Holger Osieck was in a relaxed mood as he chatted to th emedia following Canada's training session in Niigata's Big Swan stadium on Wednesday. The German coach, who spent time in Japan with Urawa Red Diamonds, said: "We're here primarily to gain experience and learn from playing some high-quality opposition. We have some young players in the squad who will benefit from being exposed to football at this level. We're not thinking about winning the Confederations Cup but we want to put in some good performances and do ourselve justice."
The CONCACAF champions' presence in Japan is extremely important for the team's development, particularly following their elimination from the 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan preliminary competition. Osieck expects the hosts to provide a stiff test: "Japan has been producing some very good players for several years now, and the team is constantly processing and improving. They are now at a very good international level, with some talented attacking players in particular. But we will make the most of our strengths: team spirit, determination and mental toughness."
Osieck also paid tribute to the facilities in Niigata: "We will be playing in front of a full house in a fantastic new stadium and on a beautiful pitch. It promises to be a good match."