Sarpreet Singh: All Whites coach Danny Hay announced a 26-strong squad on Tuesday ahead of his side’s World Cup playoff against Costa Rica in Qatar in June.
Hay further revealed the reasons for their star player Sarpreet Singh’s absence and other players’ selection.
“He’s (Sarpreet Singh)got a big decision to make and probably a big move to make very shortly,” said Hay.
“So the reality is if he comes away with us, and we try and force him to play, or he tries to force himself to play, and something goes wrong, then he probably sets himself back significantly.
“If we do make the World Cup, it really could put that in jeopardy, so it just wasn’t worth it.
The No 3 goalkeeper
“The No 3 goalkeeper is quite a unique position. I spoke to Michael for an hour last night. He fully understands that he’s not a No 3 – he’d class himself as a No 1 or even a No 2.
“The No 3 needs to be a really selfless individual. They need to be at times a bit of cannon fodder, if somebody like Chris Wood wants to do a little bit of finishing. They’ve got to be a major supporter of the other two goalkeepers as well. And they need to be top quality as well, because they need to be putting the other two under a bit of pressure.
“I think Matt Gould encapsulates all those qualities, so he’s the perfect person to have in there.
“Michael has got a massive future – he knows that and I know that. Yes, he’s had some moments, some public moments, that he’s got over, and I think if you look at the Olympics and the way he performed after having that little bit of a setback against Honduras, I think we all know that he’s going to be world-class.”