Critics worried Football Ferns coach Andreas Heraf's plan could lead to lacklustre play across NZ

It's been four days since Football Ferns coach Andreas Heraf instilled a head-scratching gameplan and voiced his negative mindset over the national side.

And while the boss of New Zealand Football Andy Martin has finally fronted on the matter, critics are worried there isn’t enough attention going into other pressing issues.

Martin has otherwise been preoccupied at the FIFA Congress meetings in Moscow, but Heraf's comments have definitely caught his attention.

"That was wrong," Martin said. 

"I just want to reassure everybody we want to get to the World Cup, we want to win games at World Cups."

But while Martin is in Moscow negotiating with the big footballing nations some back here believe there's been a lack of urgency addressing the real issues.

"We're on too many first class aeroplane flights," former All White Declan Edge said.

"We're off to Zurich too many times and not enough of money is on the grass developing our style and who we are."

Heraf is also the technical director for New Zealand but there are fears just how far his defensive approach will seep into the rest of the game here.

"I can’t tell you who we are, I can't tell you what we do, I can’t tell you what we're trying to do," Edge said.

"That’s a problem."

But Martin argues Heraf’s influence will lead to a positive change.

"He was brought in as the technical director with a clear purpose," Martin said.

Declan Edge says Heraf, who’s also the technical director for NZ Football, isn’t helping us find our football identity. Source: 1 NEWS

"We've got this jigsaw around the talent space that has not been cracked for a long time. Andreas was the best candidate in that area. He'll be judged on that technical plan."


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Watch: Long nights and lederhosen – Kiwi-based fans prepare for start of World Cup

The FIFA World Cup may be taking place 13,000km away in Russia, but football fever is still gripping the most avid fans here.

The likes of Jack Tame, Jeremy Wells and Dan Corbett got into the spirit. Source: Breakfast

Chris Chang catches up with fans who will be cheering on their homelands from New Zealand. 

It is taking place 13,000km away in Russia, but as Chris Chang reports, football fever is gripping fans in New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS


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NZ Football boss slams Football Ferns coach's controversial post-match comments but won’t seek his resignation

New Zealand Football chief executive Andy Martin said he was "disappointed" by Andreas Heraf's post-match comments about the Football Ferns but he won't force the Austrian to resign from either of his roles.

Speaking from Russia, Martin said both of Heraf's jobs as technical director and coach of the Football Ferns were safe.

"He was brought in as the technical director with a clear purpose," Martin said.

"We've got this jigsaw around the talent space that has not been cracked for a long time. Andreas was the best candidate in that area. He'll be judged on that technical plan."

Andreas Heraf says injuries and an eye to the future drove his ultra-defensive strategy against Japan. Source: 1 NEWS

Heraf caused uproar after the Football Ferns' 3-1 loss to Japan in Wellington - their first match in the capital since 1991 - when he employed ultra-defensive tactics throughout the match, leading critics to believe he never even gave the home team a chance to win.

The Austrian worsened the situation after the match when he said that New Zealand would "never have that quality to compete with Japan" - a statement he later said was "one big misunderstanding".

"I meant that maybe we'll never have the technical skills like Japan or Brazil, which is not a shame but I'm still convinced we can beat these teams on the world stage," he said.

Martin said while he was "disappointed" about the press conference comments, he also sees the potential in Heraf's process.

Katie Duncan spoke to 1 NEWS about the dreadful tactics employed by Andreas Heraf yesterday. Source: 1 NEWS

"It wasn't a smart press conference and we'll all learn from that, that's for sure," he said.

"As far as the Ferns position is concerned, we needed to change.

"Andreas took the Ferns to Thailand as an interim measure. But after those games, a senior delegation of the players came to me personally that Andreas should take the team to the World Cup.

"Now, the change programme he's put in place with the World Cup in mind, people will react different to those changes.

"In the Ferns role, the coach and players will be judged on results."

Andy Martin says Andreas Heraf’s comments were disappointing but he’s producing some good results with the team. Source: 1 NEWS


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