Football: All Whites interim coach Darren Bazeley puts hand up for permanent position

All Whites interim coach Darren Bazeley has only been in charge for two games, but it already has him desperate for more.

Bazeley led New Zealand against China in a two-match series, but NZ Football has yet to decide on who will take over the role on a permanent basis.

Matthew Garbett.
Matthew Garbett. Photo credit: Photosport

The longtime assistant and age-group manager confirmed he has applied for the position, but it remains to be seen if he will be the preferred candidate.

Bazeley guided the All Whites to a 2-1 victory over China at Wellington - a much-needed win after a disappointing draw against the visitors just days earlier at Mt Smart Stadium.

His involvement in the national setup has been lauded by New Zealand players, which has made the jump to head coach a simple one.

"I've loved it, I've enjoyed it, I always said when the opportunity came up that I was going to enjoy it and I have, because how can you not?" Bazeley said.

"They're a great set of lads to work with, we've got great staff, so I get a lot of support around us and it's something I've been involved in for eight, nine years.

"It's not coming into something new, so I felt like it's been a seamless transition into the role, but massively supported by the staff and the players, and it's been a great week.

"I applied for the role, I interviewed for the role, and I'm still in the mix for the role and now it will go to whoever to make some decisions in terms of what happens next."

New Zealand led by just one goal with 10 minutes to go at Wellington, before young star Matthew Garbett settled the nerves with a late strike.

While the players would be forgiven for feeling the effects of the ongoing coaching saga, he revealed the team are firmly focused on the job at hand, but credited Bazeley for his limited time in the role

"The players don't really look at it that way. Regardless of the coach, the players here are going to work hard," Garbett said.

"Baze has come in, we've known him for a while, we get along well with him, we've got a good relationship with and the players are here to work at the end of the day - they're not here to decide the coaching situation.

"Regardless of the coach, we're all going to work and we've enjoyed it this week, it's been very good under Baze.

"The training, the load, going into games, the general things - the players have enjoyed itand are happy."