Malta Football Association
National coach Farrugia backs team to ‘rise to the occasion’
Nov 20, 2018
Posted in:
National Team
Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Malta face Faroe Islands in their final UEFA Nations League Group D3 match at the National Stadium on Tuesday evening (20.45).

Ray Farrugia, the Malta coach, is upbeat that his players will bounce back from the disappointing 5-0 defeat to Kosovo as the national team look to wrap up their commitments in this new competition on an uplifting note.


“We’re looking forward to this game,” Farrugia said.


“It won’t be an easy game as Faroe Islands are difficult opponents but our players are ready for this game, moreso after what happened against Kosovo.


“I hope that we will rise to the occasion.”


Farrugia said that he and the coaching staff have been working hard to lift the team’s morale after Saturday’s defeat.


“My main job in the last two days has been to lift the players,” the Malta coach said.


“We had a very good talk and I believe the players are responding in the right manner.


“Coming from a 5-0 defeat is not easy. I’m very disappointed and hurt as well.


“The players are hurting as well but after only two days, we’re playing this game against Faroe Islands at home and we have a chance to get back on track.


“It’s a great occasion for us and we’re looking forward to it.”


Farrugia is heartened by the return of defenders Andrei Agius and Steve Borg, who missed the Kosovo defeat due to suspension. He indicated that there will be some changes in the starting formation for this evening’s match.


Midfielder Rowen Muscat shared Farrugia’s views.


“In a way, we’re lucky that we have the chance to play another match only two days after the Kosovo game,” the Valletta midfielder said.


“We were very disappointed after the Kosovo defeat. We had a positive performance for the first 65 minutes but not the same can be said for the final 25 minutes.


“Now we need to take the positives into the next game and concentrate on Faroe Islands.”


Today's match has a special meaning for Andrè Schembri as it will mark his final appearance for Malta after the Apollon Limassol forward announced that he was retiring from international football after the last UEFA Nations League game against Faroe Islands.


Faroe Islands, who lost 2-0 to Azerbaijan on Saturday, have four points from five matches, two more than Malta. In the away match, played in September, Malta lost 3-1 to Faroe Islands.



At his pre-match news conference, Lars Olsen, the Faroe Islands coach, said that he is expecting a strong challenge from Malta who, in his own words, didn’t deserve to lose 5-0 to Kosovo.


“I’ve watched the game between Malta and Kosovo and I honestly thought that the result didn’t offer a proper picture of the game as for long periods of the second half, Malta were the better team,” Olsen was quoted as saying.


“We also had a disappointing result against Azerbaijan and we ae determined to make amends with a strong showing.”



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