Last update: 11-Dec-2013 2:04 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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New Zealand coach satisfied with build up
New Zealand head coach Ricki Herbert expressed some level of satisfaction as honours were shared as the All Whites drew a training match 1-1 with USA PDL club Ventura County Fusion in California on Friday as they continued their preparations ahead of Tuesday’s friendly international against this country’s senior men’s team at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. Kosta Barbarouses continued his impressive Melbourne Victory pre-season form netting in the first half as the All Whites were rarely threatened. New Zealand conceded a late equaliser shortly before full time but overall Herbert was pleased with the exercise. “At the end of the day it was a good hit out,” Herbert said, “after two days of training it’s good to try a few things in a low pressure environment.” All White captain, West Ham United defender Winston Reid felt similarly about the team’s build up in Ventura, just north of LA over the past few days. “The camp has been great so far, the facilities here are good and it’s been good to get the boys together for training before we travel to T&T. We’re also away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, so we can get on and do what we need to do without too many distractions,” the West Ham defender added.
New Zealand created numerous chances in the first half rattling the upright and crossbar and forcing the local ‘keeper into several saves. Herbert made nine changes to the side at halftime and was pleased with the way the players responded to the task. In all 20 of the 22-man squad got on the pitch with Ivan Vicelich and Cole Peverley resting minor injuries in the lead up to the international with T&T next week. Herbert paid tribute to their opposition who have also hosted his side since their arrival in the USA at the start of the week. “Ventura County Fusion has been first class hosts. The accommodation is superb, the training pitches are good, and they’ve given us a good hit out today,” he said. New Zealand were scheduled to face MLS side Chivas USA last night.
T&T head coach Stephen Hart is expecting his players to be in the right shape, both physically and mentally for Tuesday’s encounter. “They’re all in at the moment and the boys have looked focused and in good shape. Of course it’s always difficult when the players are only coming together for a few days but that’s the nature of international football. And obviously we’ll continue to work with the opponents in mind between now and matchday,” Hart said. Belgium-based defender Sheldon Bateau is promising a solid showing from the hosts on Tuesday. “We want to put on a strong performance and demonstrate the progress that has been made in recent months. I’m very happy to be part of the coach’s plans. He’s been doing a fine job with us and as players, we are really looking forward to doing a job on the field of play against New Zealand on Tuesday,” the KV Mechelen player said.
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