BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (AFP) - Confident Japanese coach Takeshi Okada said Sunday he would not make special plans to counter the World Cup threat from striker Samuel Eto'o, saying Cameroon were more than a one-man team.
Japan come into the tournament on a miserable run in which they have scored just one goal in five matches but Okada is confident his players are "well-tuned" for the clash in Bloemfontein on Monday.
Inter Milan's Eto'o, who rivals Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba as the best striker from Africa, has enjoyed a stellar two seasons, winning the treble of Champions League, league and national cup for Barcelona in 2009 and repeating the feat for Inter in 2010.
But Okada told reporters at the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein that other players in the Cameroon team also offered a threat.
"I don't think he is perfect and the Cameroon team is not only Eto'o," he said.
But he added: "We would like to have not only a single player from our team but a few players to cover him."
Okada promised his goal-shy attack would take the game to Cameroon in the Group E clash.
"All of our players will be playing at their best and the result will be there naturally as a consequence of that," said Okada, who has come under fire for claiming the Blue Samurai have a chance of reaching the semi-finals.
"We are not focused only on defending. We will be very proactive and positive in attack as well," said Okada, who added that he was not concerned at his side's lack of goals in recent games.
"Goals are always the issue for every team and it's also the case for our team as well," Okada said.
And he defended the decision to base Japan at sea level while playing matches at altitude, saying they had trained in Switzerland prior to travelling to South Africa and "if you train only at a high level we cannot get rid of fatigue."
Midfielder Makoto Hasebe said the team's recent performances had been disappointing but added that the spirit in the squad was good, vowing "we will win tomorrow for sure."
He admitted the "Indomitable Lions" posed a physical threat, saying Japan needed to be well-organised.
Okada, who has been criticised for tinkering with his formation, is expected to start with CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda as a lone frontman with former Mallorca reserve striker Yoshito Okubo and Grenoble's Daisuke Matsui in midfield.
|Coach: T. Okada|
for D. Matsui 69'
for Y. Ōkubo 82'
for M. Hasebe 88'
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