Jesmond Zerafa warned that Valletta FC might have to take some tough decisions if the club is to revive their title challenge this season as the Citizens prepare to face Sirens in a rescheduled Premier League match at the Centenary Stadium this evening (kick-off: 7.30pm).
Valletta head into the match on the back of a poor run of results as the Citizens have just one win to show from their last five matches.
In fact, after their defeat to Gżira United, Jesmond Zerafa’s men were involved in three draws to Hibernians (1-1), Sta Lucia (1-1) and Gudja United (0-0) which left the team in seventh place on 12 points, five adrift of joint-leaders Gżira United and Hibernians.
The match against Sirens, who also have been struggling for form in recent weeks and are coming off the back of a heavy 4-0 defeat to league newcomers Żejtun Corinthians, could represent as a perfect opportunity to put their campaign back on track.
“It’s clear that our results have not been good enough in recent weeks,” Zerafa told The Times of Malta.
“Since the international break, the team’s performances have been gradually improving and our main problem is clear. We are not converting our superiority into goals.
“Against Gudja United, who are one of the best performers so far this season, we dominated the match from start to finish but you cannot win matches if you don’t score goals.
“We are constantly creating a lot of chances during matches but we lack that killer instinct and that is a major worry for me. In the last three days, we have continued work to improve on this aspect and hopefully we can start to reap the dividends from this work.”
Zerafa said that he is pleased with the efforts put in by his players during training and said that this season the team has managed some positive displays, even when the results didn’t go there way, in particular the 3-1 defeat to Gżira United.
However, Zerafa warned that some players who have been at the club for a number of years shouldn’t rest on their past achievements and need to show that they can help the team in this difficult time or else their place in the team will be in jeopardy.
“I have very little to say on the effort of the players during in training as it is very positive,” Zerafa said.
“However, it’s clear that we need to do more. We have a group of players who have been at this club for several years and it’s clear that they need to take their responsibilities. It’s clear that the team needs to be strengthened in some areas and I’m already working on that.
“When I arrived at Valletta FC, we only brought in two new players – a new central defender and a striker. Still, I believed that with the players that there was at the club we could build something.
“However, if I see that things are not working out, it’s clear that something has to be done. And to achieve that, the club needs to take decisions, maybe these will be tough decisions, but something needs to be done.”
Zerafa said that he must still look at the condition of striker Kyrian Nwoko who has yet to reach full fitness but defender Jean Borg, who picked up an injury during international duty, is sidelined.