Smeltz keeps level head
Shane Smeltz is keeping his feet on the ground, despite scoring the winning goal for NZ against Serbia.
Last Updated: 31/05/10 5:34pm
Shane Smeltz is keeping his feet on the ground despite scoring the winning goal for New Zealand against Serbia.
Striker Smeltz was the hero of his side's 1-0 World Cup warm-up match win on Saturday as the All Whites upset a team 63 places higher than them in the Fifa world rankings.
Smeltz admits the win is a huge boost for his side, but insists they are staying grounded.
"It's great to get a win over a nation like Serbia who some are saying are dark horses for the World Cup," said Smeltz.
"We'll take some confidence from it obviously, but we won't be getting carried away."
The game in Austria was heavily disrupted by the Serbia supporters, and stand-in captain Nemanja Vidic was forced to step in and calm his side's fans so that the match could continue.
But New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert was paying more attention to his team's display, and reserved particular praise for some of his less experienced men.
"It's always been about performance for us, but a win like this over a top-class nation like Serbia is a great bonus," said Herbert.
"We made four changes and I thought Tommy Smith and Winston Reid, who only have three caps between them, did extremely well at the back alongside the captain (Ryan Nelsen).
"Jeremy Christie came into midfield and did well and Chris Wood in his first start against a big team was outstanding."