Greece are favorites but we are ready for them – Michael Mifsud

Friday, March 25, 2011, 12:00

by Sandro Micallef

Malta’s captain, Michael Mifsud, is hopeful that Malta will put up a collective effort in tomorrow’s EURO 2012 qualifier against Greece (kick off 8.30pm at the National Stadium Ta’ Qali). Mifsud was speaking during a meeting with the local press at the Excelsior Hotel, the base of the Malta National team in home games.

Michael Mifsud with coach Buttigieg before today's meeting with the local media. Photo Domenic Aquilina

Michael Mifsud with coach Buttigieg before today's meeting with the local media. Photo Domenic Aquilina

The Qormi player remarked “We are well prepared and ready for the Greeks, we all reckon the fact that they are hot favorites to win this game but we will give them a hard time”.

John Buttigieg, the Malta coach, said that his 19 players are all in good condition. He said that Greece have great experience and are very  physically strong. “I expect yet another difficult game tomorrow but I am confident that with our tactical plan we can produce yet another positive performance”.

When asked by sports editor Chris Muscat if he will opt for a similar game plan approach like the Switzerland game, the Malta coach replied that tactically he will not change a lot and he intends to field similar tactics. Buttigieg added that he might change a couple of players from the starting line up of the last game, but still intends to be in line with what was produced collectively against the  Swiss where we managed a prestigious 0-0 draw.

Henry Brincat from The Malta Independent asked Buttigieg if the latest controversy regarding the training session remuneration issue affected the preparation of the team. Buttigieg replied “I am very happy that the players have put this issue behind them and have trained hard despite the current issue, I think that the players showed great professionalism in this regard, added the ex-Sta. Lucia FC and Birkirkara FC coach. This was  also confirmed by Malta’s captain Mifsud who added that this was done in good faith ahead of this important game against Greece.

When replying to The Times’ sports editor Kevin Azzopardi about the physical condition of Roderick Briffa, Buttigieg said that he chose a 19 man squad and  he decided to include the Valletta utility player in the squad. For Buttigieg, the player is 100% fit and can be utilized in the game, although it is yet to be decided if the right back position will be awarded to him or Edward Herrera of Hibs.

Buttigieg admitted that the opponents might be a bit slow in their defensive department due to the fact that they usually field tall players and this could be advantageous for our strikers.

Present also for this Press Conference, which was led by Mark Muscat Head of the National Team’s communications officer, were Robert Gatt and Bjorn Vassallo the Technical Director and CEO of the MFA respectively.

A direct request by this site addressed to Vassallo was for his official comments on Darmanin Demajo’s failure to impress in this week’s UEFA EXCO election. This request was elegantly dribbled by the CEO who asked for this question to be asked after the Press Conference on an individual basis. Eventually Vassallo kept his promise and gave his reactions in a recorded voice interview which will be on line this evening on this site. Bjorn Vassallo did not exclude that the former MFA President Dr. Joe Mifsud lobbied against the prospective candidature of Norman Darmanin Demajo. In this interview Vasallo also explains the reason why Darmanin Demajo registered only one vote.

Log on this site at 16:00hrs to listen to this interesting interview and leave your comments.

1 Comment

  1. Clinton Farrgia says:

    Mr. Buttigieg, nisperaw li din l-istorja ta’ Roderick Briffa mhux ha tkun l-istess bhal ta’ Jamie Pace fejn minkejja li ma kienx qieghed jilghab mall-klubb tieghu minhabba injury, Jamie Pace xorta gie mghajjat man-Nazzjonal kontra Svizzera biex imbaghad fil-loghba ta’ wara hareg wara kwarta injured.
    Sadanittant Forza Malta!


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