Coach Mauricio Alfonso spoke at length to AIFF about his team’s plans after the first-match loss to Pune FC.
How much demoralising is the loss to Pune FC?
Mauricio Alfonso: It’s all part of the game. Any team can have one bad day in office. I never doubt the quality of our side. Surely it isn’t the perfect start to the new season but we still have a chance. We need to win both our remaining matches and keep our fingers crossed.
How has the preparation been for the Federation Cup?
MA: We did play some practice matches. But all the boys couldn’t train together for long as nine players joined late from the National Team’s Exposure tour. But all the players are in good shape and mood, despite the loss is upbeat.
Group C is being considered the Group of Death. Your comments.
MA: I would say the fittest will survive. It’s a very tough group no doubt. As all the teams are equally balanced, it all boils down to your form on that particular day.
Dempo are playing with almost the same bunch of player and support staff for a while. Is that an advantage?
MA: It certainly helps when the team plays together for a longer period. Suppose if you change 10 players every season you have to rebuild a team again. Many of the players in Dempo have been playing together for eight to ten years now. I feel it gives us an edge.