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Injured Reid out of World Cup qualifiers

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/11/2016

Despite the absence of skipper Winston Reid, All Whites coach Anthony Hudson is confident he has the team to win home-and-away World Cup qualifiers against New Caledonia later this month.

Reid has found superb form for West Ham United in the English Premier League, but has been forced out after suffering an injury in last weekend's 2-0 loss to Everton.

Hudson said the injury didn't initially seemed serious, but a recent scan had shown a hamstring strain.

"I'm disappointed and Winston, I can assure you, is disappointed," Hudson told media on Thursday.

"But it's just part of the game, part of international football. Every national team has this - we've had four or five injuries every window."

Chris Wood, who has been firing for Leeds United in the second-tier Championship, will captain the All Whites for the fixtures in Auckland on November 12 and in New Caledonia three days later.

Hudson has named a strengthened squad which features the return of Netherlands-based Ryan Thomas, Bill Tuiloma (Marseille, France) and Phoenix goalkeeper Glen Moss.

"It's probably the strongest squad that we've had so far. We've been together for a while now, and it really helps with keeping that momentum going."

Hudson expects New Caledonia will provide a real challenge, pointing to their 2-1 defeat of the All Whites in the 2012 Oceania Nations Cup in Honiara.

"They're probably the best of these Island teams," Hudson said.

"I think a lot of people see these Island games as you just turn up and beat them but it couldn't be further from the truth.

"They're a team you cannot take lightly - they have four or five players playing in France in professional leagues that are flying over.

"This is an opposition we treat with respect."

The New Zealanders are still on a high after last month's encouraging two-match tour, when they recorded a 2-1 loss to world No.17 Mexico before drawing 1-1 with the 24th-ranked United States.

All Whites:

Goalkeepers: Stefan Marinovic, Tamati Williams, Glen Moss.

Defenders: Andrew Durante, Bill Tuiloma, Louis Fenton, Thomas Doyle, Michael Boxall, Kip Colvey, Themi Tzimopoulos, Deklan Wynne, Liam Graham.

Midfielders: Clayton Lewis, Michael McGlinchey, Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, Moses Dyer, Ryan Thomas, Henry Cameron.

Forwards: Kosta Barbarouses, Chris Wood, Monty Patterson, Marco Rojas, Rory Fallon.

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