Herbert warning for opponents

06 June 2010 11:38

Ricki Herbert claims World Cup group opponents Slovakia, Italy and Paraguay should underestimate New Zealand at their peril in South Africa.

The All Whites departed for the republic on Saturday ready for their first taste of the World Cup finals since 1982 and despite a last-gasp defeat to Australia in Melbourne, a decent build-up in Europe where they beat Serbia 1-0 and battled hard in a 3-1 loss to Slovenia has Herbert feeling buoyant.

"I think we're punching above our weight now and it's great. It's consistent. If anybody wants to take us lightly at the World Cup then good luck to them," he said.

After Friday's defeat in Maribor, Herbert added: "If we can keep the percentage of chances coming and increase the percentages of those hitting the back of the net then it will certainly stand us in good stead."

Source: PA