Mexico supremo Jose Luis Gonzalez China is not a coach who likes to scream and shout when results do not go his way. Cool, calm and collected, the man at the Azteca helm has the perfect temperament for a high-pressure competition like Nigeria 2009 and is already plotting a way for his charges to bounce back from defeat to Switzerland in their first game in Group B.
The CONCACAF side travelled to Africa with high hopes of repeating their title triumph of 2005, and although that dream remains alive, they know they lost more than just three points in Saturday's 2-0 reverse. "We didn't expect to lose to Switzerland, and that's the truth," Gonzalez China told FIFA.com after the final whistle in Lagos. "This result has made things a little more difficult for us but there's no time to sit around moaning about it. This is not the end. Far from it."
"We can't use the weather as an excuse because we're used to playing in this heat," he continues. "I think the fact that we're at the World Cup perhaps got to us a little bit, especially with everything that comes with it. The team never got settled and they just weren't able to express themselves. Switzerland beat us fair and square, and that's it."
Gonzalez China's reading of the game is spot on. The Swiss dominated for long periods and went into the break two goals to the good, the first of them coming from a superb free-kick and the second when keeper Jose Rodriguez inadvertently tipped a corner kick into his own net.
One of the coach's tasks over the next few days will be to lift the young Guadalajara gloveman's morale. "These things happen," says Gonzalez China philosophically. "They're tough to deal with for sure, but he just has to understand that it's part of the game, part of his learning curve. He needs to come back quickly from it and learn to live with these kind of situations."
The sternest of tests
Having failed to deal with the challenge posed by the Swiss, Mexico face an even stiffer test of their resolve on Tuesday, when they come up against section favourites Brazil. The South American champions overcame Japan 3-2 on their debut and are among the favourites to life the trophy.
"We know Brazil are the team to beat in this group but not everything we did against Switzerland was bad," adds the Mexico coach, keen to accentuate the positive ahead of the make-or-break match in Lagos. "There are a few things we can take out of that game and we'll be looking at them closely. We'll be trying to turn this situation around as even I was surprised by the level of our game against Switzerland," he continued before sending a defiant message of hope to the fans back home.
"The objective is to improve and to start doing things the right way. We need to lift ourselves straightaway for a match that will be far from easy. We're very down about what happened but we're going to show a different side to our game on Tuesday. We have what it takes to meet the challenge and things are going to be different. I know we can get a good result against Brazil."