Japan boss denies feud with Dutch counterpart

Japan coach Takeshi Okada insists he has no feud with his Holland counterpart ahead of tomorrow's World Cup Group E meeting against Durban.

Holland coach Bert van Marwijk admitted earlier today he did not recognise Okada the last time they met at the FIFA draw and mistook him for a federation executive.



"I am not close to Van Marwijk," Okada said. "I don't know him well.



"We have not been rivals in the past and this is not a personal match.



"I cannot pronounce properly the Dutch coach's surname but by that I don't mean any disrespect."



Okada showered Holland with praise but believes they can be beaten.



"Tomorrow we will be playing against a wonderful team, which is one of the favourites for the title," he said. "We are very happy to play this game.



"We realise this is a sophisticated team but we believe we have a chance to win tomorrow.



"We shouldn't feel small even though Holland have great name players in the team.



"We want to address this challenge with the overall power of this team."



Okada has reason to be upbeat as his side go into the game with a 1-0 victory over Cameroon in their World Cup opener.



"That win has given us a big boost in confidence," he said. "The players are focusing on playing with the same determination tomorrow."



Okada has not ruled out making tactical changes to the side that beat Cameroon.



"Our style of play will depend on how our rivals play against us," he said.



"What matters is the result, how we play is secondary.



"However, aggressive, hard work on attack and defence will be constant, we will never modify that strategy."



Japan know what to expect having met Holland in a friendly last September where the Dutch were frustrated for more than an hour before eventually winning 3-0.



"Last September, we had an opportunity to play against the Dutch and that was a big turning point for us," Okada added. "We hardly had opportunities before to play against world-class teams.



"That match led us to understand what the positives and negatives were on our team.



"We have been observing Holland since then and they have gained further maturity and improved as a team.



"We now have a Japanese style of playing although it doesn't mean that in terms of technique or skills, there has been an improvement.



"But we have been focusing on our strategy to beat the world-class teams."



Okada admitted he would be happy if his team went into the second half drawing 0-0.



"That would be satisfactory but what would even be greater would be to be leading at that point," he said.



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn