Herbert to stand down as New Zealand coach

Ricki Herbert is to stand down as coach of the New Zealand national team following the conclusion of their FIFA World Cup campaign.

The 52-year-old, whose reign saw the All Whites reach just their second World Cup finals in 2010, has been in charge since 2005.

However, his tenure could be set to come to an end in the next 24 hours with his side 5-1 down to Mexico in a play-off to reach the tournament in Brazil next year.

Herbert had earlier denied reports that he had decided to leave the position, saying: "We'll see, that certainly hasn't been agreed yet by any stretch."

But New Zealand Football published a statement on their website on Tuesday, confirming Herbert was making plans to step down.

"Ricki assumed control of the All Whites at a point of instability for our men's national team," New Zealand Football board chairman Frank van Hattum said in tribute to the long-serving coach.

"From the moment he stepped into the coaching role he began building and shaping a team which became one of the best sides we've ever had at a time when competition, in what is a truly global sport, has never been tougher.

"Guiding the team to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa is one of the greatest achievements in the history of New Zealand football and we are still experiencing the benefits of that qualification up and down the country.

"The impact Ricki has had on football in New Zealand is immense and it is testament to the fantastic job he has done that his legacy will be felt across all levels of the game and will have a major influence on the future of our sport.

"On behalf of everyone associated with football in New Zealand, I thank Ricki for his remarkable dedication and his wonderful contribution to our game.

"Naturally, Ricki and the team remain 100 per cent focused on the task at hand tomorrow night in Wellington: our attempt to secure a berth at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil."

New Zealand take on Mexico in the second leg of their play-off on Wednesday in Wellington.