City showed they deserved to win title says Doncic Published on: 06-02-2018

There were no real winners in Sunday’s titanic league clash between leaders Balzan and nearest rivals Valletta as the two title contenders played out a dire goalless draw at the National Stadium

However, Balzan were the happier at the end of the match as the Reds have managed to preserve their three-point lead over Valletta in the standings.

On the other hand, the Citizens were visibly frustrated for failing to make the most of their secondhalf pressure as they could not find a way past goalkeeper Sean Mintoff, thus leaving Balzan still in the driving seat in this season’s title race.

“For us, this was a decent result,” Vladimir Simovic, Balzan’s technical director told the Times of Malta.

“It was a drab game with not many scoring opportunities and in the end I believe the final result suited us more as we preserved our three-point advantage at the top.”

In the pre-match build up, Balzan coach Marko Micovic had vowed to adopt attacking tactics against Valletta but in reality the Reds took a more prudent approach as they struggled to create any danger to the Valletta defence.

“I think given the circumstances we found ourselves in, it was the coach’s decision to be more prudent,” Simovic said.

“Valletta pressed us high on the pitch and that made it very difficult for us to play our game. We certainly didn’t want to take any risks and in the end we were happy to take a point.

“Surely one positive to come out of this match was our defensive organisation. In the last few weeks we are defending better and better and on Sunday I felt that we stood tall in front of Valletta’s pressure.

“Championships are not only won by scoring goals but also through a good defence and we’re certainly heading in the right direction.”

Next up for Balzan is a clash against Floriana and Simovic is bracing himself for another tough test.

“Things don’t get easier for us as next week we have another difficult match against a Floriana side who are brimming with confidence after their win against Ħamrun Spartans,” the former Red Star scout said.

“Floriana are back in the running for a top three placing and surely they will do everything it takes to get a result against us. But we will make sure to be ready for them and hopefully we can get back to winning ways to take another step towards winning the title.”

On his part, Danilo Doncic, the Valletta coach, was visibly frustrated by the final result. The Serbian mentor said that his team showed on Sunday that they were clearly the better side and should have been rewarded with the three points.

“It’s difficult not to be disappointed after such a good performance,” Doncic said. “Valletta without question played the better football and we were the only team trying to win the match.

We created several scoring chances but we simply could not put the ball into the net. “It’s difficult to explain why we are struggling so much to score goals. May be we are low in confidence and that is affecting us during matches.

But we will continue to work hard and I’m sure that we will come good.” Despite Sunday’s failure to close the gap on Balzan, Doncic still believes that Valletta will go on and win the title.

“Our result against Balzan has not changed my idea that we will be crowned champions come the end of the season,” he said.

“We proved on the pitch that we are a better team than Balzan and hopefully now we can go on a run that will help us to lift the championship trophy.

“I don’t think that it will be a two-horse race as I firmly believe that Birkirkara and Gżira United could have a major say on where the championship will go.

“The most important thing now is to take care of ourselves and make sure that we don’t drop points in any of the remaining seven matches.

“I’m sure that if we do that we will win the title.” 

Source - Times of Malta