TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan coach Takeshi Okada remains upbeat over the Blue Samurai's World Cup chances despite the side suffering a fourth straight defeat in the run up to the month-long tournament in South Africa.
Japan Football Association (JFA) president Motoaki Inukai accused the players of looking "frightened" in Friday's 2-0 defeat by the Ivory Coast in the Swiss Alps but Okada is refusing to panic after the latest setback to his preparations.
"I deliberately chose to play top teams to toughen the players up for the World Cup," Okada told Japanese media.
"But we're a team and I trust the players to pull together and produce something extra at the World Cup. Clearly we need to score goals. To do that we need to take a few more risks."
"It was a good test timing-wise to play Ivory Coast before the Cameroon game," Inukai said. "But what was worrying was that the players looked frightened."
(Reporting by Alastair Himmer; Editing by John O'Brien)