Japan coach Okada ignores Troussier's taunts

TOKYO, May 27, 2010 (AFP) - Japan's World Cup coach Takeshi Okada has said he has no plans to change his approach despite recent poor results, brushing off taunts from former team boss Philippe Troussier, a report said Thursday.

Frenchman Troussier -- the only coach ever to take Japan to the knockout stages of the World Cup finals -- severely criticised the team following a 2-0 defeat to Asian rivals South Korea on Monday, saying they had a "stupid mentality", and said Okada had "confusion in his head".

Okada came under fire for asking the head of the Japan Football Association if he should quit in the wake of Monday's defeat, the latest poor result for the Blue Samurai, who also crashed 3-0 at home to a second string Serbia side last month.

Speaking after Japan's first training session at their camp in the village of Saas-Fee, high in the Swiss Alps, Okada said: "I think this team is what it is."

"Sometimes you are going to have players injured or out of condition or unavailable or whatever, but I have no intention of making any major changes to what we have been doing," Okada said quoted by Kyodo news agency.

"I still think this is a team that is capable of going places. The most important thing is to keep repeating what we have been trying to do until now."

Okada took Japan to a winless World Cup finals debut at France 1998 in his first stint as national coach.

Troussier took the Samurai to the last 16 in the 2002 competition, co-hosted by Japan and South Korea, but four years later they failed again to make it out of the group stage.

Before boarding a flight with his squad from Tokyo on Wednesday, Okada insisted he was still eyeing a semi-final spot -- an ambition that has been widely ridiculed.

Grouped with the Netherlands, Cameroon and Denmark in South Africa, Okada's squad will train in Saas-Fee and have warm-up matches against England on Sunday and Ivory Coast on June 4.

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