The Malta Under-21 side will play Bosnia & Herzegovina in an international friendly on Friday in Zagreb, Croatia, kick-off at 17:00.
Day eight of the training camp in Slovenia for the Malta U21 National Team, as coach Gilbert Agius is expecting Bosnia to be a tough opposition for Malta U21 when the two sides meet in an international friendly match in Zagreb.
Asked about the previous friendly match against Qatar U23 Olympic Team, coach Gilbert Agius said that there are several factors why our opponents were able to dominate the game from start to finish.
“We knew before the game that our opponents were in better condition then us, both physically and technically. Our players have been inactive since March – for three months. It is true that we spent a few weeks together to bring fitness back, but we believe that training alone is not enough, these players want more games.
“Unfortunately, even the fact that these players play at a youth or lower level than the Maltese Premier League is also a disadvantage, let alone that they have been inactive since March.
“However, I think the players have tried to do what we want from them. Obviously, we are not happy with the result.
“The performance was analysed, worked hard on our mistakes during these four days and hopefully we will not repeat same mistakes.
“We knew that there is a gap, and therefore we have to be realistic and understand what our limitations are and what we can achieve.
“One must also keep in mind that this was the first match for this group. A group of which is composed of 15 players who were yet to make their debut. Therefore, I think they also need some time until everyone is on the same wavelength.”
Speaking to www.mfa.com.mt on the objectives ahead of the second scheduled friendly match, coach Gilbert Agius said that goal is to get these kids into the same football philosophy of the National Team coach, they are trying to understand and implement it both in training sessions and also in games.
“Against Bosnia it will be another difficult match, we already know that from the physical and technical aspects we will already be at a disadvantage because their leagues have continued – the only leagues that were terminated due to the pandemic in the world are the Maltese – and, same as Qatar, they are ranked in the top 60 in the FIFA World Rankings.
“Same as the first friendly match, our job is to try to implement the philosophy of football that the national team coach wants from us. The players know this, and I hope that we avoid the mistakes made in the previous match and move a step forward”, Agius concluded.
Malta v Bosnia friendly international at the tail end of Malta’s U21 training camp in Slovenia, on Friday at 5pm in Zagreb, Croatia.
Match will be streamed live on the following link.