Malta Football Association
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VIDEO: This game is do-or-die for us, says Zammit
Apr 5, 2017
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Valletta coach Paul Zammit has described tonight’s top-of-the-table match against Hibernians at the National Stadium (kick-off 8pm) as do-or-die but he is confident that his team will be up for the challenge.


The 1-1 draw against neighbouring rivals Floriana on Sunday has left Valletta five points adrift of leaders Hibernians and augmented the pressure ahead of their crunch encounter with the Paolites.

 

“Because our position throughout the season has been such that we had to chase Balzan and Hibernians, we couldn’t afford to slip up,” Zammit told www.mfa.com.mt.
 

“The situation now is that we dropped two points last weekend and therefore this game has become more decisive. I say more because all games have been decisive for us ... when we began the final round, we knew that we couldn’t drop points.

 

“The team in front of us have a five-point advantage and there are only a few games left, so this game for us is do-or-die. Only the three points will do to maintain our title challenge until the end.”

 

Valletta looked on course to cut the gap on Hibernians to three points after Michael Mifsud came off the bench to fire them ahead with only nine minutes remaining but Floriana hit back to rescue a point.

 

Ryan Camenzuli’s equaliser, barely five minutes after Mifsud’s late opener, will have felt like a hammer blow for Valletta ahead of their eagerly-awaited clash with Hibernians.

 

Lifting the players’ morale has been the main cause of concern for Zammit in the build-up to tonight’s match.

 

“These last two days were important not so much from a tactical and technical point-of-view because we’ve been preparing for these kind of games for a long time,” Zammit added.

 

“This season, we’ve been through many turbulent moments but, thanks God, with the work put in by the players, we managed to keep the team competitive and maintained our challenge for the championship.

 

“The most important thing for us has been the physical and psychological aspect... physical because we played on Sunday and we have another big game on Wednesday.

 

“The psychological side we had to work on it. I meant, the only thing we are disappointed about was the result because I feel that we had a very good performance against Floriana but still we didn’t manage to take the three points, so the gap from the team ahead of you has become bigger.”

 

Zammit lauded the character of his players in overcoming a series of difficulties after winning the championship last season.

 

“I know the squad we have here. Whatever happens in this game, we’ve surpassed many hurdles,” Zammit said.

 

“We were the defending champions and 2016 was a year of great success for Valletta FC.

 

“We were aware of this weight. There is a good group here and, with the help of the technical staff and the backing of the administration, we worked in great tranquility.

 

“I’m convinced that tomorrow (today) we will go out fully focused and try to do our best to use our potential to the full.

 

“It’s going to be a difficult game. I think Hibs deserve to be leading the table because, amid all the inconsistency, they were one of the most consistent teams, also when they came to do-or-die games, they were very strong. In fact we haven’t won against them this season.”

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