Malta Football Association
Farrugia banking on collective spirit for Norway challenge
Nov 17, 2019
Posted in:
National Team
PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
PHOTOS: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

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

Malta coach Ray Farrugia is eyeing a strong response from the national team in their final EURO 2020 Group F qualifier against Norway tomorrow (Monday) at the National Stadium (kick-off 20.45).

The national side are coming from a difficult night on Friday as they succumbed to a 7-0 defeat to Group F winners Spain in Cadiz with Farrugia acknowledging that he and his coaching team are doing their utmost to lift the players’ morale for what promises to be another tough match against Norway.


“The result against Spain was very disappointing,” Farrugia told the pre-match press conference.


“The good thing is that we have a game after only three days. We will play Norway, another strong team. We have been working to lift the team’s morale after the Spain match and it’s important for us to look ahead and focus fully on the Norway game.”


Farrugia is banking on the collective spirit to help the players overcome the Spain setback.


“The most important thing for us is the collective spirit,” Farrugia said.


“The togetherness of the squad is crucial in these circumstances. As I said, we are working a lot on the mental aspect.


“The players were very disappointed after the Spain game and I hope that they translate this inner anger into positive energy for the Norway match.”


Farrugia confirmed that there will be changes in the Maltese team from the Spain game as, in his own words, “it’s important to bring in fresh legs for the second match, especially after a game like that against Spain where our players had to run a lot”.



Midfielder Dunstan Vella echoed Farrugia’s sentiments.


“The atmosphere was downbeat after the Spain defeat, that’s normal, but we have another game to play and we will try to put on a positive performance and gain a good result,” Vella said.


Vella, 23, is one of a host of young players who have been introduced into the senior squad by Farrugia and his coaching team over the past 18 months.


“The national coach has shown faith in me and I’ve been doing my best to repay his trust,” Vella said.


“The work starts with the club as the players train regularly with their clubs. The training period with the natonal team is limited, so you have to do your best for your club and maintain that with the national team if you get selected in the squad.”


For the match against Norway, Farrugia welcomes back defender Steve Borg who missed the Spain qualifier due to suspension.


Juan Corbalan is out after suffering an injury during the Spain qualifier. He has been replaced by Ferdinando Apap.


Malta have three points going into their final EURO 2020 Group F qualifier against Norway who are third, level with Romania on 14 points.

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