Phoenix's All Whites back to reality

The celebrations marking New Zealand's qualification for next year's World Cup in South Africa were put on ice as the Wellington Phoenix's All Whites contingent returned to training on Tuesday.

The celebrations marking New Zealand's qualification for next year's World Cup in South Africa were put on ice as the Wellington Phoenix's All Whites contingent returned to training on Tuesday.

After the biggest weekend in their sporting careers Mark Paston, Ben Sigmund, Tony Lochhead, Tim Brown, Leo Bertos and David Mulligan were welcomed back by delighted Phoenix team-mates and put through their drills as preparations began in earnest for the Hyundai A-League clash with the Newcastle Jets following the international break.

Brown admitted it had not been easy after two days of celebrating.

"But you've got to end the party sometime and it was probably quite good to come back and get a little dose of reality," said the All Whites and Phoenix midfielder.

While the buzz of reaching football's biggest show for the first time since 1982 remained, Brown was confident the players would be ready and focused for the trip to Newcastle.

"Football has a funny thing of coming back to bite you. What we've done is qualify for the World Cup and there's no taking that away and that's fantastic. But it doesn't make us any better players or anything like that," he said.

"The Phoenix is important to every one of us. It is going to be tough. If it was tough to focus and be mentally prepared for the Bahrain game it might be twice as hard to prepare for the Newcastle game."

"But I think we'll do it because it means a lot to all the Kiwi boys coming back and you have your own personal pride as well. The last you want to do is go out there and make a fool of yourself."

"If anything, you qualify for the World Cup and you want to set even higher standards."

"Don't get me wrong, we had a bloody great celebration and we made the absolute most of it. But two or three days is about enough."