Watch: We can win points against the Faroes, says Borg

Watch: We can win points against the Faroes, says Borg

Malta coach Farrugia has set sights on a winning start

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

Ray Farrugia has set his sights on kicking off Malta’s Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a victory when they host the Faroes Islands at the National Stadium this evening.

It has been 13 years since the Malta national team has last tasted a competitive victory. It was on October 11, 2006 when Dusan Fitzel’s men defeated Hungary 2-1 with Andre Schembri netting both goals on that memorable night at the National Stadium.

The Faroe Islands are relatively familiar opponents for our national team players who met their Nordic opponents during the 2018 UEFA Nations League campaign.

The team coached by Lars Christian Olsen came out on top in Torshavn 3-1 last September before holding out for a 1-1 draw in the return match at Ta’Qali last November.

“We know our opponents well having faced them in the UEFA Nations League,” Malta coach Farrugia told reporters yesterday.

“It will not be an easy match as we are coming up against a team who are full of valid players who ply their trade in Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Germany.

“But I feel that we are ready for this match. We have been together for a few days now and the players have a clear picture of what they need to do to get a result.

“Our aim is quite clear… we want to open our qualifying campaign with a win.”

Farrugia said that his preparations for the match against the Faroes Islands followed the same script he embarked a year ago when he took charge of the team… to rejuvenate the national team with young talent, coupled with more experienced personnel.

“Our preparations for the Euro 2020 are a continuation of the work we started in the UEFA Nations League when we brought in a number of young players,” Farrugia said.

“At the end of the Nations League I promised that we introduce more youngsters and I stuck to my word and in fact we have several new faces for this match who hopefully will give us some fresh impetus.”

Asked if any of the new faces will be making their debut today, Farrugia said: “Yes. There could be two faces or even more. But all the decisions will be taken after our final training session this evening.”

The Malta coach said his team will be be adopting the same approach taken during the Nations League… pressing high and trying to score goals.

“Our mindset will not be different… we want to play positive football by trying to press high our opponents and make sure we continue to create chances and scoring goals. During the Nations League one big positive was that the team managed to find the net in almost all the matches and we need to continue that trend.”

On his part, Steve Borg, the Malta defender, said that there is a lot of belief in the Malta camp at the moment that they can obtain a good result against the Faroe Islands.

“Every single player in our squad is itching to get into action against the Faroes,” the Valletta defender said.

“The coach has brought together a group of talented players who are showing a lot of belief and that is very important in these kind of matches.

“As the coach underlined, our goal is very simple… we want to do everything possible to get a positive result and pick up our first points in the competition.

“Everyone is talking on our match against Spain but we are taking it one game at a time and our full focus is to try and beat the Faroe Islands to get our campaign on the right footing.”

Asked what he thought was the main difference between the Malta national team and the Faroe Islands, Borg was quiet straight in his answer.

“Certainly the Faroe Islands are team full of players who play in overseas championships who are far superior to ours and that is certainly a big advantage for them,” Borg said.

“Unfortunately, looking at our squad at the moment we only have one player who plies his trade abroad and the others play in the Maltese Premier League.

“But I am convinced that tomorrow will be Malta’s day. We have worked hard and now have the chance to demonstrate that by winning against the Faroes.”

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