Japan must ´deal with anything´ at Asian Cup: Moriyasu

By AFP
December 08, 2023

TOKYO: Japan will need to be able to “deal with anything” at next month´s Asian Cup if they are to win a record fifth title, coach Hajime Moriyasu said on Thursday.

Japan are one of the favourites for the tournament in Qatar, which kicks off on January 12, after winning their last eight games including away victories over Germany and Turkey.

Japan's national team coach Hajime Moriyasu (R) is presented with the AFC Coach of the Year during the AFC Annual Awards Doha 2022 on October 31, 2023. — AFP

Moriyasu named a 23-man squad for a warm-up friendly against Thailand in Tokyo on New Year´s Day, featuring 15 overseas-based players but missing Premier League stars such as Liverpool´s Wataru Endo and Brighton´s Kaoru Mitoma.

The coach is expected to have everyone available when he names his Asian Cup squad in early January and he wants his players to be ready for any challenge.“We want to be perfect from the first game but have to be prepared to grow with each match, and also to be able to deal with injuries and other things,” he said.