Valletta coach Danilo Doncic is banking on the team’s spirit and determination as the Citizens will be looking to defy the odds and upset neighbours Floriana in Sunday’s FA Trophy final.
Valletta are coming into this final following a rather low-key season which saw them drop into the Play-Out group.
However, this final represents for them a great opportunity to not only end the season in style with a major piece of silverware but more importantly secure European football next season.
Coach Danilo Doncic described this game as Valletta’s biggest of the season.
“In football, we always say that every game is important, but this is one is a very important game for us as we are still not qualified for European football,” the Serbian coach said.
“When I came here last February, I found a team that had not won a match for three months and that is not acceptable for a club like Valletta. But slowly I worked hard from a psychological point of view with the players to try and lift the morale and restore some confidence.
“Slowly the team improved and after securing our status in the Premier League we also managed to reach the final of the FA Trophy. Now the goal is clear – to win the final and go into Europe as well.”
Doncic said that one positive aspect shown by his team in recent weeks was the great character on the pitch, as shown in the semi-final win over Sta Lucia, where the team had to show great resilience before managing to overcome their opponents for a place in the final.
“The semi-final against Sta Lucia was a clear example of the great bond that exists among our players,” Doncic said.
“We faced a very good team in Sta Lucia who put on us a lot of pressure. But the players remained united not only on the pitch but also on the bench and thanks to the huge support of our fans – which are always our 12th player on the pitch – we managed to reach the final.
“On Sunday, I expect a big ‘festa’ as matches between Valletta and Floriana always attract a huge crowd.
“I am sure both teams will show their qualities but I have no doubt that my players will give more than 100 per cent to try and win the match and hopefully we can return to the capital with the FA Trophy in our hands.”
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