All Whites to hold heads high
New Zealand midfielder Michael McGlinchey said the All Whites are determined to end their World Cup qualification campaign with their “heads held high”.
The All Whites return to New Zealand for the second leg of their intercontinental playoff with Mexico after falling to a 5-1 drubbing at the Estadio Azteca.
But despite their World Cup hopes now hanging by a bare thread, McGlinchey was confident that he and his teammates could offer their home support with an encouraging performance.
"We feel we are a lot better than what we showed in Mexico City and we are determined to come out of this tie with our heads held high," McGlinchey told The World Game website.
"We are a talented squad and we are going to have real go on Wednesday night. We will try to put them on the back foot and press them a bit higher than we did at the Azteca.
"We need to get on the ball more and if we do all these things we feel we can get a positive result.
"Obviously Mexico are a tough team and the conditions were against us.
"Yet we should not use that as an excuse because we should have done a lot better and played more football. You can't play a game and have only 20 percent possession.
"It is going to be extremely difficult but we'd like our fans to know that we are going to give it everything we've got."
New Zealand’s performance in Mexico was heavily criticised in the media with former Real Madrid star Hugo Sanchez labelling the squad as a “a bunch of buddies who play football only because they are not good enough to play rugby”.
But despite admitting the All Whites had “point to prove”, McGlinchey believes Sanchez’s comments were not fuelling their desire for revenge.
"I heard about it, yes, the boys have been talking about it," he said. "But I don't think we need any more motivation than trying to reverse a 5-1 defeat.
"No one was happy with that and we certainly have a point to prove to a lot of people.”