Monday, August 21, 2017

Uzbekistan v New Zealand: All Whites embark on new era

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 6 Sep 2014

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The New Zealand public will be shown a glimpse of things to come under new coach Anthony Hudson on Monday.

Hudson is set to take charge of his first match since being appointed last month when New Zealand travel to Tashkent for an international friendly with Uzbekistan at the Pakhtakor Stadium.

The Englishman walked away from the Bahrain national team, despite guiding them to the upcoming AFC Asian Cup in Australia, to sign a deal through to the end of the 2018 World Cup after Ricki Herbert retired following New Zealand’s failure to qualify for the finals in Brazil.

Only a month has passed since Hudson took the reins but the 33-year-old has been delighted by the progress made in such a short period of time as the All Whites attempt to arrest a six-game winless run.

New Zealand have lost four games and drawn two, conceding 15 goals in the process, since edging Saudi Arabia in September last year.

“The players are honest, the players care and they want to do well and are willing to learn and willing to work,” he said.

“It was a real pull for me and I’ve felt that on this camp. It’s why I believe we’re going to be successful.”

Hudson added: “I came here because I’m passionate about a certain style of play and I see the All Whites in four years time in Russia playing a certain style of football.

“For us to get to that, we have to keep working on it and keep practising it and when we make mistakes we have to correct it.

Hudson will be without three first-choice players for his opening match at the helm, with Shane Smeltz (Sydney FC), Marco Rojas (Greuther Furth) and Ryan Thomas (PEC Zwolle) all ruled out.

However, 22-year-old Wellington Phoenix defender Tom Doyle could make his international debut.

Opponents Uzbekistan will provide plenty of competition.

Uzbekistan were unfortunate not to reach the penultimate play-off round for the World Cup qualifiers, bowing out on penalties against Jordan after scores were level on aggregate.

In some consolation for Mirjalol Qosimov’s men, they finished second behind the United Arab Emirates to qualify for the Asian Cup.

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