Maroons aim at bowing out on a high

Gzira United hope to bow out of the UEFA Europa League on a high as they take on Radnicki Niš in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday, kick-off at 18:00.

Following a 4-0 defeat in Niš, the Maroons have no realistic chances of making it to the next stage. However they will go out to end their commitments on a positive note by possibly getting a positive result.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Gzira coach Darren Abdilla said: “We knew that we had a difficult game. They are a good team, well organised and they played very well. We are expecting that they will perform again in the second leg.”

“We learned a lot from the first game. Now we aim at not only minimising the damage but at trying to get something positive. Knowing their strength, we are not expecting to qualify but we will give our best.”

Darren Abdilla went on to explain what he felt went wrong in the first leg.

“I think and believe individual mistakes made whole difference. They are a step ahead but we contributed with our mistakes for a heavy defeat. At this level, you get punished for every mistake.”

The Gzira coach revealed that Andrew Cohen will be back after skipping the first leg as he was unwell. He said his inclusion will not be the only change.

Facing a Serbian club in front of their loyal supporters is never easy. “This was our first experience as a club but even the experienced players said it was one of the hostile crowds they ever experienced. It was difficult having a large crowd supporting the home team which is not something we are used to,” added Abdilla.

Roderick Briffa is set to establish a record 41st appearance in European matches at club level. He currently shares the record with Gilbert Agius.