Greens out to avoid further humiliation
Already eight goals down, crisis-hit Floriana will be looking to avoid further humiliation when they host Swedish side Elfsborg in the second leg of their Europa League first qualifying round match this evening at the Hibs Stadium (kick-off 5.30 p.m.).
Lifting the players’ morale after an 8-0 hiding is already a huge, almost impossible task, but to complicate matters for player-coach Ivan Woods, he must make do without defender Tyrone Farrugia and midfielder Joseph Borg.
Farrugia is suspended after being sent off in last week’s game in Sweden and Borg is sidelined with a knee injury.
“Personally, I hate going into a match when your aim is not to concede many goals but the present situation at Floriana is very difficult,” Woods said.
“Before last week’s game, the media made a big fuss about the fact that one of the Elfsborg players was about to make his Europa League debut and I told them, at the news conference, that we had six who had never played in Europe before.”
Floriana knew that they were in for a tough game but Woods was surprised that the Swedish league leaders kept pressing for more goals after going 8-0 up.
“They kept coming at us,” Woods said.
“We were already 8-0 down after 61 minutes... it was not because they stopped pushing that they didn’t add to their tally. They wanted more.”
It said all about Floriana’s current plight that Woods only had 15 players at his disposal for last Thursday’s game.
“I must admit that I almost felt sorry for my players,” Woods said.
“It felt like throwing lambs in a lions’ den. But, the players are doing their best in the circumstances.”
The referee of today’s match is Nikola Popov, of Bulgaria.