Sliema Wanderers defender Kurt Shaw has urged the fans to keep believing in the team’s playing style and philosophy despite a poor start to the Premier League campaign.
The Wanderers have yet to pick up their first win in the Premier League this season after on Sunday they needed a Dejan Vukovic late goal to salvage a 2-2 draw against Sirens at the Tony Bezzina Stadium.
The result left the Blues bottom of the Premier League standings as they only have three points to show from their opening five matches.
“Our game plan is based on high-intensity play and for much of the first half we were clearly the better side and dominated the match,” Shaw told the Times of Malta.
“We created several scoring chances but unfortunately we failed to capitalise on them and could not build on our lead in the second half. Then Sirens put us under the cosh in a 15-minute spell in the second half where we conceded two goals.
“But we refused to throw in the towel and the team reaction was impressive and in the end we got the equaliser. Personally, I believe that a draw was the least that we deserved our performance.”
Asked whether Sliema’s lively showing against Sirens should still inject self-belief in the players, Shaw said: “We may have not won a match yet but the performances are improving. It’s clear that that we’re on the right path and our style of play will not change irrespective of the results attained.
“The team has full belief in the game plan and philosophy our coach wants us to play and we have no doubt that once we pick up our first win we can go on a run of results.”
On his part, Winston Muscat, the Sirens coach, was also delighted with the character shown by his players on Sunday.
The St Paul’s Bay’s side looked on their way to claim a come-from-behind win against Sirens when taking the lead late in the match but were pegged back late on.
“In the first half, Sliema Wanderers may have enjoyed more possession but personally I felt that we created the better chances with quick counter-attacking football,” Muscat said.
“We conceded a goal early in the second half, but the team’s reaction was magnificent as we turned the match around. Still, Sliema kept believing and they deserved to get a point.”
Sirens have enjoyed a fairytale start to the season as they are currently third in the standings on eight points.
However, things are set to get tougher after the international break when they face three high-profile teams in Valletta, Birkirkara and Ħamrun Spartans.
But Muscat said that he is not much interested in the name of his opponents but his main concern was his team.
“I’m not looking much on our schedule list and I am just approaching it one game at a time,” Muscat said.
“Sliema were desperate for points but we approached the match in the right way and I expect to do the same with our upcoming matches.
“Valletta, Birkirkara and Ħamrun Spartans will be a tough run but we believe in ourselves and that we will offer them a tough run and we are confident to maintain our positive run of results.”