Malta national team head coach Devis Mangia stressed on the need to focus on the long-term while addressing a press conference at the Centenary Stadium on Wednesday ahead of the friendly double header against Azerbaijan and Kuwait.
Malta hosts Azerbaijan on Friday 25 and Kuwait on Tuesday 29. Both matches will be played at the National Stadium, kick-off at 19:00.
Photos courtesy of domenic aquilina / Malta FA
Although these matches will be serving as preparation for the forthcoming UEFA Nations League matches in programme in June, the Malta coach shifted his focus on his long-term targets.
He said that his target is long-term, aiming at creating a big pool of players, for example born 2004 and 2005.
“If we work in the right way with that group, only then we can speak about the results.”
“We will try to do our best in the short and medium term but if we want to change the football in this country we have to look at the future,” added Mangia.
“We are investing a lot, we are working a lot at youth level – Under-18, Under-17, Under-16 and Under-15 … we have to push with these players.”
“It is clear that we will do our job but to obtain something, our work will not be enough. We need the performance of the players who we believe in and the contribution by all stakeholders – the clubs, the MFA, the media … everybody. We have to work in this direction.”
The Malta coach once again stressed that the doors of the national team are open to everyone and that the selection of players is based on several factors. He said that a member of the technical staff is always present during games and a report is drawn after the game and such reports are used to determine the selection along with other information with regards to their fitness – strength and performance.
In the last two outings, Malta suffered heavy defeats to Croatia and Slovakia and Mangia will be using these games to gauge the team’s progress and assess the level the physical condition of more players.