Alen Stajcic after loss to New Zealand: We can compete but we have to win 

As much as head coach Alen Stajcic wanted to give an assessment on the Filipinas' buildup, he said it's too early to pinpoint the areas to improve as the team progresses through its training camp in California.

(Contributed photo by Jay Layno)

One this is for sure though as Stajcic maintained that the Philippine women's national team is "always progressing" and "reaching high."

After absorbing a 2-1 loss against world No. 22 New Zealand in a friendly, the Australian mentor said the team's performance goes to show the level of competitiveness it could bring to the international scene.

"I think we showed that if we competed at that level, if we do everything right," said Stajcic. "There's certainly a lot of improvement left in us as well. We're working hard, we're trying to improve every game, trying to get better."

As far as the training camp is concerned, Stajcic, who steered the Filipinas to their first international and FIFA-sanctioned title by winning the AFF Women's Championship crown last July, expressed satisfaction with his wards with key mainstays Sarina Bolden and Tahnai Annis, among others, leading the pack.

Stajcic said competing in friendlies is just one of the many ways to give a full assessment of where the national team is headed as the Filipinas prepare for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Fresh from winning the AFF Women's Championship, what's next for the Filipina booters for sure is the biggest stage in the World Cup co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.

More adjustments and assessments have to be made in the next few months, but Stajcic believes the Filipinas are slowly getting the hang of it as 27 lady booters vie for the positions to don the national team's uniforms.

"We can compete but we have to win. And we didn't win (against New Zealand)," said the 48-year-old Stajcic. "So I'm happy that we competed and I'm happy that we showed where we're at this level but ultimately we have to find a way to win.

"And I'm never gonna be happy with losing, that's for sure," he added.