Nelsen and Reid hope to play in Chch
Fri, 12 Oct 2012 6:52p.m.
By Di O’Connell
All Whites defenders Ryan Nelsen and Winston Reid have touched down in Auckland ahead of next week's World Cup qualifier.
While the injured pair will miss tomorrow's clash with Tahiti, they're hopeful that they will be fit for the return match in Christchurch on Tuesday.
Nelsen can't wait to lead the team in his hometown for the first time.
“I've never played in Christchurch. [It’s] exciting for me.”
Both players were held back from their English premier clubs for scans on injuries. The 33-year old Queens Park Rangers centre back says the flare-up of an old knee injury shouldn't stop him playing on Tuesday night.
“The club weren't happy,” Nelsen says. “It sucks.”
West Ham defender Reid is less sure about the back spasms that prevented him coming back in good time for tomorrow's game in Tahiti.
“Not the best but that's expected after 30 hours of flying.”
Both will undergo treatment in Auckland before joining the national side.
But Nelsen won't be giving a pep talk to his All Whites in Papeete, despite their recent Oceania debacle.
“[We] have to get a result [and] that will be a tough place. [I] think pride comes into it - every time you play for your country, [it’s a] bit of history. [I] think the guys will be motivated enough.”
And there wasn't much tactical team talk on the trip.
“I wasn't really talking, I was listening to Winston snoring,” Nelsen says. “Not much conversation.”
They'll watch the Phoenix play Melbourne on Sunday, but tonight Nelsen hopes to catch the Breakers live.
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