The Malta national team were set through their paces at the Baku Olympic Stadium on Saturday, home of their next UEFA Nations League encounter against Azerbaijan on Sunday.
After last Thursday's defeat against Kosovo, the Maltese players are called for a better performance on the field in order to gain something from this match even though Malta's last positive result on away soil in competitive games goes back to 2013.
One of the players geared up for this challenge is Andrei Agius, scorer of Malta's last two goals in this competition including his momentarily lead over the Azeris last month.
"The match against Azerbaijan is a very difficult one because we are going to face an Azeri side hungry for victory in order to challenge Kosovo for the group," Agius told a news conference at the Olympic Stadium.
"We know that Azerbaijan are good because we already faced them but we are determined and focused to claim something from this game."
Meanwhile, Agius also took time to address the Maltese supporters prior to Sunday's game during the press conference, saying that their support is important but at the same time, they have to be more constructive in their criticism towards the national team.
"If we take the Kosovo example, it is very straightforward to explain why they are a strong nation because given they are a new UEFA member, they were allowed to call up players who have already played for other national teams and boast huge international experience, hence they are just temporarily part of our League," the Hibernians defender explained.
"When criticising us, I wish that our supporters would be more informed about our opponents and our current football situation.
"There is one magic word that makes the difference and that is professionalism. We have to understand that since football and other sports do not enjoy professional status in Malta, it is difficult for us to reach the levels of other nations who invest a lot in this sector."
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