New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert vows his team will bounce back after crashing 5-0 to Spain, a team which he rated as clear favourites for the Confederations Cup title.
The nervous All Whites suffered stage fright on Sunday against the star names of Spain and were four goals down after 24 minutes before they woke up and made a match if it.
Herbert, who played for New Zealand at the 1982 World Cup finals, said it had taught his team, which rarely gets to play such top class opposition, some hard lessons.
“The guys are obviously disappointed. There were too many individual errors but they will take on the chin,” he said.
“We’re not surprised by the Spanish performance, I think they are the favourites to go on and win the tournament.”
New Zealand, the Oceania champions, are playing in their third Confederations Cup but have yet to take a point from seven games.
Herbert said breaking that jinx was a key motivation in their two remaining group games here against South Africa on Wednesday and Iraq next Saturday.
“We haven’t got a point and there’s certainly a burning desire to get that,” he said.
“But the competition itself is enough motivation for us. It’s a new day today and we’ll bounce back.
“We’re learning, but we do have a few things to turn around, particularly against the hosts South Africa who after their 0-0 draw with Iraq will also be looking to turn it around a bit.”
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