Malta national teams head coach Devis Mangia says that his team needs to have the belief and the willingness to achieve victory by a two-goal margin in Estonia on Friday to secure promotion to the UEFA Nations League C.
The national team head to Tallinn on Thursday morning for their final assignment in this year’s UEFA Nations League. After last June’s disappointing 2-1 defeat to Estonia at the National Stadium, Malta must win Friday’s decider by at least a two-goal margin if they are to secure an historical promotion to League C.
“To have an environment that thinks that we can get promoted I think is already a big achievement,” Mangia said during an interview with the MFA Communications Department.
“This is because may be up to a few years ago we did not believe that we could achieve something like this.
“When I met the journalists a few months ago, they told me ‘coach with San Marino six points’ and that is normal given that we were facing a team that is ranked below us in the FIFA list.
“But one has to remember that in June our situation was very difficult. A lot of things happened, particularly one very bad thing where we lost one important member of our group and in that situation it is very difficult to go on the pitch irrespective of the opponent, so to get the result was very good.”
Mangia admitted that the national team faces a very difficult task to win promotion but he said this achievement can only be fulfilled if the players have the willingness to go on the pitch and get the job done.
“If you look at Estonia, they are ranked 110 in the world while we are 169 – 50 places above us,” Mangia said.
“It’s clear that they are favourites to win the group. But we need to have the willingness to go there and achieve something. In our history, it was only one time that we won a competitive match by a two-goal margin, against San Marino in June. And if we want to make history we need to believe in our ability to do it.
“If we get the result we are all aiming for or not, it doesn’t change our prospects for the future as we still need to continue to work and grow as we believe that there is still big room for improvement.
“We cannot think that if we win everything is perfect or if we lose everything is bad. This is a long-term process and we need to continue to push and work. We cannot be influenced by one very positive result or a negative result.”