The Malta Independent 24 June 2019, Monday

BOV Premier League: Doncic aims to win but Sanderra hopes Hibs will maintain consistency

Henry Brincat Friday, 18 January 2019, 10:00 Last update: about 6 months ago

The Hibernians-Valletta match on Sunday is certainly an important and crucial game for both clubs even if it arrives early in the second round.

In the first round match, Hibernians had beaten the citizens 2-1.

Hibs’ coach Stefano Sanderra was cautious about a possible outcome, but made it clear that he believes his side has all the ingredients to remain on top and even go on to win the title at the end of the season.

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He said: “I have a fantastic group of players. They are all working hard to maintain consistency so as to achieve success. Of course, we respect Valletta FC, a club with a great tradition and certainly one of the best currently on the island.

“But we are also playing good football and I think we merit the top place in the standings.

“I am sure this crucial and important match will be very interesting. First because we both need the points, secondly because the two teams are inclined to play attacking football which will certainly please the crowd.”

City coach Danilo Doncic said the game was very important to Valletta. He added: “We are lying three points behind Hibernians. It will be difficult for the Paolites are a very good team showing consistency since the start of the competition.

“We have a big motivation as we will be doing everything to avoid defeat, although even if we lose, I do not think that it will be the end for us. On the other hand, a victory for us will make the championship battle more interesting.”

Doncic added that he thinks that this year’s championship is not restricted yet to the top three teams. “There is still a long way to go with several direct clashes still to beplayed. The battle is still between the top six or seven teams. There is no big gap between these seven teams and there will be no easy matches,” he said.

Speaking on the transfer market, Doncic admitted that Valletta were inactive so far, “but that is only because we have a strong squad.”

However, he confirmed that striker Kyrian Nwoko has been granted permission to go on trial with English club Scunthorpe starting on 27 January.

Players Bjorn Kristensen (Hibernians) and Rowen Muscat (Valletta) also addressed the conference.

Both said this was the type of match they relish to play.

Kristensen said playing against one of the best teams was always a big challenge. “But we are looking forward towards beating our rivals once again,” he said.

Muscat agreed with Kristensen that this was a match he was also looking forward to. “Such matches are played with high intensity. The fact that we are three points behind makes it an even bigger challenge for us,” he added.

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