Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against V-Varen Nagasaki  

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 20th Sec match against V-Varen Nagasaki

We had a little peculiar match today. Our opponent team’s strategy was to break the game into small chunks to prevent us from having a rhythmical flow. They took a long time to perform each of their set-pieces such as free-kicks, throw-ins and corner-kicks. This was to stop the game to flow in good rhythm. If we measure the in-play time for today’s match, I trust this will be a lot less than the average. I personally think it is recommended to have a longer in-play time.

V-Varen Nagasaki is a good team and they had created goal scoring opportunities as well. It would not have been strange had they won the match today. However, their intention was clear which was to stop the flow of the match. For example, the number 9 player (Juanma) repeated the same fouls several times. Though, the referees seemed soft about it. It seemed as though his actions were accepted. On the other hand, when our team committed a foul, we received a yellow card straight away.

Another thing I noticed about today’s match was referees were trying to avoid risks when corner-kicks were played. Regardless of whether we were in the offense or defense, referees blew quite a few whistles for the offensive side. I thought the way they blew whistles was to avoid risks.

One of highlights was when Ugajin overlapped. Towards the end of the match, Ugajin overlapped and moved into the penalty area. The ball touched one of the opponent players’ hand within the penalty area. However, no whistle was blown. If that was exactly how the referee intended, then I have no choice but to honor the decision. However, I felt that referees did not give any warning to those players who stopped the flow of the match but seemed rather cooperative for this type of game development.

Despite the type of situation, we faced today, I thought that V-Varen Nagasaki was a well-refined team. As they had created decisive moments from counter-attacks, we could have lost against them.

Questions and Answers
Q: Towards the end of the first half of the match, Iwanami initiated an attack and Fabrício attempted to score a goal which unfortunately didn’t get through. I believe this flow represents the type of soccer Urawa Reds aims to play. What do you think is required in order to increase this type of development and for the team to be more victorious?

A: I thought our team didn’t have enough good attack moves today. I feel it is necessary for us to do more training focused on this so that we can make the most of the good opportunities we create and follow through. We played three matches over the last one week. I thought both teams were under the influence of the recent hot and humid weather today.

Q: I trust that the closest way to victory is to have training for a few days over a week by increasing our load and addressing the issues by re-enacting the match we had. However, we only had three days in between the two matches and what our players had over the last three days were class room sessions. I showed them recorded footage of our games and went through a few points. However, I feel it is necessary for them to have physical training so that they can react naturally in a real match situation.

Q: Your team played against top-ranking teams over the last few matches and your opponent teams held the ball in their possession longer. However, the situation was quite opposite today. Your team must also have suffered from psychological difficulties after having finished playing big games. I imagine your team will continue to have the type of match you had today from now on. With this in mind what do you think is important for the team to work on?

A: I explained before the match what kind of difficulties we would expect to face today. Other than that, I don’t think we had any psychological difficulties. What we were lacking was enough preparation. We didn’t have enough time to prepare ourselves. From this perspective, I believe it is important for us to get accustomed to the type of situation we currently have. But, not only that, I would like to have training with extra load on the pitch. Obviously, the goal we had today was to win the match.

Before today’s match took place, I watched and analyzed several matches V-Varen Nagasaki played in the past. When they played an away match against FC Tokyo, they played well and created many goal scoring opportunities. When they played their home match against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, the match was led by Sapporo. For this reason, I believe it is necessary for me to analyze a series of matches played and how they flew rather than just focusing and reviewing the match we had today. Such is the case with V-Varen Nagasaki as well. How Urawa Reds played today was the result of the three matches the team played.

Q: Team Manager Jorginho who used to lead Kashima Antler once was upset about referees. At that time, I told him that the referee didn’t make the judgement he did because he didn’t like Kashima Antlers but because he didn’t have enough courage and skills. I believe that referees won’t be qualified to be referees if they lose their courage. What do you think about this?

A: I think that is a very important view. The outcome of a match can be very different depending on how referees make their calls. We had a neck-and-neck match today and referees made a few mistakes. As a result, the judgements they made benefited the style of soccer V-Varen Nagasaki wanted to play today. For example, when corner-kicks were played, referees blew their whistles even before the ball a player kicked reached another player and this happened a few times whether we were in offense or defense.

I am sorry for making this type of comment in protest. But, this is part of soccer as well.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against V-Varen Nagasaki