fbpx
Connect with us

FA Trophy

Watch: Hibs, Ħamrun Spartans renew rivalry with FA Trophy semi-final spot at stake

Hibernians and Ħamrun Spartans will go head to head in the FA Trophy quarter-finals. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Hibernians and Ħamrun Spartans will renew their rivalry on Saturday evening when they go head to head in the FA Trophy quarter-finals at the National Stadium as the cup competition takes centre stage in the coming days.

Ħamrun Spartans and Hibernians have been the protagonists of some close battles this term and another fascinating tie is in prospect today, between two teams who are eyeing silverware this season.

Hibernians may well be engaged in the title battle this season as the Paolites are leading the way in the Premier League, two points clear of Floriana.

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

But the FA Trophy ranks high on the agenda of Stefano Sanderra’s team and they are determined to do all it takes to overcome the Spartans and stay on course of winning the cup competition for the 11th time in their history.

“This is quite a delicate time in the season,” Hibernians assistant coach Ryan Pulis said.

“We find ourselves in a situation where we could win both the Premier League and the FA Trophy but we could also end up empty-handed and I’m sure many teams would like to be in our position. There is a lot of pressure on the team, but we are trying to transform it into a positive energy.

“At this point of the season, much of our work is not on the physical or tactical aspect of

the team but we focus a lot on the psychological aspect of the players.

“For us, the FA Trophy is very important and we are giving a lot of importance to this match. Our focus at the moment is solely on our next match against Ħamrun and the goal is to try and get the win that will permit us to move into the semi-finals.”

For Ħamrun Spartans, the FA Trophy has added significance this season.

The Reds have endured a disappointing campaign in the league where they are out of the reckoning to defend the title they won last season.

At present, the Spartans are fourth in the Premier League standings and outside of a place in European football so for them winning the FA Trophy is imperative if they are to return to UEFA club competitions this summer.

“This has been a rollercoaster season for us,” coach Branko Nisevic said.

“For a club like Ħamrun Spartans, playing in Europe is a must and we must find a way or means to reach this target. This is the fourth time that we are facing Hibernians this season and each match has been very entertaining and balanced and I expect nothing less this weekend.

“The build-up for this match was not good for us after our defeat to Gudja United. I don’t want to make any excuses but having some important players missing for that match hampered our cause and the team played at a very slow tempo, something that we cannot afford to do against Hibernians.

“I hope that we can recover some players for this weekend but I can assure you that we very motivated to get the right result against Hibernians as we are hellbent to get a ticket to European football.”

PROGRAMME

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

NATIONAL STADIUM

Valletta vs Marsaxlokk              14.00

Hibernians vs Ħamrun S.          17.30

PLAYING ON MONDAY

NATIONAL STADIUM

Floriana vs Birkirkara  19.00

TONY BEZZINA STADIUM

Gżira Utd vs Sta Lucia  19.00

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four × four =

Advertisement
Advertisement

More in FA Trophy