Reid, Moss relaxed about All Whites captaincy

Last updated 22:05 02/09/2014
Winston Reid
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NOT FUSSED: All Whites defender Winston Reid and goalkeeper Glen Moss are not too worried about which one of them is chosen to captain NZ against Uzbekistan next week.

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There is no fighting over the captain's armband in the All Whites camp.

The two leading contenders to skipper the side were offered up to media from Doha tonight but Winston Reid and Glen Moss were ultra-relaxed about who new coach Anthony Hudson might plump for.

Reid, New Zealand's best player, is expected to get the nod for Tuesday's international against Uzbekistan in Tashkent but Hudson has not rushed into any decision.

Reid captained the side last year before injury prevented him leading the All Whites in November's World Cup qualifiers.

Tommy Smith stepped into the breach then but is taking a 12-month break from international football while Moss has filled in for this year's two internationals against Japan and South Africa.

''We'll leave that up to him,'' said Reid as the All Whites prepared for their first training session under Hudson at Qatar's state-of-the-art Aspire Academy.

''I'm not really too fussed about that right now, the main thing is I'm here with the team. I want to do my best here and make sure everyone in the squad is here to improve themselves.''

Moss has said he is happy to hand the armband back to Reid and tonight had a chuckle at his team-mate's attitude, laidback to the point of horizontal.

''There's not too much that Winston gets fussed about,'' Moss said.

''He's a pretty easy-going guy and I think that's why he's so well liked among the group. It's not something that's come up, that's the least of our worries at the moment... I've loved my time with the armband, cherish those memories and it's something that I'll never forget.''

Reid was looking forward to his first taste of international football in 2014 and was excited at working with Hudson, who had reached out to the West Ham defender before taking the All Whites job.

''Straight away, he's a very likeable guy and had some good visions of where he could take the team,'' Reid said.

''He's very interesting and I'm sure he's going to do really well here. We've only been in camp a day or so but... the guys know from day one what's expected from them.''

Reid bristled slightly when asked if he was committed to turning out for the All Whites in all international windows.

''Well I'm here aren't I? I haven't really had any problem with coming to places and playing for the national team. Obviously there's times where you can't be available due to injury.''

The 26-year-old defended Smith's right to focus on his club ahead of country.

''I respect people might have different opinions about it but it's his decision and I wish him the best for the next year.''

Reid's contract with West Ham expires at the end of the 2014-15 English Premier League season and he had done his best to ignore chatter linking him to glamour London rivals Arsenal as the transfer window closed today.

''You just get used to rumours to be honest. I concentrate on football.''

Meanwhile, the All Whites suffered another blow today as young star Ryan Thomas was withdrawn by his Dutch club due to niggling injuries.

The All Whites are already without Smith and Marco Rojas, who has commitments with his new club in Germany.

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Thomas has been replaced by uncapped attacker Joel Stevens but assistant coach Neil Emblen admitted that was largely due to him already being in Doha with the Junior All Whites and that Louis Fenton was unlucky.

- Stuff

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