Quote Unquote – after match verdict from those in the know
Alberto Zaccheroni aka Big Zac…
“The game didn’t look like a friendly. Both teams fought as hard as they could. We did well in some parts today, especially attacking from the right side, but couldn’t do well in other parts. When we can utilize the space well, I am convinced that we can be dangerous against any team we play.
“I have to work on getting to know our players well first, and make them believe that they have great ability. We need to improve our reading of the game and play according to whatever happens. But the important thing is not to stop attacking, right up to the last minute of the game, which we did today.”
“I have worked with our players for the last 10 days, but we had two games to play and I couldn’t tell them everything I wanted to. But developing the team will take time.”
Hopefully there will be some pre-Asian Cup gatherings since there are no currently planned friendlies. It will take time for Zac’s philosophy to really come through so the more time they can spend together the better.
“Our final objective is to play in the 2014 World Cup. By then, we will have played in the Asian Cup and the Copa America, as well as many friendly matches. I hope we can make progress playing these games.”
While the Asian Cup is good for local bragging rights it is quite soon into Zac’s reign to be able to judge too much, the Copa America may better show how much progress is being made.
Captain Makoto Hasebe added…
“I think we are doing what our coach wants us to do little by little. We will have a break from national team activities after this game, but it is important that each one of us develops self-confidence and produces positive results.”
South Korea coach Cho Kwang Rae commented…
“The Korea-Japan game is always tense. If we’d been smarter, maybe we could have entertained our fans, but the match wasn’t a classic.
“We were planning to play around Park Ji Sung in midfield. But as he missed the game due to injury, our team were somewhat confused. On top of that, Japan have improved their defensive organization since the World Cup.”
Korea were “somewhat confused” in Park’s absence? Ah, bless ‘em…
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