Captain Costa sounds rallying call
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Understandably, not many of the New Zealand squad wanted to speak to following their 5-0 defeat to England. The players, with heads down, processed through the mixed zone in single file, eager to seek solace in the comfort of the team coach and then the sanctuary of their rooms.

Yet, one player bucked the trend - namely captain Costa Barbarouses. The young forward, who has just signed a contract with Wellington Phoenix, spoke for the team in a heartfelt interview which shows the Antipodeans gritty resolve and desire to put things right in their final group game against Korea DPR in Ulsan on Friday.

"We wanted to get a result to try against England to keep our qualification hopes for the Round of 16 alive," he said. "We desperately didn't want to have a poor start in the match, but once again we conceded early goals - and that cost us.

"In our two matches we have played well in patches, but that's not good enough at this level. We want people to be proud of us, not embarrassed of our results. We are absolutely desperate to prove a point."

So, watch out An Ye Gun and the Korea DPR team. The Kiwis are coming to get you - and they have more than enough motivation to succeed.

"It's important for football in New Zealand and the Oceania region that we have something to take back from this tournament," continued Barbarouses. "Obviously, we have learned lessons from this tournament, but we're eager to go out on a real high.

"We know that we have to put in a really good performance. We're desperate to get a good result for our family, our coach, our country and ourselves. We have to start strongly and play for 90 minutes.

"To do this I think we need to relax a bit and play our normal game, without any pressure. At times, we have to slow down. Sometimes, it looks as though we are playing at 100 miles an hour, but we can also play a passing game which can be very effective."

Barbarouses, who was the leading scorer in OFC qualification for this event, has been the captain of the side for 18 months and is a role which he clearly relishes.

"It's a huge honour," he said. "It's my job to make sure their heads are held high. We have one game in which to put things right and I know we can get a good result in it.

"I've spoken to the players - and they reacted positively. We can bounce back, but we need a good attitude from the start on Friday. I watched Korea DPR against England and we can't afford to lose our focus. We need to defend well and take our chances when they come, otherwise they will punish us.

"I am really disappointed not to have scored in two games, I have had chances, but I haven't finished well. But like the team, I have one more opportunity to put it right. For me, though, it doesn't matter who scores, just as long as we get a result."