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Sirens must go on a run to avoid relegation battle – Tedesco

Ryan Scicluna (right) eyes the ball ahead of Myles Beerman, of Sliema. Photo: Stephen Gatt

Sirens coach Giovanni Tedesco has challenged his players to go on a run of results as the St Paul’s Bay outfit ran ragged title candidates Sliema Wanderers 3-1 at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Two goals from Wilfried Domoraud and another one from new signing Lamn Bittaye sealed the win for Sirens who produced the most impressive performance since the former Floriana and Ħamrun Spartans mentor succeeded Steve D’Amato as first-team coach.

The win helped Sirens move up to tenth place in the standings on 22 points, two clear of fifth-from bottom Floriana, who currently occupy the play-out-spot, and six above the relegation zone.

“I am very happy because my players have done everything that I have asked them to,” Tedesco told The Times of Malta.

“We knew that Sliema Wanderers are a very good side and that is mirrored by their high placing in the standings. But my players worked their socks off throughout the 90 minutes and I think that we fully deserved to take all points.”

Tedesco admitted that he found it difficult to turn the fortunes of Sirens in his first weeks in charge but said that the performance against the Wanderers shows that the team are finally settling down to his playing philosophy.

“When you take charge of a team midway through the season it’s always difficult to pass through the principles you want the players to apply,” Tedesco said.

“Unfortunately, when I started, I didn’t have much time to work with my players on the training pitch as we had a match every three days so that complicated matters.

“This month we made several changes to the squad, bringing in a number of players who reflect more my playing style and things are starting to look better. The team is certainly resembling more my philosophy.

“Against Sliema Wanderers the players showed great character and determination and almost played a perfect game bar the final five minutes. We scored three goals but then in the final minutes we simply relaxed too much and ended up conceding a goal and on that we need to improve.”

The Sirens coach said while the win against Sliema Wanderers was important, nothing has been achieved yet.

Tedesco admitted that Sirens are engaged in a relegation fight and given how the championship is panning out it was crucial for the St Paul’s Bay side to go on a run of consistent results.

“This year’s championship is very tight, with all teams capable of getting a result against any side. The difference between the teams sitting at the top of the standings and the ones who are lagging in the lower part is that the former managing to go on a run of positive results,” Tedesco said.

“In recent matches, we have shown that we can match the top teams, as our performance against Ħamrun have shown.

“Clearly, we are in a very delicate situation and our goal is primarily to retain ur status in the Premier League. So if we want to reach our target as early as possible we need to start picking up points on a regular basis.”

PLAYING TOMORROW

CENTENARY STADIUM
Gudja vs Hibernians 17.00
Floriana vs Lija Athletic 21.00
HIBS STADIUM
Valletta vs Ħamrun  18.30

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