Malta Football Association
Malta coach eyes improvement against Romania
Sep 7, 2019
Posted in:
National Team
PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

National coach Ray Farrugia knows that Malta are facing another stern test when they meet Romania in their sixth EURO 2020 Group F qualifier on Sunday but he expects his team to rise to the challenge.

Both teams are coming from a defeat with Malta going down 2-0 to Norway in Oslo and Romania, ranked 28th in the FIFA rankings, losing 2-1 to Spain in Bucharest.


“We are coming from a difficult game against Norway and this will be another tough match,” Farrugia said at the pre-match press conference, held at the Ilie Oana Stadium in Ploiesti, home of FC Petrolul Ploiesti.


“We are preparing for this match and hopefully we will improve our performance from the last game.”


Farrugia expects Romania, who are fourth in the group on seven points, to put pressure from the outset, given their urgency to take the three points and keep their qualifying bid on track, but he insisted that he and his coaching staff are focusing on the Maltese team.


“It’s natural, the Romania coach will approach the game looking for a win,” Farrugia replied to a question about the opposition’s gameplan.


“Romania will come out to press us. They are coming from a defeat to Spain who dominated possession, just like they did when they played against us in March.


“Tomorrow’s game is a different match and I’m sure Romania will go all out to win as they need the points but we have our own objectives. We are focusing on our game and we will be doing our utmost to play well and get a positive result.”


Farrugia said there will be some changes in the Maltese formation from the Norway game as the team needs some fresh legs.


“When you have two games in three days, you have to make changes,” the Malta coach said. “You can rest some players in the first match and they come in for the second. There will be changes because we need fresh legs.


“Regarding our approach, it will be slightly different from the match against Norway because the two teams play different football so we need to adapt.”


As far as injuries are concerned, Farrugia said that they are still waiting to see if Zach Muscat makes a full recovery after the defender had to leave the field with a dead leg after just 20 minutes of Thursday’s qualifier against Norway.



The Malta coach opened the press conference by congratulating the Malta Under-21 team for their positive result – goalless draw – in their opening 2019-21 UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifier away to Northern Ireland on Friday.

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