Advert

Nisevic banking on team chemistry in tough debut

Branko Nisevic during Malta's training session. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Branko Nisevic during Malta's training session. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

A new campaign always brings with it new challenges and the Malta national team will make its debut in the newly-launched UEFA Nations League against the Faroe Islands tomorrow with a new technical staff at the helm determined to inject fresh impetus to a group of players who have struggled for results on the international scene in recent years.

When Ray Farrugia was handed the job of new national coach last May, his first move was to bring in Branko Nisevic as his right hand man as he identified the former Hibs and Gzira mentor as the ideal man to assist him in rejuvenating the national team set up.

Nisevic wasted little time to embark on this exciting new challenge and he is determined to help his former mentor at Pieta Hotspurs to revive the fortunes of a national team who last experienced a win in an international competition in June 2013 when they beat Armenia 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier.

“After leaving Gzira United I decided to take a short break from the game to recharge myself and wait for the right challenge,” Nisevic told The Times of Malta.

“When Ray offered me the chance to be his assistant with the national team I didn’t think twice to accept. I have always enjoyed a great relationship with him from the days he was my coach at Pieta Hotspurs and also from the time I was the Malta U-19 coach and he was in charge of the U-21s.

“We share a very similar football philosophy so it was natural for me to embark on this new challenge with him.”

Since Farrugia replaced Tom Saintfiet as Malta national coach there has been growing optimism in the Maltese clan and the general consensus is that it’s all due to the new approach being undertaken by Farrugia and his technical staff.

“Since Ray took charge he made it clear that he wants his team to try and play positive football in a disciplined and organised way. The first indications during our friendlies against Armenia and Georgia have been very positive and hopefully we can continue to build on that.- Nisevic

Nisevic said that since taking charge of the team Farrugia has made it a priority with his coaching staff the importance to go into detail into the team’s preparation not only from a technical point of view but also from a tactical, physical and psychological aspect.

“I had already been part of the national team set up before but it’s the first time that the man in charge is bringing in the ideas of all the members of his technical staff and tries to make good use of them.

“Each member of the technical staff has an area to focus on and we bring our thoughts and ideas on the discussion table with the national coach and together we decide what’s the best approach to undertake.

“We record every training session and everyone sits down and sees where we can improve, even small things.

“This has made every member of the technical staff feel appreciated more and all coaches are approaching every day with renewed enthusiasm.”

Nisevic said that although Malta’s new technical staff have been only working together for a few months there has been a lot of ground work completed during last June’s training camp in Austria.

“Our training camp in Austria was of great benefit for the players as they had the opportunity to understand more the new way of play we are trying to introduce,” Nisevic said.

“Since Ray took charge he made it clear that he wants his team to try and play positive football in a disciplined and organised way. The first indications during our friendlies against Armenia and Georgia have been very positive and hopefully we can continue to build on that.

“Before we took charge, the national team players seemed to have lost the joy of representing their country and inevitably was reflected in their performances. Now things look better as there is great chemistry between the players and that bodes well for our hopes to do well in this competition.

“Our main goal in the UEFA Nations League is to try and collect points by playing attacking football and scoring goals. The match against the Faroe Islands will be our first real opportunity to do that.”

Nisevic said that contrary to what many Maltese fans might think, the match against the Faroe Islands represented a tough opener for the national team as we are playing a team who have showed remarkable improvement in the last few years.

“When the draw of the UEFA Nations League was held I drew the ranking of each team and the Faroe Islands were the highest ranked team in our group, in fact they are currently placed in 90th position,” Nisevic said.

“Their strongest point is without doubt the fact that they have 12 players who ply their trade abroad. Some of them play in Denmark and they also have a player who plays for Arminia Bielefeld in Germany. On the other hand we only have two players who are based outside the Premier League and that shows the difference in quality.

“But we are still approaching the match with a lot of positivity.

“We are looking at our adventure in the UEFA Nations League as a perfect opportunity to get the Maltese public behind the national team. Unfortunately in the last few years many people lost faith in our players and I have no doubt that a good performance in our next match against the Faroe Island and Azerbaijan next week will surely revive the enthusiasm around the national team.”

Comments not loading? We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with javascript turned on.
Comments powered by Disqus  
Advert
Advert