioning has been slightly adjusted since our last match. Koroki was asked to be in the position to be able to intercept in-swing balls from our opponent team. As he has a really good sense of timing in ball defense, he plays an important role in our defense as well.

Q: Your team won the first J. League match this season. Could you express your aspiration for the future matches?

A: From the beginning of the season, I was anticipating that we will have a difficult course ahead of us. Especially, this coming week will be a real challenge for us as we have three away matches with long distances to travel. I hope to overcome this challenging and energy draining week well by eliminating as many difficulties as possible for the team.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Matsumoto Yamaga FC