Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Vissel Kobe  

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 27th Sec match against Vissel Kobe

Since we had a one-week period between our last two matches this time, we were able to go through various points that needed to be addressed during our training and preparation. I think our players were able to execute what we went through well during the match today. What was especially great about our players’ performance during today’s match was the fact that they strictly followed rules and instructions.

Questions and Answers
Q: During the second half of the match, your team faced several dangerous situations following your opponent team’s three corner kicks and one free kick. Do you think your team needs to correct their defense regarding these points?

A: Firstly, I want to mention that we have had lots of training regarding these types of scenario before the match. Our team had also made several corrections during the match today after I called for their attention. When we have one week between two matches, we can dedicate a day of training for set-piece plays.

Q: As there are a number of players suffering from injuries within Urawa Reds recently, you gave Shibato a chance to play on the pitch today. What were you expecting out of him when you sent him off to the pitch today? What do you think of this recent development of new players having more opportunities to play in matches?

A: Shibato is a strongly built player who is capable of engaging himself in various play situations. As he is yet to have many experiences, I would like to select the best timing for him to play in a match like I did today. I trust that players such as Shibato, Hashioka and Ogiwara will be important players for Urawa Reds in the future. I want help them prepare themselves well for their future.

Q: I thought the three mid-fielders worked really well in good balance today. What was the most important aspect of their training over the past one-week preparation?

A: The most important point this week was to have three defensive mid-fielders to stabilize our defense functionality. I decided this would be a key for us to play well against Vissel Kobe that has such high-level techniques.

One of the goals for our team for this match was to stabilize our defense. However, in addition to this, our team had aimed to wage aggressive attacks against our opponent. I trust this was well reflected in the match result as we were able to score four goals today. It was very pleasing that our team scored that many goals against such a tough opponent such as Vissel Kobe.

Q: When did you find out that Iniesta won’t be playing in the match? Did you set any specific measures in place accordingly?

A: I was hoping to play in front of many spectators who visited the stadium with a hope to see such an important and amazing player like him. I believe not having him play for the team took a big toll on Vissel Kobe. I was preparing the team until around mid-week based on the assumption that Iniesta would be playing in the match. However, I obtained information around Friday that he might not be able to play in the match due to his injury. Having said that, as the information wasn’t confirmed, I had prepared the team with the idea of Iniesta playing for the match until the member list was released.

Q: I believe that the main players who underpinned the match today were the three defensive mid-fielders as well as Shibato who came on to the pitch towards the end of the match today. I trust that their hard-working attitude translated into the great outcome today. With this in mind, do you think this shows that your philosophy is taking root within the team?

A: We had three defensive mid-fielders today. But, the first one who took the anchor role was Aoki. As for Kashiwagi and Nagasawa, they took a position of so-called second defensive mid-fielders on the side. Aoki who took the anchor role paved the way for our victory today.

Q: What is your impression of Aoki?

A: Looking at it from when I first came to the club, I can see Aoki’s techniques improving. The victorious result we had in our match against Yokohama F. Marinos was also made possible thanks to Aoki’s ball handling. I had high expectations from him during our training to handle the ball well. Since Aoki, Iwanami, Maurício and Makino are the ones who often get the ball in their possession, I want them to make sure to be the origin of attacks when they have the ball. I always ask them to possess high quality ball handling as an originator of our offensive.
As for Aoki, he fulfills the role of a defensive player aggressively and dynamically. He understands the quality of performance required of him when he has the ball in his possession and handles the ball very well.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Vissel Kobe