Malta Football Association
Mangia hints at opportunity to all in friendlies coming-up
May 29, 2021
Posted in:
National Team

Malta Head Coach Devis Mangia has hinted that he could possibly test all the players in the current squad in these three friendly matches in Austria, starting off on Sunday against Northern Ireland.

During MD-1 Press Conference, coach Mangia expressed his concerns once again about the physical condition of his players being their last competitive match was more than two months ago.


Asked about his game plan on Sunday, Mangia stressed, “We will never change our philosophy, no change in our idea of football, possibly there could be some changes in the strategy depending on our opponents.


“These matches are a test for all the players in the squad, the established ones need to confirm they really deserve a spot with the National Team, whereas the young ones must embrace this opportunity to show their skills and attitude to really show they deserve to be part of our plans.


Northern Ireland


Mangia will also use the 90 minutes on Sunday as an opportunity to improve on set pieces.


Defending dead ball situations have always been an issue for Malta, therefore Mangia is truly mindful about the strengths of our opponents on Sunday, and the terrific danger they pose in these situations.


“We have prepared well on set pieces, we did some mistakes in the past but we must show personality also in these situations”, Mangia declared.


Team News for Sunday


Malta Head Coach confirmed that from the 29 players who made the trip to Austria for this training camp only Birkirkara defender Enrico Pepe is unavailable.


Asked about the players left home due to injury, Mangia replied that is not a concern for him.


“I will still field eleven players, therefore while wishing all injured players the very best to recover quickly, I have full confidence in this current crop of players in my squad.


“We have three matches, we will try to give all the players the opportunity to shine, they are well prepared, the spirit in the dressing room is fantastic, the effort and endeavour of the boys in the past weeks has been tremendous, we must stay focused, avoid mistakes and I’m pretty confident in a good performance on Sunday”.




Coach Mangia also detailed the preparation of his team for these three friendly matches, focusing on the individual values of all his players, while also working tactically and trying as much as possible to improve the physical side.


Meanwhile Hibernians midfielder Bjorn Kristensen also spoke about the spirit inside the dressing room, with all members of the team working together for the same target to raise the standards, improve and possibly attain positive results.


Asked about their opponents on Sunday, Kristensen replied, “We need to focus on the way we play, we always show respect to our opponents, but we are confident in our potential and in an upbeat mood ahead of Sunday’s match in Klagenfurt.


“We worked hard on set pieces knowing the strength of our opponents, there is some concern about our physical fitness for reasons already brought forward, we will see on Sunday, resolute to shift the same intensity and desire we showed in training over the past weeks, onto the pitch”, Kristensen concluded.


Malta v Northern Ireland friendly international on Sunday at the Wörthersee Stadion, KO at 6pm CET.


Picture – Stephen Gatt (Malta FA).

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