DOHA (Agencies) - Saudi Arabia's coach believes a win over Japan today (Monday) will "restore pride" to the Asian powerhouse, but the team's fans might not be convinced. Whatever happens in the final group game against another of the region's traditional heavyweights, the three-time winners and three-time runners-up of the Asian Cup will be going home humiliated. "We are sorry to our fans and to the media and to those concerned," coach Nassir al-Johar said Sunday. "We will try our best to think about our prestige, our name, our reputation during the match (against Japan). Our players have every potential to do that and to restore our reputation again." The Saudi team has lurched from one crisis to the next in Doha. A shock opening 2-1 defeat by Syria, one of the lowest ranked teams in the tournament, triggered the firing of Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro, but things didn't improve. A 1-0 loss to Jordan, another team the Saudis would normally expect to beat, ended the team's hopes of reaching the knockout stage, and prompted King Abdullah to intervene on Saturday and remove the football federation's president, Prince Sultan bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Al-Johar, who was parachuted in for his fifth stint as Saudi coach after Peseiro's departure, refused to answer a question about Prince Sultan's dismissal on Sunday, saying he would only talk about Monday's game. However, al-Johar has made it clear he blames Peseiro's chopping and changing of players for Saudi Arabia's troubles. "Technically, we are suffering right now," he said. "The preparation was not very good for the team. At the last Gulf Cup (in November), there should have been the same team preparing for this Asian Cup. "So in general, the preparation period was very short and we did not succeed. That's all." Peseiro was also the target for much of the fans' anger after the loss to Jordan, when the Saudi team was booed from the pitch. "It was Peseiro's fault," Saudi fan Fahed al-Shommari said at the Al-Rayyan Stadium. "He played warm-up matches with a different team every time. The players were not good also." Another fan, Fadel al-Yousuf, told the Jeddah-based English language daily Arab News that "the good days are gone" for the Saudi team. "Everyone from team captain Yasser al-Qahtani to goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah should be held responsible," he said. "The team manager should be held responsible. There must be an investigation and we need to see people punished for this embarrassment." The removal of Prince Sultan, who was responsible for the appointment of Peseiro, and his replacement appears to suggest the King agrees with the aggrieved fans. But the Saudis' struggles didn't start in Doha. The 2010 World Cup was the first not to feature the Green Falcons since 1990 after they lost to Bahrain over two legs. They haven't won the Asian Cup since 1996, meaning their title drought will have reached almost 20 years by the time Australia hosts the next tournament in 2015. Alberto Zaccheroni, who is trying to avoid becoming the first Japan coach since 1988 to fail to lead his team to the knockout stage, believes one explanation for Saudi Arabia's slide is that "the game has reached a more even level" in the region. Whatever the reason, a positive result for Saudi Arabia against Japan would at least mean that the new regime has a platform on which to build for the future. "We have to leave our mark on this tournament," midfielder Mohammed Massad said. "Saudi Arabia can still restore its reputation in this tournament. We have to win."