All Whites coach Anthony Hudson has vehemently denied any suggestion he is masterminding an escape route from New Zealand Football following his verbal tirade against the state of the game in New Zealand on Sunday.
Hudson has been on the media offensive over the past two days, shopping around his dissatisfaction with the 'delusional' youth players in New Zealand, the 'soft', laid-back culture of the national game and the lack of All Whites internationals played in 2015.
But he denied any suggestion that the timing of his outburst was part of any Machiavellian plan to walk early from his four-year contract designed to take the All Whites through to the 2018 World Cup.
However Hudson's comments are sure to have caught the ire of New Zealand Football CEO Andy Martin, who won't respond until returning from his summer holiday on Friday, but has already been in touch with Hudson about his outburst. Hudson won't comment on the flavour of their conversation but said he expects it to be business as usual when his boss returns.
But Hudson's media crusade has put Martin in a tough spot. Martin can either accept what Hudson said is right, and that New Zealand Football dropped the ball by providing an inadequate international schedule in 2015, or he can disagree and chastise Hudson for bringing un-needed negativity on the sporting body.
Hudson said the timing wasn't designed to catch Martin on the hop, but was a build-up of frustration which had reached boiling point.
"I met with a handful of players over the Christmas period and was just really disappointed with how things were and how laid back everything is here," Hudson said. "For an international manager the media is very important because we don't have a lot of contact with the players and the media is another source for us to get messages out to the players to set the culture."
"I'm shocked to find out people are shocked that I'm speaking out about wanting more games. I can't believe we're even questioning it. If it gets through to just one player, it's going to help us. And to say that we need more games, that's being questioned? It's staggering. We've been to two World Cups in 38 years. We need to do better."
The All Whites played just three matches in 2015 and Hudson wasn't prepared to talk about the financial restraints that influenced that decision but the Herald estimates that New Zealand Football lost between $250,000 - $300,000 for each of the games against South Korea, Myanmar and Oman.
Home games are an even more expensive exercise with New Zealand Football also having to cover any opponent's appearance fee and landing costs estimated at between $100,000 and $150,000.
Hudson said he has been inundated with messages of support from players but has received a verbal lashing from former All Whites coach Kevin Fallon who described his outburst as 'a declaration of death'.
"I know there's a lot of criticism out there about me that I really don't care about. I think that if you are interested in the media and are affected by the good stuff then you are going to be affected by the negative stuff. That doesn't mean I don't care about what other people think, I respect people in the game, but I don't think it's valuable to myself.
"I respect them hugely, they have done a great job for the game here but it doesn't make me happy or sad that they have an opinion about me. But the game has changed. International football has changed in relation to clubs. It's not how it used to be many, many years ago.
"I haven't come here to make friends. I'm getting paid to improve this football team. It's not the head coaches job to come and be nice to people."