Cameroon star Samuel Eto'o has urged his team-mates to ensure they have no regrets when they leave the pitch following tonight's potentially crucial clash against Denmark in Pretoria.
Having each lost their opening matches in Group E, Cameroon and Denmark know that their FIFA World Cup™ futures could depend on what they do at Loftus Versfeld stadium, with another defeat potentially seeing that nation knocked out. That will depend on what happens in the earlier match between group leaders Holland and Japan, but regardless of the result in that game, captain Eto'o is demanding 100 per cent from both himself and his Cameroon side against the Danes.
"I will give my very best for my country, for the country that I love. We are playing an extremely important match. We mustn't have any regrets, I hope that we will be able to say we gave our absolute best. That is how we must approach the match," said Eto'o. "I know if we give everything we can, then Cameroon are in a position to win."
I know if we give everything we can, then Cameroon are in a position to win.
The Inter Milan forward was also keen to quash any talk of quarrels and in-fighting in the Cameroon camp. Speaking unprompted at the end of last night's pre-match press conference, the prolific goalscorer said: "I just want to say one thing. We've never had a fight in the national team. I'm one of the people who knows these things, and there's never been a fight within the Cameroonian team. I just wanted to put to bed any possible rumours that might have been running around."
Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen revealed he would be bringing three new faces into his starting line-up for tonight's clash with respect to their 1-0 defeat to Japan on Monday. "We weren't good enough. We're disappointed, and quite legitimately so, and we need to take stock of that," Frenchman Le Guen said. "I do my job as a coach and as a selector and I'm fully aware of the responsibilities that I have. I'm not going to be stubborn and if I think things need to be changed, then I'm going to change them."
Denmark coach Morten Olsen was giving nothing away about his possible line-up - including the health of key striker Nicklas Bendtner, who has been struggling with a groin injury but, according to his manager, has performed "miracles" to get back to near full fitness. The Arsenal forward was a surprise starter in Monday's 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands and played an hour, but he has only been able to train every other day and it remains to be seen what his role tonight might be.
"We'll see if he can play, I'm not putting out any smokescreen, I don't know," said Olsen. "Nicklas Bendtner and all our medical team have done a wonderful job, it's a miracle actually that he can play, at least to a certain extent. He's important but he's part of a team. If he cannot play then we'll have to play in a different way. We've won matches without him before and we can do it again."
Denmark goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, meanwhile, insists not too much should be read into their opening performance against the Dutch. "We've only just started, ask me again after the final," he joked. "I think we have a good team, there were so many good things from the first match and things to improve on, but we've only just started. There are good opportunities for us in this match, I believe that. We've been working towards this game, the match against the Dutch is in the past and we have to look to this game. We have to be positive."