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Paiber tells Valletta FC to keep fighting after important win over Balzan

Valletta midfielder Brandon Paiber (right) tackles Matthew Guillaumier. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Brandon Paiber believes that Valletta FC must continue to show their fighting spirit and be patient if they are to turn their season around.

Last weekend, the Malta international played a key role to help the Citizens see off Balzan 3-1 at the Centenary Stadium and bring to an end a poor run of five matches without a win.

Goals from Kylian Bevis, Oke Akpoveta and Shaun Dimech earned the spoils to the capital club who have now moved up on the nine-point mark, four clear of the relegation zone.

Paiber admitted that the Citizens were under a lot of pressure to get a result against Balzan.

“We took the field for the match against Balzan under a lot of pressure,” Paiber said.

“It had been five matches since our last win and we were desperate to get the three points on the board to start moving up the standings. When you play for a club like Valletta there is always a lot of pressure to win matches and added to that seeing the team in that position in the standings further complicated our situation.

“But we stuck together as a team and kept fighting throughout the 90 minutes.”

Paiber said that the team needed to be patient to get the win against Balzan.

“They had a very good start to the season and boast a number of talented players. We managed to take the lead but then they put us under a bit of possession and managed to level matters.

“But here we refused to panic and continued to be patient and fight for each other on the pitch. That proved important

as we went on to score two second half goals that gave us a very important win that surely has given us a lot of belief on our capabilities.”

Bad judgement

Asked what Valletta’s main problem during their recent lean spell was, Paiber said that bad judgement in key moments of the match had played a part.

“It’s very difficult to say,” the former Floriana midfielder said.

“Against Floriana we were unlucky to lose the match in the final stages. Then against Ħamrun Spartans we gave a good account of ourselves, particularly in the second half, and fully deserved to to take a point.

“We did have a poor display against Birkirkara while against Mosta we were continously being caught with their quick counter attacks and maybe we were not wise enough in how we approached the match.

“But since the match against Gżira, the team is showing great character and we need to continue to build on this.”

Next up for Valletta is a clash against newly-promoted side Żebbuġ Rangers at the Tony Bezzina Stadium on Sunday, and Paiber said that it was crucial for Valletta not to look much ahead and just take it one game at a time.

“Now it’s time for us to try and build on all the positive things that we have shown in the last two matches against Gżira United and Balzan,” Paiber said.

“We should not look too much ahead but it will be wiser if we just focus on one game at time. Next up is a match against Żebbuġ Rangers and we just need to make sure that we are ready to deliver next weekend.

“It’s clear what are the targets we want to reach this season but to fulfil our objectives we need to take it one step at a time. We are aware of the potential of our team we just need to continue to work hard to ensure we perform consistently week in week out.”

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