WELLINGTON - New Zealand Football on Tuesday appointed Englishman Anthony Hudson as national coach, with the 33-year old immediately pledging to get the All Whites to the 2018 World Cup with an attacking style.
Hudson, who resigned as Bahrain coach to take up the All Whites role, was in charge of Tottenham Hotspur reserves in 2010/11 and coached fourth-tier Newport County in 2011.
He replaces Ricki Herbert, who stood down late last year when New Zealand were humiliated 9-3 on aggregate in a two-legged tie against Mexico for a place at this year's World Cup finals in Brazil.
While Herbert was renowned for his dour defensive tactics, Hudson said he wanted to encourage New Zealand's emerging talent to play an attractive brand of football.
"I'm very passionate about playing the game a certain way," he said.
"I want that style of play and that philosophy to be embedded... for it to be a style of play that the people of New Zealand are proud of and excited to watch. They can expect to see a team that goes out to try and win games." Hudson, who has signed until the end of 2018, said his primary target was to ensure New Zealand qualified for the next World Cup in Russia.
New Zealand have made it to the showpiece tournament twice before, in 1982 and 2010, but never made it past the group stage, a record the new coach said he wanted to improve on.
"A big pull of why I've come here is to go to the World Cup; and not just go to the World Cup but to go further than we've ever gone," he said.
New Zealand is part of the Oceania Football Confederation, meaning it has a disjointed qualification route to reach the World Cup.
It normally has a relatively easy time topping qualification in the world's weakest confederation, but then faces a play-off against tougher opposition from Asia or South America to reach the tournament, which often proves too much.