For New Zealand national team coach, Ricki Herbert, the constant changes at head coaching for Mexico’s national team does not influence his preparations for his side’s playoff legs against El Tri.
Herbert prefers to focus on his work and his players. “We have to focus only on us and what we are
doing, instead of taking care of the coaching changes with the Mexico national team,” Herbert said.
Herbert also commented his impressions of the most recent friendly that Mexico’s national team had. “After watching the Mexico friendly game against Finland, I realized the players move quickly to the opposition net, I’m sure Mexico will seek to define the play-off series in their home game.”
Herbert said he perceived insecurity and vulnerability within the Mexico national team. “Mexico is a
great national team, and on a good day, they can beat any team in front of their fans. But I perceived vulnerability, nervousness and doubts among Mexico players,” the strategist said.
Herbert is not intimidated by playing in an Azteca Stadium packed with Mexico fans. However, he believes that it can be a double-edged sword- it could turn against Mexico.
“I’m not sure if Mexico players can stand the pressure if the environment becomes hostile when what is expected of them is to win,” Ricki said recalling that Mexico has only won two of their last six games.
Unfortunately for Herbert, he will have to play to play-off series without New Zealand’s captain. Winston Reid, a 25 year old defender who plays club football with West Ham United, injured his ankle in training on Tuesday, November 5th. West Ham United announced on Wednesday, November 7th that Reid will not play in the Premier League or for New Zealand.
Finally, the strategist noted the return of New Zealand attacking trio (Shane Smeltz, Chris Wood
and Marco Rojas) within the call for the for the play-off series. Herbert judged these three players as an ”important part” of the process he is leading.
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