Football: All Whites clam up on Mexico clash

The underfire New Zealand All Whites retreated into a self-imposed media blackout on their return home Saturday, refusing to discuss their return World Cup qualifier against Mexico.

A planned media conference at Wellington airport was cancelled at the last minute because the players were said to be too tired.

Some were happy to chat to assembled New Zealand and Mexican journalists but said under team orders it had to be off the record.

The New Zealand All Whites have been widely criticised in their home media following their 5-1 away drubbing by Mexico last Thursday which all but killed off their remote chance of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

There have been calls for coach Ricki Herbert to step aside and former All Whites captain Steve Sumner rated their chance of winning the return leg by the required four goals as "an impossible dream".

When the team returned to Wellington, Herbert strode straight past the assembled media pack, and an attempt to interview striker Rory Fallon was immediately shut down.

New Zealand Football media liaison officer Paul Gunn said the planned media conference was cancelled because the players were "really fatigued".

"The guys are just taking a bit of time to rest, relax and sort of recoup themselves before they get into the swing sort of thing and start their preparations for what should be a magic night on Wednesday," he said.