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Watch: Degabriele keen to underline his importance for club and country

For Jurgen Degabriele, the past ten days have been full of satisfactions.

Last week, the Hibernians striker came off the bench to score a last-gasp equaliser for Malta in a World Cup qualifier against Cyprus in Larnaca.

Six days later, Degabriele made his first start for Hibernians in the Premier League this season and the young forward took little time to underline his importance to the Paolites’ cause with a well-taken brace that propelled the team to a comfortable 3-0 win over Sliema Wanderers.

The 25-year-old striker said that he was delighted with his recent achievements particularly after a very frustrating start to the season which saw him sidelined for more than two months with a fractured finger.

“The past ten days have been very important for my self-confidence,” Degabriele told the Times of Malta.

“I came into the season on the back of a very good campaign in Europe. I felt that my performances for Hibernians were very good and I was raring to go. But, unfortunately, I suffered a foot injury that ruled me out of the start of the season.

“When I recovered my full fitness, I was determined to prove that I had the ability to be an important player for both Hibernians and the national team and certainly the events of the last ten days have certainly been a great morale-booster.”

Sunday’s win over Hibernians propelled Stefano Sanderra’s men to the top of the Premier League standings on 14 points after six matches but Degabriele said that he is not looking too far away and said the most important thing for his team is to go on a consistent run of positive results.

“Consistency is the name of the game for Hibernians if they are to enjoy a successful season,” Degabriele said.

“As a club, we never look too far ahead, and we always take it one game a time and that won’t change anytime soon. We always look as far as the next match which is the most important. Now we have three important matches coming up, against Valletta and Birkirkara then we face Ħamrun Spartans after the international break.

“These games can play a huge role for our position in the standings, so it’s important that keep working hard to ensure we can get as many points as possible. The championship this year is very balanced and there are hardly any easy matches so it’s important that we keep up our focus.”

National team

Degabriele says that his long-term goal will always be that to secure a regular place in the national team and a good run of performances for Hibernians will no doubt help him to convince coach Devis Mangia that he deserves a regular spot in his starting formation.

“The dream of every player is to secure a regular place in the national team and I am no different,” Degabriele said.

“In last year’s Nations League, I had succeeded in playing regularly in the national team’s starting XI but then injury struck and now I have to regain my place in the team. At the moment, there is great competition for places, which is very healthy, so it’s up to me to show the coach that I deserve to start every match.

“The game against Cyprus was very important for me as although I started as a substitute, I still managed to help the team when coming on as a substitute and score the goal that earned us a merited point.

“So, my goal is quite clear, to keep performing on a consistent level to rubberstamp my place in the team for both Hibernians and the national team.”  

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