New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert could turn to the experience of defender Ivan Vicelich to plug the midfield in their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ opener.

A shoulder injury to Tim Brown - whose participation in the whole tournament could be in doubt - has created a problem for Herbert ahead of Tuesday's Group F clash against Slovakia in Rustenburg.

You are not going to lack experience (with Ivan) and that might be what we need in this game.

Ricki Herbert, New Zealand coach

That could mean a chance for Auckland City veteran Vicelich, who started his career in central midfield but has lost his starting place in defence to Ipswich'sTommy Smith.

Herbert said: "You are not going to lack experience (with Ivan) and that might be what we need in this game - someone who is calm and patient on the ball.

"He is a strong influence in the team, along with Ryan (Nelsen) at the back. We have experience through the middle of the park and around those players there's a lot of energy."