29 Oct 2009

All Whites stick with same squad for world cup qualifier

5:50 pm on 29 October 2009

The All Whites coach Ricki Herbert has opted not to make any changes to his squad for next month's football world cup qualifier against Bahrain in Wellington.

Herbert's stuck with the same 18 players who drew the away leg in Bahrain three weeks ago with the All Whites now needing to win the home leg to earn a place at the world cup for the first time since 1982.

Herbert says retaining the same squad wasn't a straightforward decision but ultimately decided consistency was the best approach.

Injury and illness concerns over two key players have been allayed with captain Ryan Nelsen confirmed to have avoided the swine flu scare at Blackburn Rovers and Rory Fallon recovering well from a calf strain that saw him hobble out of Plymouth Argyle's match against Ipswich Town last weekend.

As injury cover, Herbert has named five players on a non-travelling standby list comprising Steven Old, Jeremy Brockie, Jeremy Christie, Kris Bright and also Jacob Spoonley.

A repeat of the 0-0 first leg score line would send the fixture into extra time and then to a penalty shootout if no further goals were scored.

Away goals scored by Bahrain in extra time would also count double if the match remains tied after the extra 30 minutes.

The full squad is: James Bannatyne, Mark Paston, Andrew Boyens, Tony Lochhead, David Mulligan, Ryan Nelsen,

Aaron Scott, Ben Sigmud, Ivan Vicelich, Andy Barron, Leo Bertos, Tim Brown, Simon Elliot, Michael McGlinchey.

Rory Fallon, Chris Killen, Shane Smeltz, Chris Wood.