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Mosta FC eye another scalp as they face Gżira United test

Mosta came from a goal behind to beat Birkirkara last week. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Mosta FC will be bidding to confirm their status as the dark horses in the race for a European berth this season when they face Gżira United at the Centenary Stadium on Friday evening (kick-off: 7.30pm).

The Blues have been a huge revelation in the past few weeks as they managed to upset some high-profile opponents such as Valletta and Birkirkara which has seen them climb to sixth place in the standings on 14 points, just three points adrift of Birkirkara, Hibernians and Gudja United who are sharing third place.

On Friday, Joe Grech’s team faces another major test of their credentials when they take on second-placed Gżira United who are still licking their wounds following last week’s 2-1 defeat to leaders Ħamrun Spartans.

A win against the Maroons this evening will no doubt put Mosta as a serious candidate for a top-four finish this season.

Mario Muscat, Mosta’s technical director, said that he is delighted with the performances of the players so far this season but warned that it’s important that the team maintains a high level of consistency if they are to have lofty ambitions.

“This is another huge test for us,” Muscat told the Times of Malta.

“Gżira United are one of the in-form teams this season who have the potential to not only challenge for a place in Europe but also for the league title.

“My main focus is how my team is performing. While there is no doubt that we did well in recent weeks it’s key now that we keep our level of consistency. Competition is fierce in this year’s championship and the players have to perform well week in week out, we can’t afford off days.

“Our philosophy this year has been on playing attacking football. If you look at our statistics we are the team that has the highest number of shots on target and netted the highest number of goals with 17 along with Gżira United and Hibernians.

“Now it’s important to keep this going, that’s why it is key that we keep up our consistency levels.”

Muscat said that these are still early days to set a target for his Mosta team but made it clear that the next month will be crucial for their ambitions.

“These are still early days to say what are our aspirations for this season,” Muscat said.

“The next month is going to be crucial for us. After the match against Gżira we face Gudja United and Balzan and those results will decide whether we can challenge for a top placing or a mid-table position.

“In the meantime we will continue to work hard and try and improve as a team. We have several young players who we have decided to give them ample playing time and we are committed to maximise their potential.

“The club has a bright future and it’s up to us to make the most of this positive spell.”

Gżira United are heading into the clash against Mosta desperate to bounce back from a frustrating couple of weeks.

In fact, the Maroons have only managed to pick up just one point from their last two matches as apart from their defeat to Ħamrun Spartans, they were held to a goalless draw by Valletta.

Coach Darren Abdilla said that it’s time that his players roll up their sleeves and show their real potential if they want to stay on course on fulfiling their ambitions of challenging for at least a place in Europe this season.

“This match is the perfect opportunity to bounce back from a very frustrating fortnight,” Abdilla said.

“In the last two matches we only managed to pick up one point and that is not good enough if we are to either mount a league challenge or secure a European berth as early as possible.

“It’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and work hard as that is the only way for us to improve our level of consistency. In the last two matches, my players tried hard but it was not enough as our opponents were well prepared to counter our game.

“Mosta is quiet a difficult team to play against as while they have a group of overseas players who don’t play regularly, on the other hand they have a good block of Maltese players that have gelled well together. Added to that, Christ Ememe and Acheampong have a good experience with Maltese football and they are producing some great performances.

“If we want to beat Mosta we need to eradicate the silly mistakes that hampered our recent matches. Besides, even our approach to matches has to change, you cannot be fully determined in one match and then show lack of heart in the next.

“Consistency is key in football and you cannot aspire to reap success if you don’t produce your best in every match you play.”

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