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Zinnari pleased with Sta Lucia’s improvements but warns of a long relegation battle

Sta Lucia secured a vital win over Birkirkara in the Premier League on Sunday. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Alessandro Zinnari, the Santa Lucia coach, is relieved that his team’s hard work in training is finally paying off as the Saints have rediscovered their scoring touch to secure vital back-to-back victories over Gżira United and Birkirkara.

On Sunday, the Saints defied the odds to overcome European football chasers Birkirkara by the odd goal in three to move just two points adrift of safety.

“There haven’t been major changes in how we work, it’s just that finally we are managing to finish off the scoring chances that we are creating and that is putting us in a better position to win matches,” Zinnari said.

“My players have been working hard since the start of the season and during the first part of the campaign we struggled to put the ball into the net and that made it tough for us to win matches.

“Added to that, this year we have a new squad, with Jurgen Pisani the only player to remain at the club from last season so we needed time to gel together.

“But now the team seems to be more mature, and we are continuing to work hard.”

Zinnari said that the wins against Gżira United and Birkirkara were very important to keep the team in the running to secure safety but said there is still a long way to go in the battle for survival.

“Since the start of the season, I immediately said that with four teams losing their top-flight status we were always going to be among the candidates to battle for survival,” Zinnari said.

“Naxxar Lions have been the surprise package this season and all credit to them as they have managed to go on a run of results that put them clear of the relegation zone. But there are some prestigious teams fighting for survival this season and I’m sure it’s not going to be an easy ride.

“But I am not looking much at the standings. My focus is how the team performs and we are concentrated on being at our best for our next match.”

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