India U-15 women’s team head coach Alex Ambrose believes sticking to the basics will help the defending champion perform well at the SAFF U-15 women’s Championship.

India had defeated Bangladesh 1-0 in the final last year to clinch the title and it is set to take on Nepal in the opener on Wednesday at the Chalimithang Stadium here.

“Expectations are always there, but we are here to play good football. There is absolutely no pressure on the players. We just want them to perform well, enjoy their football and have a good tournament,” Ambrose said.

“We have been training in Goa for four months. We’ve had some practice matches, and it was a good training for us.”

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After training for four months in Goa, the India U-15 women’s team also spent a week in Thimphu as a part of the acclimatisation process for the SAFF Championship.

“It’s important for us to get acclimatised to high altitudes. We certainly want to do well and the federation is supporting us so that we can live up to a certain expectation.

“Our main objective is to stick to the basics and play a certain brand of football where we keep the ball on the ground and pass it around,” said Ambrose.

The head coach is not taking any of the teams lightly and believes in taking it one match at a time.

“Everyone is here to win the matches and the tournament, so we cannot really take any of the teams lightly.

“We are here to play our brand of football and we are last year’s champions. But it’s a new tournament, we have a new team and that is why we need to forget about the past results and keep pushing forward,” he rounded off.

Along with India and Nepal, host Bhutan and Bangladesh make up the four participating teams - with the sides facing each other once and trying to finish in the top two to qualify for the final, which will take place on October 15.