Aguirre confident of first win – vs. Jamaica at Kirin Challenge Cup
10 October 2014
Javier Aguirre, the head coach of SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team), showed his confidence at the press conference at Denka Big Swan Stadium in Niigata on Thursday 9 October prior to the Jamaica clash at Kirin Challenge Cup 2014, saying “I’m sure that we will get the first win of this team tomorrow.”
After his debut in September ending with one draw and one loss, eight of 23 players in the squad were replaced. But Aguirre expressed his confidence at the conference after completing their final tune-up at the stadium. “We’ve got a good practice. All players including new faces are eager to work hard,” said Mexican head coach.
Aguirre indicated his intention to play FC Tokyo defender Morishige Masato, taking an anchor position last month, in place of Southampton FC defender Yoshida Maya who put off joining the team due to injury and to list 1.FSV Mainz 05 forward Okazaki Shinji at the middle up front, who kept in form scoring five goals in the six Bundes Liga matches of this season.
Aiming for the first win in the third match in his reign, Aguirre said “we need to put up better defence compared to the last time. Jamaica are physically very strong and will put pressure on us from the very beginning. We try to catch our winning momentum by reading how the game goes and escaping from the pressure.”
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Kagawa Shinji expressed his enthusiasm for the match, saying “I’ll always try to look to how I can score a goal and be creative to create many chances. I need to work both on scoring goals and setting up someone’s goals.”
FC Internazionale defender Nagatomo Yuto said of Kagawa, “when he disappears on the pitch, we cannot display our strength. I’ll try to focus on utilising him and being utilised by him.”
Jamaica are currently at the 100th place on the FIFA ranking (Japan at 48th) and in the midst of their preparation for the CONCACAF Caribbean Cup that takes place in their country in November, under head coach Winfried Schaefer, who took up the position in June, 2013 and used to take charge of Cameroon National Team and Thailand National Team. The squad arrived in Japan Wednesday and worked on an official tune-up session Thursday.
German boss said “Japan is the best team in Asia. As you see Kagawa, Okazaki and others playing in Europe, Japanese football has been dramatically developing. We need to have 100% concentration and fighting spirit to play against such an excellent team.”
Japan had a match against Jamaica in October, 2002 (1-1 draw) and capped a total of one win, one draw and one loss.
Javier AGUIRRE, Head Coach of SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
We’ve got good training, balancing defence and offence. New faces are all motivated, and I’m sure we can grab the first win tomorrow. Jamaica are physically very strong and will put pressure on us from the very beginning, which will make the match tough for us. We’ll try to catch our winning momentum by reading how the game goes and escaping from the pressure. At the international level, there are cases where opponents dominate the possession, so we need to quickly attack forward once we get the ball. It’s important not only to possess the ball and pass around but also to get deeply into the opposing end. I’d like to see if my players can do both tomorrow. I believe the support from fans in Niigata leads us to a win tomorrow.
FW OKAZAKI Shinji (1.FSV Mainz 05)
Jamaica is very athletic and Japan tend to struggle with a team like them. What’s important is if we can play quality football against such opponents. Finding out the way we win is something we lack, so we need to work on some important points, scoring when we are supposed to score and defending when we are supposed to defend. Niigata is a place that reminds me of my debut with the national team. When I stood on this pitch, the world around me changed. Something I can add up is a goal. I’ll always have an eye for it. I’ll try to play the game with the sense of urgency.
MF KAGAWA Shinji (Borussia Dortmund)
This stadium reminds me of the goal I scored four years ago. I’ll keep up my play and how I can play tomorrow will be the benchmark for myself on the national team. How well I can perform at the given position is the key and will be the opportunity to showcase my quality. I’ll try to show what I have.
DF MORISHIGE Masato (FC Tokyo)
The goal we conceded was caused by our mistake. When we don’t make a mistake in our build-up, we can keep opponents from scoring goals. (Because Yoshida Maya is not here,) I’ll try to be vocal and keep a clean sheet. How we can put pressure is important and if we can collectively build a defensive block and get the ball, we can move on to counter-attacks. To me, every time I’m called up is a challenge and every national team match is an important spell. I’ll have the sense of urgency to keep playing on the team.
DF SHIOTANI Tsukasa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
All I can do is things I’ve done before, so I hope I can show it. It is nothing to think about whether who I play with. I believe all I need to do is to do things I can do on the spot. No matter who I play with I want to build a good chemistry, so I’m not caring too much about it.
GK KAWASHIMA Eiji (Standard Liege)
Everyone wants to win as a member of the team and has a role to give a win to the team. With the loss in the last match, we have a strong motivation for the upcoming match. That’s the Japan National Team. We are required to stick to winning and having a good result, which are something that we need to provide people who are watching. Those are what all selected players need to keep in mind.
Winfried SCHAEFER, Head Coach of Jamaica National Team
Niigata is a place of memories for me as I had a match as a head coach of Cameroon at 2002 FIFA World Cup. It’s tough to face a great team like Japan after just a 60-minute practice to get through my tactics to players, but we’ll try to put up a good result with 100% concentration and fighting spirit. Now we are on the way to determine the squad in preparation for the Caribbean Cup in November. In spite of lacking captain Austin and Mariappa, we can change our system, and players have a good heart to fight for the country. If we get more disciplined and learn a lot more from Germany and Japan, we can get better. As Okudera Yasuhiko opened the door for Japanese players by turning in great performance in Germany, I hope some Jamaican player do the same just like he did.
DF MORISHIGE Masato
FW HAVENAAR Mike
DF NAGATOMO Yuto
KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2014
Friday, 10 October 2014 Kickoff at 19:25 (estimate time)
SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) vs Jamaica National Team
Niigata/DENKA BIG SWAN STADIUM
International Friendly Match
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 Kickoff at 18:45 (local time) 19:45(Japan Time)
SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) vs Brazil National Team
Singapore/The Singapore National Stadium
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