Kiwis to be bold at World Cup

WELLINGTON, May 2 (Reuters) - New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert promised his All Whites would be "bold" and not play for draws at this year's World Cup in South Africa.

Herbert acknowledged that his side would be underdogs in Group F but insisted his tactics would not be to defend at all costs when they face Slovakia, Paraguay and holders Italy.

"If we have our full complement I think we can go out there and be a little bolder," told local media on Sunday, ruling out making a first ever World Cup finals point his priority.

"We won't be a team that sits back. Yes, we are going to be under pressure for long periods, but that is not going to be our approach. Not when we've got the attacking players we've got."

New Zealand take on Slovakia in their opening on June 15 in Rustenburg with Herbert close to selecting his final 23-man squad for the tournament.

"We probably have around 19," Herbert told Sunday's Star Times. "I think there will be some decision over the 18 who were at Bahrain, given the arrival of Tommy Smith and Winston Reid."

Smith and Reid have put themselves firmly in the picture for the World Cup after switching allegiance from England and Denmark respectively.

"They have added a different dimension," said Herbert, who declared after last November's playoff win over Bahrain all those involved would go to South Africa.

"I am not saying that people won't go but it has forced a different discussion," added Herbert, a defender when New Zealand made their only other World Cup appearance in Spain in 1982.

"It is our responsibility to take the best players to the tournament."