Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Tough test but we’ve come here to get a result – Farrugia
Oct 10, 2018
Posted in:
General
National Team
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Malta coach Ray Farrugia knows that the national team face a massive test in Thursday’s UEFA Nations League Group D3 match against Kosovo at the Fadil Vokrri Stadium (20.45) but he is looking forward to the challenge.


Kosovo are widely seen as favourites to win the group and their return of four points from their opening two matches – a goalless draw against Azerbaijan and a 2-0 home win over Faroe Islands – has given them a headstart in this new competition.

 

Addressing the pre-match news conference, Farrugia said: “We have information about Kosovo, we’ve done our homework and I’m sure they did theirs.

 

“It should be an interesting match and I’m looking forward.”

 

Despite the scale of the task awaiting Malta, Farrugia insisted that his team have come to Pristina fully intent on taking something from the match.

 

“We are trying to change a few things to improve our national team and I believe we are on the right track,” Farrugia said.

 

“In a way, Kosovo are doing the same, they are also building a team but they have the advantage of picking players who have already played for other countries, like Norway and Albania.

 

“It’s going to be difficult but we’ve come here to get a result.”

 

Farrugia is missing left-back Joseph Zerafa, suspended, defender Zach Muscat, who stayed with his Italian club Pistoiese to receive treament for an injury, and winger Luke Gambin who asked not to be considered for selection to concentrate on his club duties with English League Two side Crawley Town.

 

Asked if these players will be missed, Farrugia replied: “Important players are always missed but at the same time this creates an opportunity for the other players to come in and prove themselves.

 

“I’m confident that the players who will come into the team are ready. If I were them, I would do my best to show that I deserve to be in the first team.”

 

Farrugia has indicated that Victoria Hotspurs defender Ferdinando Apap is set to start in defence while Juan Carlos Corbalan, of Gżira United, could also earn his first senior cap.

 

Malta have one point in the group after a 1-1 draw against Azerbaijan in their last outing.

 

PRESSURE IS GOOD – FENECH


Malta midfielder Paul Fenech also sounded upbeat, stressing the importance for the Maltese team to stay compact and disciplined throughout the 90 minutes.

 

The Birkirkara talisman also insisted that the pressure of playing in these kind of matches is not an issue for the Maltese players.

 

“Pressure is normal when you are a footballer, it’s actually a positive thing to have,” Fenech said.

 

“For us, the most important things are to stay united, compact and disciplined and if we do that, anything is possible.

 

“We can deal with the pressure, we have been in this situation many times.”
 

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