The most capped Football Fern has added to a chorus of criticism over coach Andreas Heraf's negative tactics in the side's 3-1 loss to Japan on Sunday.
Heraf had the side line up in a defensive 5-4-1 formation to limit the damage and said after the match his side "could have lost 8-0" if they had played positively.
Abby Erceg, who played 132 matches for the Kiwi side in a 12-year representative career, retired last month and has now spoken about why.
"You can see how I couldn't stand to wear that fern on my chest any more when his vision was to cower in a corner and not get beat by too much," Erceg told Stuff. "I don't work my butt off to get to Olympics or World Cups to not get beat by too much."
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Heraf's post-match comments have come under fire as he seemed to clearly spell out that he did not believe New Zealand had the players to even challenge the top teams in world football.
Japan, ranked No.11 in the world, are only nine spots high than the Kiwi side, yet Heraf's game plan didn't give them a chance.
"I think Andreas' character and mindset is already on show, and will only continue to be put out there as he spends more time in charge.
"If people are up in arms already then that speaks volumes, I think. I think his comments in the media also show his delusional state of mind regarding the ability of the players and he will take two steps back for every step we've taken forward in the past eight years."
The Football Ferns had played against Japan eight times before Sunday's match, drawing twice against the Asian nation but falling to six losses.