Sermanni praises Cup of Nations concept as Football Ferns continue to re-build
New Zealand head coach Tom Sermanni says his side’s Cup of Nations campaign has been a “valuable exercise” despite only winning one match.
The Football Ferns fell to Korea Republic 2-0 in their final match at AAMI Park on Wednesday afternoon to finish third in the final standings.
The recently-appointed Scotsman explained to reporters post-match it was a fair reflection of the team's standing three months out from the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™.
“I think it kind of summarises where we’re at in our stage of preparation,” Sermanni said.
“We’ve come into this tournament very much underdone and I think for 65-70 minutes today we were in the game.
“In fact, I think we came into the game a little bit more when we gave up the goal so I think it’s been a really valuable exercise to me finding out where the team’s at and what we need to do moving forward to make sure our preparation’s as good as it can be for the World Cup.”
The side ranked 19 in the world find themselves placed in Group E at the FIFA Women’s World Cup where they will face Canada, Cameroon and the Netherlands.
Sermanni said his side would head to France with two simple objectives.
“I think we’ve got two aims,” he explained.
“One aim is to win a game, it’s as simple as that.
"The team’s been to the last three World Cups, we haven’t won a game yet and at some stage you need to take the program forward and that means you need to win a game at a tournament.
“The second thing it hopefully by doing that we give ourselves a chance of getting out of the group.”
Korea Republic head coach Yoon Deok-yeo was straightforward when asked what he had learned as the Taegeuk Ladies finished runners-up in the Cup of Nations.
“I’m very happy to win after the last game and I found things to improve while in Australia so that’s the most important thing."