Hasebe issues Japan warning
Captain Makoto Hasebe has warned that the best is yet to come from Japan at this year's World Cup.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 21/06/10 10:56am
Japan captain Makoto Hasebe has warned that the best is yet to come from the Blue Samurai at this year's World Cup.
Japan beat Cameroon 1-0 in their Group E opener to claim their first-ever World Cup win on foreign soil before going down to a 1-0 defeat by Holland, despite having more shots than the group leaders.
Takeshi Okada's men now face Denmark on Thursday in a qualification decider and midfielder Hasebe reckons not even defeat by the Dutch dented the feel-good factor as Japan eye a second-round spot.
"We are getting better and better as a team and the players are feeling it," he said.
"We are going to play with a positive attitude, and the Dutch game was useful to us as we could try many offensive patterns."
Japan and Denmark are level on three points, although a point would be good enough for Japan to progress to the last 16 on goal difference.
Yet Hasebe, who helped his club Wolfsburg to the German title in 2009, insists coach Okada has told his players not to settle for a draw.
"We will play as we usually do," he said. "We will go for a win from the outset.
"Attack is the best form of defence. The game will be tough if we don't pressure the opposition on the offensive."
However, Hasebe admitted Japan may have to take extra measures to counteract the pace of Denmark winger Dennis Rommedahl, who scored a well-taken winner in their 2-1 victory over Cameroon.
"He got behind defenders with speed," Hasebe added.
"He is dangerous in one-on-one situations. We must double mark him."