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Points everything for Zico

10 Jun 2006 - 17:45:24

Japan coach Zico has told his players not to worry about playing attractive football as long as they secure the points in their World Cup opener against Australia.

Zico is famous for the wonderful football he produced for Brazil during his playing days, but now he's in the dugout all he is worried about is winning and progressing from Group F.

"We have to battle in each game as if it is our last, as if it is the final," he said.

"It really doesn't matter how we play any more. The only thing that matters is getting the points.

"Our main priority is to get through the group stage. Brazil are obviously the favourites but each of the other three teams have an equal chance of going through.

"We have prepared well and I am confident that we will be able to achieve our target of reaching the second round."

Meanwhile, striker Atsushi Yanagisawa has declared himself fit to face the Socceroos after recovering from a hamstring injury.

"I'm sure I will be able to play a part. There are no complications with the injury at all," said Yanagisawa.

Naohiro Takahara and Shunsuke Nakamura are also expected to shake off niggling injuries to start, but an ankle problem is set to keep Akira Kaji on the sidelines.


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