Watch: Gżira United's coach Abdilla calls for focus

Cohen confident in his team's chances

Video: Elisa Lemarchand

Gżira United may be 90 minutes away from an historic qualification from the Europa League Preliminary Round at the expense of Andorra’s UE Sant Julia but coach Darren Abdilla is urging his players to keep their full focus as they look to finish the job in tonight’s second leg at the Centenary Stadium (kick-off: 7pm).

The Maroons head into today’s second leg with their destiny firmly in their hands as goals from Amadou Samb and Jorginho handed them a precious 2-0 first leg win in La Vella a fortnight ago.

Still, Gżira coach Abdilla is not underestimating the threat posed by his Andorran opponents and said that his players still had a job to do as they look to seal qualification and set up a second qualifying round tie against Serbia’s Radnicki NIS.

“We are certainly approaching the match with the same intensity and concentration that we had before last week’s first leg,” Abdilla told the Times of Malta.

“It’s true we are in a favourable position after winning the first leg 2-0. However, in football anything can happen and we are determined to go out and put up a show for our fans and try and wrap up qualification with a convincing victory.

“Saint Julia will surely try to make it difficult for us. As we saw in the first leg, they are a very disciplined from a tactical point of view but may be we are superior from a technical aspect and we have to make the most of that.”

Roderick Briffa during Gżira United's training session, yesterday. Photo: Elisa LemarchandRoderick Briffa during Gżira United's training session, yesterday. Photo: Elisa Lemarchand

The Gżira coach has almost a full squad available with the only doubt being goalkeeper Anthony Curmi who is nursing a muscle injury.

New signing Jorginho is pushing for a starting berth after the Brazilian came on as a second half substitute against Saint Julia last week to score a second goal and could partner Amadou Samb upfront.

Abdilla has already led Gżira to an historic feat last season when guiding the club to a return to UEFA club competition for the first time after an absence of 45 years. Tonight, the Maroons can further re-write the club’s history books with their first ever qualification but Abdilla said that he will only think of that achievement at the end of the match.

“Our mindset is focused on winning every match we play and we will only comment on any other achievements once these are achieved,” Abdilla said.

“Since I took charge here I tried to instil in the players a winning mentality and we will take the pitch against Saint Julia with just one goal in mind, that to win the match and progress to the next round of the competition.”


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