Captain Winston Reid was heartened by the All Whites' performance against Ireland, but realizes it is a small step towards becoming a successful team.
Despite losing 3-1 in Dublin, the New Zealand side impressed with their intent, energy and adventure, taking the game to their hosts in the first half before falling away in the second.
The performance has received many platitudes at home, and Reid was content, without getting carried away.
"There were some things we did well and also some things not so good," Reid told the Herald.
"Obviously far more positives than negatives, but definitely stuff we need to learn from, take into account and improve for the future. It was nice to be back out there as a team, it's been such a long time since we have been together, but with circumstances taken into account the boys did well."
The most disappointing aspect was Ireland's equalizing goal, conceded from a corner on the stroke of halftime, as the team seemed to mentally switch off.
"Those kind of errors, when you go into the last couple of minutes or whatever, you just need to make sure you don't concede because that shouldn't happen, said Reid. "But hey, you can learn from those mistakes. It wasn't the best thing to happen obviously, that they scored, [but we] just have to make sure we learn from it."
While the All Whites tried to keep the ball and play out from the back, they were also guilty of over playing at times and being sloppy in possession.
The consequences aren't severe in a friendly, but would be on another occasion.
"There was a lot of stuff we did really well, given we had only been together for three or four days," said Reid. "Now we just have to improve so when you do make mistakes, you can recover, especially when you have a young team. Those kind of mistakes get punished, but I was impressed by the young players they did really well."
After not playing a competitive match for West Ham since March last year, there were some nerves about Reid's participation but he came through the first half well.
His positional play was impeccable, he shut down most of the danger, distributed well and showed some nice touches, including a feathered chest down for Joe Bell on the edge of his area.
"I felt really good," said Reid. "There wasn't too many issues, I felt fine. It was always the plan to come off after 45 minutes.
That way I got an opportunity to come back and play for New Zealand which was really good, and also got some game time, to get back into it."
West Ham is in the middle of a tough run, but Reid knows it's not realistic to be catapulted straight back into first team football.
"They understand where I have been for 17 or 18 months," said Reid. "It's been a long, long time and I don't think my 45 minutes is going to put me into the frame for first team next week, but they were just happy for me to get back out there.
"It's going to take time to get back to where I was before my injury and I understand that. I just need to get back into training [and] work my way back into form."
There were some raised eyebrows about Reid's trip to Dublin, given he had been out for so long, and some personnel at the London club weren't thrilled about the scenario.
But Reid says it was an important step for him, and the club eventually understood that.
"For me personally, not just physically but also for my head as well it was the right thing to do," said Reid. "I spoke to the club about it, got my point of view across and fortunately they were really understanding about it and happy. It all worked out, everything worked out really well, so that is the main thing."