thumbnail Hello,

The AC Milan playmaker believes his side were overawed by some of the star names in Cote d'Ivoire's line-up and says they must be far bolder in their next Group C clash

Keisuke Honda wants Japan to focus on their own qualities as they look to get their World Cup campaign up and running.

AC Milan midfielder Honda fired Alberto Zaccheroni's team into a 16th-minute lead during their Group C opener against Cote d'Ivoire in Recife but two goals in as many second-half minutes from Gervinho and Wilfried Bony handed the African nation a 2-1 win.

WORLD CUP SOCIAL HUB
Keep up with all the latest news from Brazil and get involved in the debate on Twitter with our new World Cup Social Hub
Honda believes the host of star names in the Elephants line-up caused him and his team-mates to pay their opponents too much respect - a mistake he insists must not be repeated against Greece in Natal on Thursday.

"I think there were a few causes (for the defeat) but especially I think we might have respected the opponents too much," the 28-year-old told reporters.

"It means that our consciousness to take the opponents' strengths away might be bigger than the one to show our own strong points.

"Yes, playing aggressively is what we have built up and it is our belief and fundamental for our confidence. There were some dangerous players of Ivory Coast and there are some of Greece too and we need to show the respect to them but it is better not to show it too much."

Greece also came off second best at the hands of Colombia in their first match, meaning the price of failure next time out is high for both teams, yet Honda refused to entertain such negative thoughts.

"Although we have our back to the wall, our confidence is still solid," Honda said.

"Being eliminated from the competition may be coming up in discussion but I never have such an idea and all I am thinking about is to win over Greece and to prepare for the game after, against Colombia."

Related

From the web