New Zealand national team manager Ricki Herbert has dismissed suggestions that the third place finish at the Oceania Nations Cup has reduced to the possibilities of the national team making an appearance in the World Cup for the second consecutive time.
New Zealand were the surprise qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. They proved that they were valuable opponents in the World Cup after performing exceptionally well in the group stages. They hoping to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil as well.
Even though Ricki Herbert has said that the third place finish in the Oceania Nations Cup has not damaged the possibilities of making it into the World Cup, it is a disappointing performance nonetheless. New Zealand, though, have reached the third stage of qualifying that will involve matches against Tahiti, the Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia. New Zealand have become the major international team in this region after the departure of Australia to the Asian Confederation back in 2006. As a result, Ricki Herbert has said that he wants New Zealand to represent this region at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
“It’s a real smack in the face for all of us and so it should be. We’ve all taken it incredibly deeply and we get a chance to rectify that in the qualifiers. In hindsight, when you say it’s a blessing in disguise you don’t want those, but we’ve got one and we move forward in a strong, confident way. I think it’s been a proven recipe and one blip — people can escalate that blip to whatever they like — but I’ve taken a club side to perform better than any other club side in the (A-League) in the last three years, making the finals,” said Herbert.