Ivory Coast defender Souleymane Bamba feels the injury suffered by captain Didier Drogba before the World Cup has hindered their tournament.
The Elephants face an uphill task to qualify through the group after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Brazil in their second match in Group G.
Drogba scored the only goal of his team's defeat in Johannesburg on Sunday, but Bamba clearly felt that the talismanic Chelsea striker's fractured arm had not allowed him to play at his best and that the team were suffering as a result.
"Didier is our captain and a massive influence on the side and it was a big disappointment with his injury," he told the Daily Record.
"We can tell he is still not 100 per cent fit.
"We can see he is not going into challenges as strongly now because he's scared to feel his arm again but his goal against Brazil will give him confidence."
With just a point earned against Portugal so far from their opening two games, the Ivorians must beat North Korea and hope Brazil hammer the Portuguese to have any chance of qualification after the Europeans plundered seven goals against the hapless Koreans to move up to four points.
"We can still make the last 16," Bamba said of his team's chances.
"After all, I didn't think England were going to draw their first two matches so anything is possible."