'I trust the players' - Anthony Hudson backing All Whites for colossal upset against Peru

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NZN

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson has total trust in his players to deliver in Saturday's crucial World Cup play-off against Peru in Wellington

Anthony Hudson says his boys are ready to take on Peru tomorrow.
Source: 1 NEWS

Three years of hard work will be put to the test at Westpac Stadium in the first leg of the home-and-away series to decide who will travel to next year's World Cup in Russia.

It's been 35 years since Peru last contested football's pinnacle event, while New Zealand have qualified twice - in 1982 and 2010.

The All Whites are looking to erase the disastrous memory of their last intercontinental play-off in 2013, when they lost 9-3 on aggregate to Mexico under Ricki Herbert.

Fielding a full-strength squad, led by English Premier League players Winston Reid and Chris Wood, the 122nd-ranked New Zealanders aren't expected to trouble world No.10 Peru.

But Hudson couldn't be happier with his team's preparation.

"I trust the players. We've got a good plan, we've got a good team and everyone understands what we need to do and that gives me a lot of confidence.

"Peru are a top top team who have some top players and they've had some unbelievable results in the last year against some big teams.

"The whole footballing world expects Peru to win."

The West Ham defender made it clear that his side are fully prepared for tomorrow's match.
Source: 1 NEWS

Peru coach Ricardo Gareca, who arrived with his team in Wellington on Friday, said Los Incas would not be taking the All Whites lightly.

"New Zealand is a good team, and it's not just that it's got strength in one place or another - the whole team is a danger."

Peru might be favourites on paper, Gareca said, but with so much at stake, that counted for little.

"In matches like this that are so important, both teams play equal - in reality, both teams start from zero."

Gareca doesn't expect the absence of skipper Paolo Guerrero to hit Los Incas too hard.

A former Bayern Munich striker, the 33-year-old Guerrero tested positive early last month to a stimulant and has been suspended for 30 days by FIFA's disciplinary committee.

Gareca had a chance to speak with Guerrero before leaving Lima for New Zealand, he told reporters through a translator.

"He's a bit annoyed of course at his situation, but he's very optimistic and he thinks the team will do well, even without him.

"He trusts the team, and every time there has been an adverse situation, the team has responded."

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