Malta Football Association
Mangia determined to stick to his game plan but still respect the opponents
Sep 6, 2021
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Credit: Domenic Aquilina
Credit: Domenic Aquilina

  • Credit: Domenic Aquilina

“Russia is a different team than the one we played against in Malta in March of this year.  The appointment of the coach changed the style of play.  The coach has made a number of changes, however we have to play our football and see that our performance improves”, said National Teams’ Head Coach Devis Mangia when speaking to the media in the match day -1 press conference.

When asked if he considers the Malta team to be stronger, Mr Mangia said that he never said that Malta was a stronger team, but he always believed that one should respect his opponents.  He explained that the National Teams have embarked on this project that started in January 2020 and that without the right mentality, one cannot play football. 


“We have improved, and that is a fact, however we can improve in all areas.  When there is no need of further improvement then my job as a coach will become absolete,” explained Devis Mangia


Devis Mangia reiterated that “We have to be clever to understand the different moments of the match.”  This will be the third match in this international window and Mr Mangia has once before remarked that the players’ physical performance in the third match might not be that wished.  However he explained that the team has worked hard and is hoping that this obstacle is surpassed this time round.


Henry Bonello, Malta’s custodian stated that “The team has to follow the coach’s instructions and believe in what we are working on, then we will reap benefits.”


“Despite that top names will be absent from the Russian team, I believe that those chosen will equally impress” continued Bonello.  


Slovenia vs Malta


Mr Mangia said that he believes that the first penalty was not a foul and that the penalty should not have been given.  When asked if he thought the VAR should have been used, he explained that the VAR protocol is not simple. 


Malta’s goalkeeper Henry Bonello also discussed the instance with the journalists, and explained that the Referee stressed that it was a clear penalty and that VAR was checked. It is this reason that the players did not continue to complain on the decision.


He explained that the team is coming from two very good performances however the team has to be consistent and continue to improve on its positive performances.


Malta plays away against Russia, on Tuesday 7th September at Otkrytie Arena, Moscow at 20:45 CET.

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