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Hard work will be wasted if Japan do not win - Zico

Written by: Staff

NUREMBERG, June 17 (Reuters) Japan coach Zico said four years of toil would have been in vain if his side failed to beat Croatia in World Cup Group F tomorrow.

''If we don't get three points tomorrow then four years of work will be wasted,'' said Zico, who took over after the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea.

''I constantly tell my players that if we win tomorrow we can draw against Brazil and we are still in the tournament,'' he told reporters.

Japan play Zico's native Brazil in their last group match in Dortmund on June 22.

''If we win tomorrow, which is like a final, and we play well against Brazil, then we are not out. We can still go through,'' said the coach.

Japan conceded three late goals as they went down 3-1 to Australia in their opening match.

''We played well for 80 minutes and must take that into our next match,'' said Zico. ''We can't change everything just because we made mistakes at the very end.

''Our style will not change at all. After 40 years in football I am used to seeing such (defeats).'' Zico said Croatian strikers Dado Prso and Ivan Klasnic would cause trouble.

''Croatia have good skilled players, tall strikers in the middle and good players on both wings and that can create problems in the middle,'' he said.

Asked why he had been shouting at his players in training in recent days, Zico said it was to motivate them.

''This loud voice, this screaming is for psychological reasons,'' he said.

''It is to get them to another state of mind. To get them prepared.'' REUTERS PDS PM2008

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