Mifsud keen to play key role in Citys title quest Published on: 20-03-2018

Michael Mifsud provided a timely reminder of his scoring prowess when the veteran striker came off to bench to fire home an injurytime winner against St Andrews on Saturday that kept the Citizens in this season’s title race.

It looked as though Valletta’s hopes of winning the title would suffer another setback as the Citizens could not find a way past St Andrews goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona, with the woodwork denying them twice throughout the match as well.

But Mifsud came to his team’s rescue with a cool finish in the fourth minute of stoppage time to secure the three points that lifted Valletta to just one point behind leaders Balzan.

For the former Kaiserslautern and Coventry striker, Saturday’s goal was only his third in the Premier League this season.

“I am really pleased that I came on and gave a very important contribution to the team’s cause by scoring the winner against St Andrew’s,” the 36-year-old told Times of Malta yesterday.

“I’m a person that takes football very seriously and adopts a very professional approach. I give my 100 per cent in every single training session even when I’m not playing regularly as that mentality is part of my DNA.

“I’m proud to have helped the team get the points that keep us in the championship race and hopefully Balzan will slip up in the next three matches so we can take full advantage and win the title.”

Mifsud has struggled for regular first-team football at Valletta this season but despite the lack of playing time he hopes that his performance against St Andrews will convince coach Danilo Doncic to give him a place in the team for the final three fixtures.

“I cannot hide that as a striker it’s frustrating not to be on the pitch to help the team-mates to get the goals needed to win matches,” Mifsud said.

“But at the same time I respect all the decisions that our coach takes and I will continue to work hard to convince him that I deserve to be part of the first XI. I firmly believe that I can still give a lot to Valletta and hopefully I play a key role in helping the club in their quest for honours this season.

“Our goal is to keep up the pressure on Balzan by winning our next two matches and take the title race up to the final day of the season and who knows what might happen.”

Saturday’s goal came at the right time for Mifsud as he steps up his preparations with the national team ahead of the upcoming friendlies against Luxembourg on Thursday and Finland next Monday.

Mifsud, Malta’s all-time leading scorer with 40 goals in 127 appearances, said that he is looking forward to help national coach Tom Saintfiet build a competitive team ahead of the UEFA Nations League commitments in September.

“Playing for the national team is the biggest reward I can possibly receive,” Mifsud said.

“The atmosphere here is very good and all the players look refreshed. There is a great desire from all the players to bounce back from our defeat to Estonia last November but we are only in our second match with the coach so we need time to adjust to his tactics.

“He has already indicated to us that he is planning to make some tactical changes and hopefully we can get the best possible results against both Luxembourg and Finland.”

Mifsud said that he is fully behind Saintfiet’s philosophy of playing more offensive football but admitted that the team has to improve its defensive play.

“I really like the coach’s mindset of trying to make us play more attacking football,” Mifsud said.

“Personally to lose 1-0 or 4-0 doesn’t make much of a difference so I prefer that we try and go out for the win. The Estonia friendly exposed a lot of defensive frailties and we must improve on that but I’m positive that the national team has a bright future ahead.”

Source - Timesofmalta.com