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New Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick has paid tribute to the club’s former manager Ricki Herbert, who stepped down at the end of last season. Herbert had been in charge of the club since 2007 and he oversaw a tremendous spell at the club.
After winning two championship titles with Melbourne Victory, Merrick has come to Wellington Phoenix with the hope of changing the club’s style of football and also making them successful once again. Herbert adopted a defensive strategy at the club, but Merrick has been on about attack from the word go.
Neil Emblen is the temporary coach of the New Zealand team and he will be in charge of his country’s squad when they face off against Japan in a friendly match that is scheduled to be played on March 5.
Japan’s last friendly match was back in November of 2013 when they played against Belgium and managed to win with a tight scoreboard of 3-2 while New Zealand on the other hand suffered a 4-2 defeat as they played against Mexico during a World Cup Qualifying match which was during the time that Ricki Herbert stepped down from his role of being the head coach.
New Zealand will be taking on Mexico in the second leg of the intercontinental play-offs. The All Whites are on the brink of elimination from the World Cup after suffering a 5-1 defeat in the first leg. Despite this, New Zealand goalkeeper Glen Moss has said that he is confident of progression to the World Cup finals.
He is aware of the fact that Mexico have enough quality in the squad to punish them if they go out completely on attack. They are going to have a measured approach to the match according to Moss.
New Zealand came into the OSN Cup hoping to build on the recent success that the team has achieved since the 2010 World Cup. They have qualified for the final round of play-offs for the 2014 World Cup.
They will possibly face the likes of Mexico or Honduras in this round. They are extremely close to reaching the second consecutive World Cup. Ahead of the first friendly match with Saudi Arabia, national team coach Ricki Herbert said that he was going to try out a few things in the hope of preparing for the World Cup.
Phoenix recently managed to bring in 17-year-old Alex Rufer on three-year contract to the club. Rufer has been one of the most talked about youngsters in New Zealand over the last few months.
He has received public backing from New Zealand national team manager Ricki Herbert. Herbert has said that he was at Phoenix when he saw Rufer train with the club. He has seen enough of the player to suggest that he will be something big in the future. He has recalled how Rufer demonstrated incredible technique, skill, and pace in the training sessions.
Premier league club West Ham have managed to extend the contract of the New Zealand defender, Winston Reid. The 24-year-old has been at the club since 2010 after the London outfit managed to secure his services due to his impressive performances at the FIFA World Cup 2010.
However, he suffered relegation in his first season at the club, but they have since been back in the Premier league. West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has ensured that Premier league football will be available for the club next year after securing safety this time around.
New Zealand recently secured qualification to the inter-continental playoff series, which will take place on November, as a result of the 2-1 win over New Caledonia. As a result, their final group match against Solomon Islands is regarded as a dead rubber.
It is highly expected that New Zealand manager Ricki Herbert will rest most of his players for this meaningless match. This is not the first time he will be facing such a situation. New Zealand qualified with games to spare in the 2008 season as well. Back then, Herbert decided to rest at least nine players from the starting line-up.
The former New Zealand defender Ryan Nelsen has lost his first match as the manager after his Toronto FC team suffered a 1-0 defeat against Columbus Crew in a pre-season friendly match.
The former QPR and Blackburn Rovers defender was announced as the manager of the Toronto FC team a few weeks ago. He was relieved of his contract by QPR at the end of the January transfer window. He has taken in charge of the team, but his first match did not go according to plan after they lost 1-0. Speaking after the match, Nelsen said that he is not disappointed with the result.
The New Zealand defender Ryan Nelsen has chosen to remain silent over the possibility of continuing his international career. The 35-year-old defender was recently announced as the coach of the MLS team Toronto FC even when he is playing for the Premier league team QPR.