Malta Football Association
Players are very motivated and eager to work – Saintfiet
Nov 11, 2017
Posted in:
National Team

Malta coach Tom Saintfiet struck an upbeat note ahead of the friendly match against Estonia at the National Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3 p.m.).

The Belgian knows that Estonia will be a tough nut to crack in his first match in charge of the national team but he is heartened by the players’ response in his first training sessions since succeeding Pietro Ghedin last month.


“I’m very satisfied about the team,” Saintfiet said.


“The players are very motivated and eager to work with. The level in training is very good and also working with the staff, it’s a pleasure.


“I’m very positive about the future. Naturally, we have a short period of time, they (players) have to learn a new system, what we are going to play, and the time is quite short.


“So it could be that we need more than that one friendly to be perfect in the system. But at the moment they’ve made a good progression and on Sunday we will judge how far we already are in the pocess.”


At a well-attended press conference, held on Saturday afternoon, Saintfiet declared that he will have four attack-minded players in his 4-2-3-1 formation as he wants the team to play more offensive football.


Saintfiet has introduced some new faces in the squad, including Ħamrun Spartans midfielder Triston Caruana and Malta U-21 forwards Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta) and Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians).


With a 23-strong squad at his disposal for the match, Saintfiet envisages that some of the newcomers will earn their first cap against Estonia.


“Having new players in the squad gives new impetus to team, no-one is sure of his position and we want to have a strong competition for places,” the Malta coach said.


“We will have a different formation, so there will be other players in other positions.


"Maybe there won’t be new players in the starting 11, but during the 90 minutes – we’re allowed to do six changes... I’m quite sure that a few players will earn their first cap on Sunday.”


Entrance for Sunday’s friendly match is free.

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