The Malta Independent 20 October 2019, Sunday

Watch - Euro 2020: Ray Farrugia wary of difficulties but confident of good performance against Norway

Chris Cassar Wednesday, 4 September 2019, 19:34 Last update: about 3 months ago

National coach Ray Farrugia is wary of the difficulties Malta will be facing on Thursday evening against Norway, but is also confident that the Maltese will give a good performance.

Ray Farrugia and defender Joseph Mbong were addressing the media at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo on the eve of the Euro 2020 Group F qualifier. Farrugia said that he is confident that the team will give a good performance, as the team worked well in the past few days in preparation for these matches.

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Farrugia said that physically all the players are in a much better shape that they were in June when Malta suffered two defeats at the hands of Sweden and Romania. Farrugia said that the poor physical condition after a strenuous season, were the main cause of our two defeats in June.

Speaking about Norway he said that they play a very similar game to Sweden, and that we learned a lot from the defeat in Stockholm in June. He said that our performance in Stockholm in the first half was on a par with that of the Swedes, but then in the second part we tired out.

He said that Norway play a very physical game and that can create problems for us too, but he said the Maltese players are strong too and will be up to the challenge on Thursday. With reference to his formation for the Oslo game, Farrugia said that we also have to think about our next match on Sunday against Romania, since some of our players will not be able to deliver in both matches for 180 minutes.

But Farrugia said that he has a strong squad and all players are in good shape and is confident for both matches. Farrugia said that we do not have star players that can change the game, but when we play concentrated as a team we can give any team a good run for his money.

On his part defender Joseph Mbong confirmed that the players are in much better shape now. He said that the game is difficult but all the players worked well in the past days and are behind the coach. He said that he always gives his two hundred percent in each game, and that in the end pays.

About his career and success with the national team, Mbong said that he keeps concentrated and tries to pay back the coach for having faith in him. Mbong thanked his coaches and his team mates, because without their help and support he would not have made it to this level.

After the press conference the Malta squad led by Ray Farrugia effected a training spin at the Ullevaal Stadium under a heavy downpour, with the conditions of the pitch leaving much to be desired.


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