Malta Football Association
We have our pride and we will play for the nation – Ghedin
Aug 31, 2017
Posted in:
National Team
Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA

  • Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
  • Photos: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA

Malta coach Pietro Ghedin emphasised the importance of teamwork, pride and commitment ahead of the gruelling clash with England in Friday night’s 2018 World Cup Group F qualifier at the National Stadium.

“We know that we are facing a very difficult task,” Ghedin told reporters at the pre-match news conference.


“They are top of the group while Malta are bottom. We have to play well and from the heart. It’s all about teamwork. Stay all together. We need to give everything to compete with England.


“England are currently one of the best teams in Europe, they have very strong players.


“It’s going to be very hard, England are the favourites but we’re going to give our best. We have a lot of pride, we want to play for the shirt and for the nation.”


With four qualifiers remaining, England lead Group F with 14 points, two ahead of Slovakia and three clear of Slovenia while Malta have no points from six outings.


Ghedin said all the players in his squad are fit and available for selection. Striker Alfred Effiong is out, suspended.


While Ghedin said that his team must stay compact and keep things watertight at the back if they are to stand a chance against England, he insisted that Malta will also try to attack.


To this end, the form of the likes of Andrè Schembri, who helped Apollon Limassol qualify for the group stages of the Europa League, and Jean Paul Farrugia, who has been scoring regularly for FC Chiasso bodes well for Malta’s chances of making an impact up front.


Asked for his opinion on England’s progress under Gareth Southgate, Ghedin said that he is surprised by the amount of young players who have been promoted to the senior squad under the former U-21 boss.


“I think Southgate will do a good job for the national team,” Ghedin said.


On Wayne Rooney’s decision to retire from international football, Ghedin said: “Wayne Rooney is one of the best players in England. He is an icon, like our Michael Mifsud who has scored 40 goals for Malta.


“Rooney has decided to stop from international football and we need to say thank you for what he has done for England. But England have a lot of players who will compensate for his loss.”

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