Football: New Zealand coach Jitka Klimkova holds hands up after tactical changes exposed before World Cup

On the eve of their third and final hit out of their 'mini-World Cup', Football Ferns coach Jitka Klimkova admits she got it wrong.

New Zealand suffered a 5-0 defeat against Portugal on Friday, playing in a 3-5-2 formation, before switching to a 4-4-2 for Monday's 2-0 loss to Argentina.

But speaking before Thursday's second match up against Argentina, Klimkova revealed the change to a back three came at short notice for her side, currently preparing for this year's Football World Cup on home soil.

"I was honest with the team and I was honest with the coaching staff, around if we would play the first game again, we would not change the formation in this tournament," Klimkova said.

"We would play in a formation we were familiar with. We had one day to practice, and we were not organised against Portugal."

A valuable lesson learned now, instead of down the track in five months' time at the World Cup.

Another good dress rehearsal for the real deal in July is experiencing the pressure that comes with performing. 

New Zealand has only won three of their 20 matches since Klimkova took over from Tom Sermanni in September 2021, with the coach signed on until the end of 2027.

"It is our mini World Cup so the pressure is around and we have to deal with it," Klimkova continued.

"This is a good lesson to be more prepared for the real World Cup that is coming in July. 

"I am glad we have this situation, I am glad we actually learn from it and be ready for the real thing."

That pressure would subside considerably if they can get on the board against Argentina, a team ranked five places lower than them on Thursday night in Auckland.

The Ferns are hoping to have captain Ali Riley available, after she missed Monday's defeat due to injury, as well as forward Indiah-Paige Riley, who suffered a concussion with her club side Brisbane prior to the tournament.