Scerri wants to see more fight as Reds face Nadur

Ħamrun goalkeeper effects a save against Floriana at the Tedesco Stadium. Photo: Steve Zammit Lupi

Ħamrun goalkeeper effects a save against Floriana at the Tedesco Stadium. Photo: Steve Zammit Lupi

Ħamrun Spartans coach Jacques Scerri is expecting a strong response from his players today as they take on Nadur Youngsters in the final FA Trophy third round fixture at the Gozo Stadium (kick-off: 19.00).

Scerri experienced a tough start as Reds coach when on Saturday he saw his new team produce a dismal second-half showing to suffer a comprehensive 5-1 defeat to Floriana in the BOV Premier League.

The former Tarxien Rainbows coach has spent the last couple of days urging his men to show more fighting spirit as Ħamrun look to overcome a tricky tie across the channel and set up a fourth round clash against Mqabba on January 18.

“That upset to Floriana was hard to fathom especially after the team’s bright showing in the first half,” Scerri said.

“But after conceding the second goal after the break it looked as though the team threw in the towel and stopped fighting… that’s unacceptable and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“This week, we analysed our last match and talked about our errors. It’s a good exercise and, hopefully, will improve the mental strength of the team.”

Ħamrun will be without defender Raphael who picked up an ankle injury last weekend but on a more positive note goalkeeper David Cassar recovered from groin trouble and is set start in goal against Nadur Youngsters.

Scerri has seen his selection options improve this week following the signings of U-21 defender Karl Micallef, from Pietà Hotspurs, and Manolito Micallef, who joined from Pembroke Athleta.

The Spartans are currently running the rule on Italian goalkeeper Ivan Cacchioli, formerly of Parma, as they expect the arrivals of midfielders Brandon Paiber and Igor Misan later this week.

Gozitan champions Nadur are in rich vein of form as Sunday’s 4-0 victory over SK Victoria Wanderers kept them at the top of the standings, level with Xewkija Tigers.

“No cup match is easy and Nadur will pose a threat playing on home soil,” Scerri said.

“They possess a few talented players so certainly we need to be on top of our game to surpass this hurdle and stay in the competition.”

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