Local Sport > National Football > HOGG FOCUSING ON POSITIVES AHEAD OF STERN KOSOVO TEST

HOGG FOCUSING ON POSITIVES AHEAD OF STERN KOSOVO TEST

The Malta squad arrived in Pristina on Tuesday evening ahead of Thursday’s UEFA Nations League Group D3 match against Kosovo at the Fadil Vokrri Stadium.

Malta coach Ray Farrugia has brought 24 players with Valletta left-back Joseph Zerafa only eligible to play in the second game against Azerbaijan on Sunday as he is suspended for the Kosovo encounter.

Kosovo lead Group D3 with four points and are regarded as favourites to win this section and progress to the UEFA Nations League play-offs.

Malta clearly face a difficult task against Kosovo but the resilient performance in the 1-1 draw in the last outing against Azerbaijan has strengthened Andrew Hogg’s optimism.

“The positive result against Azerbaijan gives us optimism for these two games,” the experienced goalkeeper said.

“If we remain disciplined and compact as a unit, and follow the coaches’ instructions, we can claim something from these matches.”

Hogg is aware that Kosovo are, on paper, the strongest team but he prefers to concentrate on our team.

Kosovo are supposedly the strongest team in this group but we need to look at them as a normal football team,” he said.

“I mean we are all humans and we have no reason to fear them.

“We need to play our game... we showed against Azerbaijan that we can play well and we are also comfortable with the ball.”

The upbeat atmosphere among the Malta squad is another source of optimism for Hogg.

“I’ve seen a notable difference,” Hogg said.

“The atmosphere is great, we’re more united. There is more friendship between the players and more optimism. It’s a place where I’m happy to come here and be part of this group.”

After landing in Pristina on Tuesday evening, the Malta squad will have their official training session at the Fadil Vokrri Stadium on Wednesday.
 
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