West Ham United defender and New Zealand captain Winston Reid described his country's 3-1 defeat by Uzbekistan as a steep learning curve.
The match at Pahktakor Stadium in Tashkent was the 26-year-old's first international game back after just over a year away from the national side due to injury.
He returned at centre-back for new coach Anthony Hudson's first game in charge of the All Whites, only for the central Europeans to run out comfortable victors
Auckland-born Reid, who returned to his homeland with West Ham in July, told New Zealand Football's official website: "We've got a new team and we're building forward. We met a very good team today but we made some mistakes as a collective group and we were punished."
"The important thing we take from this is that we learn from our mistakes and take the positives with us. Today we had some good performances and we can always take that forward to our next game."
In preparation for the match against Uzbekistan, the New Zealand squad held a training camp in Doha, Qatar, where Reid felt he and his national team-mates got to know another better as people and as players.
"The camp has been very good value," Reid said. "Each time we get together we'll only improve as a team and that's the most important thing.
"As a group we will understand more and more as each camp goes on how the manager wants us to play and how we have to play as a collective group."
New Zealand's next fixtures are away to China on 14 November and Malaysia on the 18 November, where skipper Reid hopes to learn even more about his All Whites colleagues after an enforced break from international action.
"We're looking forward to the next time we're together because we have to improve each time."
Reid is travelling back to re-join his Hammers' teammates as they prepare for their next Premier League match away to Hull City on Monday 15 September. He hopes to enjoy better fortune at the KC Stadium.
"I had a major injury last year so it's nice to have been getting out there and playing again week in and week out. Hopefully the next time we meet up again in All Whites camp I'll have a few more points on the board with my Club team!"