Marseille’s Malinovsky lauds Maltese collective effort
Ukraine’s coach Serhiy Rebrov has urged his team to improve their performance when they face Malta in their fourth Euro 2024 qualifier, in Slovakia.
Rebrov’s side are at the back of a comeback victory over North Macedonia which handed them their first three points of the campaign after losing to England in their opening game.
North Macedonia, who beat Malta 2-1 in the first game, opened a two-goal lead in the first half as they were set to secure a second straight home win.
“We have to think about our game when we face Malta,” Rebrov told a news conference.
“I told my players about it. We have to respect the opponent but the result depends on we play as well.
Therefore, I expect a different game than in the first half in Skopje.”
Turning things in favour to Ukraine was Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk who produced two assists to propel a second-half turnaround and win 3-2.
Asked about the importance of Mudryk in this team, Rebrov, instead, heaped praise on the collective effort which was important to seal the win.
“I generally do not like to single out anyone especially because there was no team in the first half against North Macedonia,” Rebrov said.
“I believe that looking for a leader is not necessary but instead we have to work as a team because what matters is the result.”
Rebrov, 75 caps with the Ukraine national team, is expecting a tough match against Malta.
“They have very skilled players and I am sure they have prepared for this game in the best possible way.”
The Ukraine coach is expected to make some changes from the starting formation that faced North Macedonia in Skopje.
One of the players hoping to be fielded from the start is Ruslan Malinovskyi, former Atalanta and now on the books of Olympique Marseille.
The 30-year-old, who is one game away from collecting his 55th cap, also shed light on Malta’s team work and their ability to fight together for a positive result.
Ukraine faced Malta just once with the Maltese side stunning the Ukrainian selection, then coached by Andriy Shevchenko, thanks to a Zach Muscat goal in an international friendly played in 2017.
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