Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Difficult task but we can rise to the occasion – Farrugia
Jun 9, 2019
Posted in:
General
National Team
UEFA EURO 2020 - EQ
PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Malta coach Ray Farrugia has backed his team to rise to the occasion in Monday’s Euro 2020 Group F qualifier against Romania at the National Stadium (kick-off 20.45).


Farrugia acknowledged that Malta face another difficult task after the tough match against Sweden (0-3) at the Friends Arena on Friday but reiterated his belief in the players and the work being done at national team level.

 

“This game will be another difficult task coming after the match against Sweden,” Farrugia told the pre-match press conference.

 

“Nevertheless, we’re looking forward to this game.

 

“The players are gaining experience and hopefully tomorrow we will rise to the occasion.”

 

On Friday, Malta paid the price for conceding two goals at the start of each half in the 3-0 defeat to Sweden, currently second behind Spain in Group F. Notwithstanding the defeat, the Maltese team produced a tenacious performance and produced some good football, especially in the opening half.

 

Farrugia hopes that his players build on the good things but also learn from the mistakes committed in the Sweden defeat.

 

“I’m not happy about the Sweden game as we lost but there were also some positives and we need to keep building on these,” the Malta coach said.

 

“We are in a process where, as I said last year, we’re building a team for the future.

 

“If you remember well, I had also said that there will be matches where we will suffer but in the long term, the introduction of more young players who are gaining experience is beneficial for the future of Maltese football.”

 

Striker Michael Mifsud has rejoined the squad after recovering from a slight injury but defender Jonathan Caruana has withdrawn from the squad due to a back injury.

 

Farrugia said that Steve Borg was substituted in the latter stages of Friday’s match after picking up a knock but he expects the experienced defender to be fit for the Romania qualifier.

 

CORBALAN UPBEAT


Malta wing-back Juan Corbalan was also present for the press conference.

 

“We’re coming from a difficut game against Sweden,” Corbalan, 22, said.

 

“I believe that we will be well-prepared for the match against Romania and I’m optimistic that we can take something out of it.”

 

Corbalan, who has been a regular for the national team since making his debut in the UEFA Nations League last year, praised the dressing-room atmosphere.

 

“With regards to the atmosphere, in the training sessions and every time we join the national squad, I feel very comfortable,” the Gżira United player said.

 

“Both the players and technical staff welcomed me and I’d like to thank them for this as they are helping me to maintain my development and improve my qualities as a player.”

 

Malta go into Monday’s qualifier at the National Stadium with three points, one behind Romania who came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 away to Norway on Friday thanks to Claudiu Keseru’s double. 

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