Zaccheroni: We must pick ourselves up

Alberto Zaccheroni said Japan must not dwell on their opening defeat to Ivory Coast if they are to make their mark at the FIFA World Cup.

Japan slumped to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Ivory Coast in their first Group C game at the Itaipava Arena Pernambuco on Saturday, having led at half-time in Recife.

The Asian champions must regroup for Thursday's clash against Greece, who were beaten 3-0 by Colombia - with victory in Recife essential if they are to retain any hope of reaching the round of 16.

But Zaccheroni insisted his team will continue to play the brand of football that has won them countless admirers, despite the nature of the loss to Ivory Coast.

"We are not happy with the loss (to Ivory Coast)," the Italian boss told reporters on the eve of Japan's match at the Arena das Dunas.

"Nevertheless we are all pros. Maybe I got some more experience than my players, but this is just a game.

"The next ones can be a different story. It is up to us to build up this different story though. I have slept on it and remained focused on the way I can give the tranquillity and the confidence to my team."

Zaccheroni added: "It is pointless to deny that this result may affect the confidence of these guys and we cannot allow this to happen because the tournament is very short.

"Expectations on Japan have been built up over the last four years; therefore I have been concentrated on my idea that this team can get good results by playing in the way they know."

Japan defender Maya Yoshida echoed his coach's comments, refusing to focus on the country's recent defeat.

"The result of the first game was not the one we had expected, but we still have two games and all we have to do is to beat Greece, so I am concentrating on it," said Yoshida.

"It has been three and a half years since I joined Japan as an international and I have been working hard for this World Cup.

"So it is disappointing and frustrating if just only one defeat changed everything. We can come back in the tournament with the last two games because we can do better."