Paston to keep starting place
All Whites have faith in goalkeeper
Last Updated: 21/06/10 5:05pm
Paston: Starring role so far
New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert is set to reward Mark Paston with a prolonged run in the starting XI.
The 33-year-old goalkeeper has been a revelation for the All Whites at this summer's World Cup, conceding just one goal from open play.
He was beaten by a hotly-disputed penalty from Italy's Vicenzo Iaquinta during a 1-1 draw on Sunday, but kept the reigning world champions at bay for the majority of that contest.
New Zealand have now taken two points from their first two fixtures in Group F and head into a crunch showdown with Paraguay on Thursday knowing they could yet secure a shock spot in the last 16.
Unsurprisingly, with things going so well, manager Herbert is reluctant to tinker with his side.
That means Paston will continue between the sticks, despite regular first-choice Glen Moss coming back into contention after suspension.
"There is a shade of the future in this team and Glen is going to play a big part of it but Mark will start against Paraguay, it's simple," said Herbert.
"It's the reality of where the team sits at the moment, the position we're in and the performances of the player."
Herbert also revealed that vice-captain Tim Brown will have to settle for a place on the bench again in midweek, despite the midfielder having fully recovered from a broken shoulder.