Malta Football Association
Farrugia eyes bold collective effort in tough Norway match
Sep 4, 2019
Posted in:
National Team
PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Malta coach Ray Farrugia is well aware that Norway will be going all out to win and keep their qualifying hopes alive but he also believes that our team is better prepared to cope with this challenge.

“This is an important match, a difficult game for us but our players are looking fresher compared to June when we played the last two qualifiers (Sweden away and Romania at home),” Farrugia said at the pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s EURO 2020 Group F qualifier against Norway at the Ullevaal Stadium (20.45).


“Our last two qualifiers came at the end of a long domestic season and that took its toll on the players but things are looking better now.


“We are well aware of the difficulty of this match but we have been preparing as best as we can and we’re looking forward to the game.”


Farrugia also said that he and his coaching team have been working to prepare the team for the tactical and physical challenges a match against a Scandinavian team like Norway is likely to offer.


“We know that Maltese teams usually struggle to deal with Nordic teams,” Farrugia said.


“Previous results highlight these difficulties. From the first training session, we have been focusing on the challenging aspects we are likely to face in the game against Norway.


“As I always stress, our national team has no star players but when we play as a team, we can do well. Teamwork is our main strength.


“If we remain compact and every player is fully focused on his duties on the pitch, we can give Norway a stern challenge.”


Asked what he would regard as a positive result for Malta in the qualifier against Norway, Farrugia said: “A great result is a win. For us, a victory or a draw would certainly represent a good result away to Norway.”



Joseph Mbong hopes that the team’s preparations for the Norway qualifier will reap the desired dividends.


“This will be a very difficult game against a very physical side,” the Hibernians player said.


“We have been preparing very well over the past few days and now it’s up to us to do our utmost to produce a top performance and hopefully gain a good result.”


Malta go into Thursday’s match with three points from four matches in Group F, two behind Norway. Spain, who face Romania away on Thursday lead the way with 12 points, five ahead of their impending opponents and Sweden who travel to the Faroe Islands. The latter are still without a point.

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