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We must show hunger and ambition to beat Floriana, says Valletta coach Micallef

Enmy Pena Beltre delivers a cross against Sirens. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Thane Micallef has called on his Valletta players to show the hunger and ambition to win all three points as the Citizens face their neighbouring rivals Floriana in a highly-anticipated derby at the National Stadium on Saturday (kick-off: 6.30pm).

Valletta have enjoyed a positive start to the season as they are still unbeaten after three matches following draws with Hibernians and Sirens as well as a 6-0 win over Pietà Hotspurs.

Derbies between Valletta and Floriana hold special significance for both sets of fans and Micallef admitted that while this match carried the usual three points, he is aware of how important this clash was for his club’s fans.

“There may be another three points at stake on Saturday, but we are aware of how important this match is for our fans,” Micallef told the Times of Malta.

“Derbies against Floriana hold special significance for our club and we want to take all three points. Our fans will demand that we give our best to try and win the match and we need to perform on the day to reach this objective.

“Floriana are coming into this match on the back of a disappointing defeat to Birkirkara and I am sure they will be desperate to provide a strong response.

“The key to victory on Saturday is for our players to show more ambition and hunger to take all three points.”

Micallef said that he has been satisfied with the progress shown by his team this season and while he was a bit disappointed not to take all three points against Sirens, he has no doubt that his team can still continue to grow in terms of performances.

“I am very pleased with the start of our season,” Micallef said.

“One has to look at from where we started our work. The team has undergone a lot of changes this summer, so inevitably, we need time to perform at our best.

“But the start of the season has been very encouraging so far. I was a bit disappointed that we failed to win against Sirens because I felt that we created enough chances to prevail on the day.

“However, we are still a work in process, and I am sure that if we continue to work hard this team can go places.”

Valletta will be without two key midfielders for this match as Rowen Muscat is still sidelined with injury while Brandon Paiber cannot face his old club as he must serve a one-match ban.

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