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Mexico midfielder Edson Álvarez: “Having a Mexican head coach makes a huge difference”

El Tri started their 2023 Gold Cup campaign by thrashing Honduras 4-0, with goals from Luis Romo (2), Orbelín Pineda and Luis Chávez.

Ciudad de México
El Tri started their 2023 Gold Cup campaign by thrashing Honduras 4-0, with goals from Luis Romo (2), Orbelín Pineda and Luis Chávez.

Mexico swept Honduras aside 4-0 in their first match at the 2023 Gold Cup, putting in a performance which bared little - if no - resemblance to any of those under the stewardship of former head coach Diego Cocca. While there are still some aspects of their play to work on, there was a vast improvement in terms of attitude and commitment shown in Jamie Lozano’s first game in charge as interim boss.

Is it too early to say the the feel-good factor surrounding the national team is back? Not only are the coaching staff and fans pleased with what they have seen from the ‘new’ Tri, but the players themselves feel that Lozano’s arrival has breathed fresh life into a team that hadn’t been in the best of places.

Álvarez: “Jamie Lozano has changed everything”

Midfielder Edson Álvarez, who is on the verge of completing a move to Borussia Dortmund in Germany, spoke after Sunday’s victory and gave a frank assessment of why he believes things have improved in such a short space of time.

The fact that a fellow Mexican is in charge makes you feel more represented and more comfortable. But in any case we had to go out there and perform. I’m not going to interfere in the decisions made by the people at the top, but we’re very happy with Jimmy’s appointment. As far as I can remember, I’ve never had a Mexican coach in the senior national team and that sets the tone within the group, everything has changed”, said Álvarez.

The midfielder has gone to two World Cups and taken part in various other international tournaments, working under Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio and Argentines Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino and Cocca.

A united Mexico

Álvarez also addressed the unity within the current Mexican roster, highlighting the support shown to Uriel Antuna, who was booed by a section of supporters, as proof.

“Many times, people don’t understand the emotions we have as players and that’s what we’ve stated from the beginning, that we are a family because it’s hard for people to support us when things go wrong and, from the bottom of my heart, I don’t like to see a teammate being in that position” Álvarez concluded.

Goalscorer Chávez: “Mexico are here to win the Gold Cup”

Pachuca midfielder Luis Chávez, who scored El Tri’s fourth goal against Honduras, spoke of the team’s objectives for Gold Cup after a successful opening game: “We’re here to win the tournament. That’s our intention and if anyone thinks we’re not here to do that, then they’re wrong. After some bad results, we’re improving”.

Chávez also praised the Mexico fans in attendance, a week after they had ‘boycotted’ the third-place playoff in the Concacaf Nations League: “It’s important that we’re all united. The fans come to support us despite our poor recent results. Thankfully, we were able to repay them with a victory”.