Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Nagoya Grampus  

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 16th Sec match against Nagoya Grampus

We had a very difficult match today. Nagoya Grampus has a number of high quality players and they are highly skilled at ball handling in the mid-field. In addition, they have capable forward players. For this reason, they are a difficult team to play against. However, for this reason, the fact that we successfully defended ourselves in coordination against such a strong team and won the match makes today’s victory very valuable.

Questions and Answers
Q: I believe today’s match had two key points. Firstly, the set-piece play that led to the team’s third goal. Secondly, how the team defended themselves when their opponent team had tried to attack Urawa Reds’ vital area.

A: As for set-pieces, we cannot practice these enough as they are key to scoring many goals in recent soccer. I trust today’s outcome was a result of our players’ hard training with high aspirations.

With regard to our defense and the vital area, there was a moment where Gabriel Xavier tried to score a goal and the ball hit the goal bar making use of the vital area. He also scored a goal as well. However, I trust that our team was able to address this during the second half of the match. I raised and corrected this during half time. As a matter of fact, I don’t think Gabriel Xavier was even able to attempt to score goals during the second half. I believe our team was able to mark him better.

Q: After 23 minutes into the second half of the match, you replaced Ugajin with Abe. At that point, the match result was still one to one. However, the match moved since then and Urawa Reds scored the second goal. Did this have some effect on team’s movements?

A: Firstly, we put Abe in with the intention of changing our formation. We changed the formation of our defense line. By introducing Abe into the mix, Muto was able to move closer to Koroki. As a result of them playing more in closer proximity, I believe their offensive play was more effective than making counter attacks.

Q: Endo and Makino both scored goals and achieved a tangible result today after returning from the World Cup. How did they change and what kind of effect do you think playing in the World Cup had on them?

A: I have spent too little time with them to answer the question specifically. As they are the type of players who have a great sense of making contributions to the team and boost the confidence of other team players by talking to them, I trust them scoring the winning goals today will have a good effect on the entire team.

Q: You mentioned earlier that corner kicks hold importance. As for today’s match, did your team analyze the defense of your opponent team to put specific measures in place or did they simply miss marking your team effectively?

A: First of all, when we train ourselves on our offensive corner kicks, we practice moves that can be applied commonly to playing against any team. The fact that our team was able to score a goal despite our opponent’s solid defense shows the effectiveness of the ball Kashiwagi kicked. I believe our players capability allowed themselves to break free from the tight marking of our opponent today.

Q: During today’s match, your team players marked and put pressures on specific opponent players when Nagoya Grampus players were passing the ball around. I trust this couldn’t have been done effectively had they no practiced this during training. In addition, Martinus showed excellent performance today. What would you comment on these two points?

A: Martinus has been working hard on his defense and attacks during training. He has been working very hard in the recent high temperatures. As I was able to see his fatigue, I changed him with another player towards the end of the match. Naturally, any players who plays near their opponent team’s defense line tend to suffer from fatigue. In any case, he was doing a good job when he was playing in the match today.

With regard to defense moves, as you saw during the World Cup, there seems to be a tendency that players wait for their opponent to make mistakes. Players are pressed to the side of the pitch before the ball they possess is taken away by their opponent. As this is the case, the front line moves higher. When the ball is taken at a high position, it is possible to make counter attacks from a closer proximality to the opponent’s goal area. This is the aim of the recent trend. I trust this was one of the characteristics being observed during the World Cup.

In addition to this, set-piece plays hold the key. During the World Cup, about 60 goals that were scored were a result of set-piece plays. Many goals were scored from set-piece plays as well as from quick attacks after the ball was taken away near the opponent team’s goal area. Taking the ball away from the opponent when they had built up their moves was another key characteristics being observed during the World Cup.

As for today’s match, looking at the first half alone, Aoki, Muto, Koroki and Martinus had each created a good form by moving behind after we took the ball away from our opponent.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Nagoya Grampus