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All Whites aim to build on promising signs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/06/2017

The All Whites have an eye on the bigger picture as they prepare for a meeting with Irish club opposition as part of their build-up to soccer's Confederations Cup.

Fresh from a 1-0 defeat to Northern Ireland in Belfast, coach Anthony Hudson and his players take on Cabinteely in Dublin on Wednesday (NZT).

The fixture comes before New Zealand's final hit-out, against Belarus in Minsk, before they begin their Confederations Cup campaign against hosts Russia in St Petersburg.

Hudson says one aim against Cabinteely, who are in the second-tier of Irish football, would be try to give game time to those players who sat out against Northern Ireland.

He also says the All Whites are in the middle of what could be classed a mini pre-season camp.

"One of the things that was highlighted to us in the game against Northern Ireland is that we need to be a little bit further ahead, so that's the focus," he said.

As a result, there wouldn't be the usual tapering off in preparations against Cabinteely.

"We're going to be training very hard all the way through," Hudson said.

"Tomorrow's training is going to be tough. We will probably train the day of the game as well . The objective is to make sure we're physically and tactically ready for Belarus and then Russia."

Hudson was heartened by the performance against Northern Island, who have a core of English Premier League players in their ranks.

They went behind to Liam Boyce's solo effort in the sixth minute, but had chances to equalise.

"For a first game in a long time together it was a good test for us," Hudson said.

"I thought we responded to going a goal down really well. We grew into the game."

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