The 57-year-old head coach said the mood in the Sarawak camp had been at an all-time low when the Super League ended recently with the East Malaysia team losing their relegation battle and will be playing in the Premier League next season.
“Disappointment is a factor here and my toughest assignment is to get my boys to walk with their heads high again and get excited about taking part in the Malaysia Cup,” said Alberts.
“The players and fans must realise that relegation is normal in football and most teams will have to go through it sooner or later.
“The key is to survive the fall and get back up again next season.”
The Amsterdam-born coach said all the teams in Group D, including T-Team and Pahang, have an equal chance of progressing through to the knockout stage.
“Of course Selangor must be considered favourites considering their pedigree but that usually means little in a Cup competition.
“We consider T-Team to be more consistent and have the knack of beating stronger teams.
“We also think Pahang, who have won promotion to the Super League, are as good as any team in this competition.”
Alberts said three Sabah players — Bobby Gonzales, Ronny Harun and Sharudin Yakup — have joined Sarawak on loan.
“We are not just making up the numbers.
“We should be strong enough to get out alive from the group with an additional defender and attacking midfielders.
“Our record against Selangor and T-Team is not bad as we only lost to them by a single goal earlier in the league, so it’s just a matter of reversing the results in the Malaysia Cup.”
But then again, said Alberts, it will be up to the players to prove they are good enough to go all the way in the Malaysia Cup.
“I am sure my boys will not mope around for long as they know they have a chance to redeem themselves,” he said.