Devis Mangia urges everyone to keep feet on the ground

Malta coach Devis Mangia urged everyone to keep their feet on the ground following the 1-0 win over Latvia at the Daugavas stadions in Riga on Tuesday.

For Malta, this was the first win in a UEFA Nations League match, the first away win since the win over Armenia in June 2013 and the first time Malta managed to obtain four consecutive positive results since 2002.

“This match is the first away win in many years. It is the fourth consecutive positive result for Malta – something I do not think happened several times before – and the third game in which we did not concede a goal. These are some positive points but we are still at the beginning of this project in a period during which, due to COVID, it was not easy to work. I think we are on the right track.”

Photos: Copyright © domenic aquilina/MFA

“The only thing I told the players before the game was ‘I ask only one thing … believe in yourself’. We showed good personality. We did suffer at times, especially in negative transition when we lost some balls. At the end of the first half, I was really happy and obviously, now I am even more with a win but even before because they did what I had asked them and this was important.”

However, Mangia urged caution. “There will be times where results will not be like this. For example, after the game against Andorra, some were complaining. We have to be really, really cautious because this is a long process. Definitely this type of result helps but we have to be cautious and continue to work hard altogether – the players, the staff, the fans, the press, as on our own we can do nothing.”

“I want to thank the players for the performance and the staff as together, they all did a good job. I am happy for the association, for the players, for my staff because I think that for what we have been doing since July, we deserved this. It is clear that this is only one step in our project and we need to continue working hard to improve but definitely this result will make players even more confident that we are on the right track.”

This win put Malta in second place in Group D1 of the UEFA Nations League on five points, five behind leaders Faroe Islands. On November 14, Malta hosts Andorra at Ta’ Qali and on the same day, the Faroe Islands face Latvia in Riga. Three days later, Malta hosts the Faroe Islands at Ta’ Qali.

Before these final two matches, Malta will be playing a friendly match against Liechtenstein on November 11.

Photos: Copyright © domenic aquilina/MFA