Former Super Eagles coach Philippe Troussier has cast doubt on the country’s hopes of surviving their group at next year’s World Cup, describing their draw as “bad news”.
The Frenchman, who led the Japan to the last 16 as 2002 co-hosts, fears that Colombia and Senegal could have too much firepower for Japan in their first two Group H games in Russia.
“Japan doesn’t have to be scared,” Troussier, who had a brief stint at the helm of Nigeria national team in 1997, told AFP in an interview.
“It’s a very balanced group and all four teams will have dreams of progressing. But I’m not optimistic about Japan’s chances.
“For me, it’s not a good draw for Japan,” he added. “The fact that they play Colombia and Senegal in their first two matches is not good news.”