Devis Mangia satisfied with team’s performance following draw with Latvia

Malta head coach Devis Mangia was satisfied with the team’s performance as the national team collected its first point in a 1-1 draw with Latvia in the second match from Group D1 of the UEFA Nations League.

“In this game, we started on a very good note. We played a very good 15-25 minutes and scored another good goal.  Then the performance started going down bit by bit. However one has to consider that this period for us is really, really difficult. “

“Latvia players played at least fifteen league games and on the other hand, our players did not play any friendly matches, sometimes not even at club level. We had a big problem, even with some players unable to train due to quarantine. They gave everything on the pitch.”

Photo: Copyright Jonathan Bugeja

“It is clear that we need to improve. I could not ask for more and I am happy with what I saw from the these two games. Clearly we have to improve but I am sure that after training, some league matches, we would be better from a physical point of view.”

“I can only say good words and congratulate all the players – those who played and the rest of the squad who worked hard throughout the past days. They put everything in practice.”

With regards to the absence of Andrei Agius from the starting line-up, Mangia said “We decided to make some changes since we have other very good players. We decided to start with Pepe and Teuma, who, in my opinion, both played a very good game. All the players played well including the substitutes, Andrei Agius, Jake Grech and Steve Pisani, all showing a very good attitude. So I am happy from this point of view.”

Defender Zach Muscat, who has just agreed a move to Portuguese LigaPro (second division) side Casa Pia, added “We are showing improvement, both defensively and offensively. We are working a lot in training on how to keep the ball and this is showing as possession rate is increasing. “

“The training camp in July and the last few days are reflecting well. In fact, we are scoring goals which are the result of the work on the training grounds,” added Muscat.