Jurgen Pisani described Santa Lucia’s come-from-behind victory over fellow rivals Pietà Hotspurs as ‘massive’ as the Saints finally notched their first success in this season’s Premier League at the eighth attempt on Saturday.
Santa Lucia entered Saturday’s direct clash against fellow rivals Pietà Hotspurs under a huge bout of pressure as they had only one point to show after seven outings and failure to gain maximum points could see the team lose significant ground from the other relegation contenders.
It looked as though Santa Lucia were set for another difficult afternoon when Nick Ghio put the Hotspurs ahead early in the first half.
But the Saints produced a strong response with Nicholas Pulis levelling matters and from then on the team managed to take control before finally grabbing the all-important goal through the prolific Francisco Farias late in the second half.
The result moved Santa Lucia off the bottom spot as they now moved on the four-point mark, one clear of Pietà and level with Żebbuġ Rangers with Sirens just a point ahead.
“It was a massive win for us,” skipper Pisani told the Times of Malta.
“For us, there was only one result, to win the match, as even if we had finished the match in a draw we would still remain bottom. It was crucial to take all three points to boost the team’s morale and hopefully now we can kickstart our season.”
Pisani admitted that he feared the worst when Pietà took an early lead.
“When we found ourselves one goal behind against the run of play, it’s inevitable that you start fearing the worst,” the former Floriana defender said.
“Tactically Pietà were very good but until their goal we had the best opportunities. But after conceding the goal we managed to keep control of our nerves and luckily we quickly got back on track with Nicholas Pulis’ equalizer.
“At half-time we sat down with our coach Pablo Sanchez Cortes and made some slight changes that worked perfectly in the second half where we were in total control and we fully deserved to go on and take all three points.”
Pisani admitted that Santa Lucia’s preparations for the new season were not ideal and inevitably that had an impact on their performances at the start of the season.
“The fact that there was a lot of uncertainty this summer on whether we were playing in the Premier League or the Challenge League worked against us as the club could be active in the market like other clubs,” Pisani said.
“Added to that, the arrival of a Spanish coach reserved a few challenges for us players as his methodology is completely different from what we are used to here in Malta so we needed time to understand well his idea.
“But in recent weeks things started to improve, as mirrored in our performances against Marsaxlokk (2-2) and Hibernians (2-3).
“The players have a better understanding of what the coach wants and this win will inject much-needed confidence to kickstart our campaign from now on.”
Next up for Sta Lucia, is another clash against another relegation rival, Sirens, and Pisani said that the three points are vital from this match.
“We have another important match coming up against Sirens,” Pisani said. “It’s a great opportunity for us as if we manage to win the match we might be able to move out of the relegation zone.
“There is great belief in our group now and hopefully this new wave of enthusiasm can help us to go on a run of results that can boost of our hopes of putting ourselves in a strong position to retain our status.”
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