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Jun 24, 2014

Zaccheroni: Japan's approach wrong

2014 FIFA World Cup Group C: Japan 1-4 Colombia

Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni blamed the approach he brought to his team for their early exit from the World Cup, but refused to speculate on his future with the Samurai Blue.

Zaccheroni's men earned a sole point in a goalless draw against Greece, but they lost to Ivory Coast 2-1 and were undone against Colombia, falling 4-1 on Tuesday.

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"We have not qualified for the next round and we left quite a few issues to be desired in the first few matches," Zaccheroni said. "We picked it up in the third match, but we thought we would perform much better.

"I knew during the match that we would be in or out and that it would be a decisive match. There was a great determination from myself and my squad."

Zaccheroni insisted he selected the right players, but the game plan was incorrect, as it was a year earlier in Brazil when Japan lost all three matches in the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Shinji Okazaki got his team on the score sheet on Tuesday but Japan were helpless to stop the Colombia attack.

"I'm convinced that I did select the most appropriate players to get them to grow in terms of the intensity of our play," he said. "They were the right players to impose their play on the international stage. But we fell short and had the wrong approach in the Confederations Cup and World Cup.

"If I could change anything, I would manage the approach differently given my experience at this World Cup. We failed in that."

The manager said a decision on his future with Japan will be decided after a meeting with federation officials.

"We will go back to Japan and I will speak with the management and we will let you know whether or not I will stay. It's only appropriate for this question to be discussed within the team first before anything is disclosed."

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