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Hudson: New Zealand at Confederations Cup to win

New Zealand - cropped New Zealand celebrating (source: Getty Images)

New Zealand are not at the Confederations Cup just to make up the numbers, according to manager Anthony Hudson.

The All Whites are in Group A along with Portugal, Mexico and hosts Russia, who they play in the tournament’s curtain raiser on Saturday.

But although his side are the lowest ranked team in the tournament, sitting at 95th position in the official standings, Hudson said in his pre-match press conference that they are trying to win every game.

“There’s no point in us being here if we’re just going to come with a mentality of showing up and enjoying the occasion, so we are not coming here to do that,” said the 36-year-old.

“The first game for us is Russia, so we’re going to go into that game with a gameplan of wanting to win that game.

“There’s no point in us even sat here if we’re thinking in any other way.”

New Zealand lost both their recent friendlies 1-0, against Northern Ireland and Belarus, respectively, but Hudson believes that this has not impacted their preparation.

“We’ve had a tough build-up, purposefully, but we’re coming into this game as fresh as possible,” he continued.

“The objective for us was to come here and do something significant, do something no other New Zealand team has done before, and that hasn’t changed for us.

“The team is in a good place and everyone is very positive.”

Although the country will be without West Ham defender Winston Reid, who has a knee injury, Hudson says that his team will be able to cope without their skipper.

He added: “We’re a team that is incredibly resilient and we don’t let those things affect us, and on top of that, Woodsy [Chris Wood] has been an incredible captain for us the majority of the time I’ve been here.

“When the news came out six or seven weeks ago, it was a disappointment at the time but that’s where we left it.

“The make-up of our team has often been scenarios like that where we haven’t always been able to get our best players together.”

Meanwhile, Leeds United striker and stand-in captain Wood said the squad will look to Iceland’s exploits in last year’s European Championship as inspiration.

“Iceland had a great campaign last year and tournaments are full of people stepping up and going to the next level as a nation,” the 25-year-old said.

“We want to show on the world stage that we’re meant to be here and we’ve more than enough capabilities in this team to put us out there and to do their job.

“This is a young, exciting group of players and we’re looking forward to a good campaign and everybody will be ready for it.”

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