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Hudson demands better from All Whites

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/06/2017

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson concedes they let themselves down in their Confederations Cup opening loss, creating a determination to make amends against Mexico.

Hudson says he and his players were "deflated" following the lacklustre 2-0 loss to hosts Russia in St Petersburg.

The 96th-ranked team are aware they are the tournament outsiders but are expecting better of themselves against world No.17 Mexico in Sochi on Thursday morning (NZT).

Another loss will almost certainly end any semi-final hopes before facing European champions Portugal in their final pool match.

"Everyone now, after that game, is incredibly determined to make sure we approach this game with the right mind-set," he said.

"We came into this tournament with so much hope.

"We felt that we had a great opportunity against Russia. We were deflated after the game because we felt we had more."

Hudson is encouraged by the way his team troubled Mexico when they met in Nashville last October, hustling them and creating chances in a 2-1 loss.

However, he noted they are fielding a stronger team in Russia and showed it in their impressive opening 2-2 draw with Portugal.

"I thought they played some incredible football but we don't want to be fearful or negative or sit back and allow Mexico to do what they want," Hudson said.

"I expect incredible spirit from our team. This is a massive game for us.

"We will be brave and ultimately we want to make sure the country is proud of what we do."

Attacking midfielder Marco Rojas says the short turnaround following the Russia loss is good for the players, who are itching to atone.

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