Balzan coach Oliver Spiteri has urged his players to keep up their focus levels as they look to finish the job against Slovenian side NK Domzale and progress to the second qualifying round of the UEFA Conference League.
Buoyed by last week’s impressive 4-1 win in Slovenia, the Maltese Premier League club are huge favourites to set up a second qualifying round tie against Liechtenstein’s FC Vaduz or Neman Grodno, of Belarus.
Spiteri told the Times of Malta that it would be foolish of his players if they had to take the pitch against Domzale with the impression that the job is already done as he expects the Slovenian side to do everything in their power to overturn the tie.
“It’s very important that we take the pitch fully concentrated and focused as the tie is far from over,” Spiteri said.
“It would be very dangerous if we approach the match with the thought that we are already through as it is clearly not the case. I am sure that Domzale will take the pitch determined to turn the tie around and we need to make sure we give them the respect they deserve as they are a very strong side.”
Spiteri said that he was pleased by how the club’s new signings have integrated quickly in the squad and emphasised that it’s all down to the excellent team spirit that exists in the dressing room.
“Here at Balzan we are blessed to have a very united dressing room,” Spiteri said.
“When the new signings arrived at the club, all the players made sure that they felt welcome and that made it easier for them to adapt to their new surroundings very quickly.
“Their performance in the first leg mirrored that as all the players did very well.
“Still I believe that we can play better than we did last week and we will continue to work hard to achieve this aim and ensure we maximise our potential.” The Balzan coach said that he wants his players to believe in themselves when they take the pitch for today’s match.
“I want my players to be determined and concentrated to try and finish the job,” he said.
“I believe that the most important factor that can help us seal qualification is that we believe in ourselves. Domzale will be keen on turning the result around and it’s up to us to ensure that we keep them at bay and go on and kill off the tie.”
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