Japan coach Aguirre outlines simple philosophy

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 11, 2014 at 6:00 am •  Published: August 11, 2014
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TOKYO (AP) — New Japan coach Javier Aguirre says his football philosophy is simple: "Run hard, play well and win."

Selecting a team to defend the Asian Cup title will be a more complicated proposition, and would require time and patience.

At his first news conference in Tokyo since his appointment last month, the former Mexico coach urged critics not to assume the players he assembles for Japan's next friendly — against Uruguay on Sept. 5 — will be in the squad he takes to Australia for the continental championship in January.

Aguirre was recruited to replace Italian Alberto Zaccheroni, who was in charge during Japan's group-stage exit at the World Cup in Brazil.

"The doors are open" to all players, he said Monday, adding that he'd be watching out for defensive skills and off-field behavior in particular.

Aguirre guided Mexico to the second round at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups, and most recently was coach at Spanish club Espanyol last season.

The 55-year-old Aguirre said he was approached by other national and club teams but he chose Japan because the JFA had approached him previously — after the 2010 World Cup — and he sensed a level of sincerity.

Looking relaxed but serious in a dark suit, Aguirre told reporters his preferred nickname for his team will be "Samurai Blue." The team had been dubbed "Zac Japan" under his predecessor.

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