SAMURAI BLUE tune up for Honduras match; Endo, Konno, Uchida get familiar numbers
13 November 2014
The Japan men’s national squad, nicknamed SAMURAI BLUE, entered the third day of their training camp in Aichi Prefecture on Wednesday, preparing for their match against Honduras in the 2014 Kirin Challenge Cup, which would be played in two days.
After they were divided into groups and had warmups with ball exchanges, the team worked on the switching of their offence and defence and offensive buildups from the final defensive line, and then played 7-on-7 mini games, during the practice session, which lasted for about an hour and a half.
When AC Milan forward HONDA Keisuke and FC Tokyo forward MUTO Yoshinori scored goals during the mini games, a crowd of over 5,000 gave them huge applauses, clapping their hands.
Before the practice, the jersey numbers for the players were announced. Midfielders ENDO Yasuhito and KONNO Yasuyuki and defender UCHIDA Atsuto, who all had been returned to the national team for the first time since this summer's FIFA World Cup, will wear Nos. 7, 15 and 2, with which they had been familiar from the past.
"It's a pleasant thing that you are able to wear the same number that you've always worn," Endo said. "But how you perform is more important than your jersey number." Endo remained on the field after the team practice to work on his free kicks, placing the coaches and staff as a defensive wall and kicking each shot elaborately into the goal.
Meanwhile, Kawasaki Frontale forward KOBAYASHI Yu has left the team due to a foot injury he suffered during the previous day's practice. Vissel Kobe midfielder MORIOKA Ryota has replaced Kobayashi's spot as an additional call-up. "It's very disappointing, but it happened while I was playing so hard, so it couldn't help,'' Kobayashi said. "I will first focus on healing it so I will be called up again."
Morioka is scheduled to join the team from Thursday(13th November).
FW MUTO Yoshinori (FC Tokyo)
I've been able to have good communication with other players and I think I've been able do thing with composure, thinking many things in this high-level circumstances. Now it'll be up to how I'll perform and how much I can play to the details. I know I've been used to this circumstances based on my experiences from the past training camps. I got to know there were huge gaps in terms of the physicality in our Jamaica game and to be more aware of how to use my body properly. I've lifted more weights since then and I feel I can do things better, including how I get my body in front of an opposing player. I felt from our previous games that as I got to be used in those, I got more confidence. I hope to be playing this time and win it and get more confidence.
DF SAKAI Gotoku (VfB Stuttgart/Germany)
We've got some new players and right now we are working to get to know each other, but I think we've had our communications just fine. We defensive line players are working on confirming our fundamental moves like our mutual distances and who should take on which players of the opposing team, so we can make moves automatically. As for me, I just want to have better preparation, whether I play on the left or the right, so I can adjust to any situations. We saw the Honduras team in the Olympics, but they have players who have strong physicality and are sharp on their counter attacks, while they are technical and are also capable of moving the ball well. They give us similar impressions with the South Americans. They are so powerful so it's important for us to not jump on the ball easily. We want to talk with each other and have better a risk management against their counter attacks.
DF MORISHIGE Masato (FC Tokyo)
I always play with the mind-set to win games, but I still have some things that I need to get used to, and I have yet to feel in doing things smoothly, so I think it'll take some time. Hopefully, I'll get the team's direction in these two games, and I will be able to play my parts both offensively and defensively. The players who have returned to the national team have experience, so they will give us composure and I think we'll have a better balance with the veterans and younger players.
JFA-TV (Japanese version only)
Interview - KAGAWA Shinji
Interview - TAGUCHI Taishi
Interview - SHIBASAKI Gaku
Kirin Challenge Cup 2014
Fri. 14 November 2014 SAMURAI BLUE(Japan National Team) vs Honduras National Team
Toyota Stadium/Aichi Kickoff 19:35(plan)/Open 16:35(plan)
TV Broadcast: National live broadcast on TV ASAHI
Tue. 18 November 2014 SAMURAI BLUE(Japan National Team) vs Australia National Team
Yanmar Stadium Nagai/Osaka Kickoff 19:20(plan)/Open 16:20(plan)
TV Broadcast: National live broadcast on FUJI TV
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