The New Zealand Olympic men's football team will not be short on respect for their opening opponents Belarus in Coventry on Thursday but coach Neil Emblen says his side have a quiet confidence that they can open their Olympic campaign on a positive note.
New Zealand take on the former Soviet republic at the City of Coventry Stadium and Emblen says the fact that the Belarusians are one of only three qualifiers from Europe, along with the Spanish and Swiss, commands respect.
"Nobody beats the Czech Republic and takes Spain to extra time without being a good side," said Emblen.
"They have a couple of overage players filling attacking roles and they are a side that likes to play, that looks to pass through the thirds. They try things on the ball. They are a cultured team and everyone knows their role within a 4-4-1-1.
"We respect them but we have a game plan and it will be how we execute on the day."
New Zealand qualified for London with a largely domestic-based squad of amateurs but Emblen has been able to call up a number of players - including three overage players - with professional and senior international experience.
That proved a double edged sword recently with the team playing catch up with a build up en route to the UK with games against Korea, Japan and UAE in Asia and Austria.
But Emblen says the settle nature of their preparation since arriving in Coventry has helped get the side up to speed.
"It's been nice to get on the training pitch over the past four days and get to work.
"We went into those warm up games with no time together, needing to give players match time and find out what we needed to work on.
"We've had some time now to settle and work on the things we learned from those games, and everyone now knows their roles much better.
Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson has been back in training for the past couple of days and is available for selection while other players nursing niggling are not expected to be affected enough to prevent them playing a part if called up to the team led out by Ryan Nelsen.
Day One of the men's Olympic Football Tournament sees all 16 teams involved with New Zealand kicking off at 6.45am Friday morning (NZT). New Zealand's Group C rivals Brazil and Egypt meet in Cardiff at the same time.
Men's Olympic Football Tournament
Belarus v New Zealand
City of Coventry Stadium, Coventry
July 25 7.45pm (6.45am, July 27 NZT)
Live on Sky Sport 5