The New Zealand football side will "wrap our arms around" goalkeeper Michael Woud after his disastrous outing against Honduras last night.
The OlyWhites slumped to a 3-2 defeat in their second group match, coming after their opening victory over South Korea.
Woud was arguably at fault, at least partially, for all three goals, including two in the final 10 minutes or so.
“We've just got to wrap our arms around him,” Hay said of Woud in comments reported by Stuff.
“He'll be his toughest critic. It's tough for a young goalkeeper to swallow. You make a mistake in other areas of the pitch, it quickly gets forgotten, but in his position, it's sort of the nature of it.
“We'll wrap our arms around him. He'll have a lot of good support, and we've got to remember that he actually did some good stuff in the game as well.”
New Zealand started the match well after losing experienced defender Winston Reid, with Liberato Cacace netting from outside the box after just 10 minutes.
Chris Wood gave New Zealand a 2-1 lead early in the second half after Honduras levelled late in the first, before Woud's late errors saw NZ go down.
“I'm certainly not going to single out Michael,” Hay said.
“We're disappointed with the manner in which we've conceded those goals, but this is part and parcel of high-level football – mistakes are made at times.”
Reid will miss the rest of the tournament, while New Zealand need to beat Romania in their final group match to progress.
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