Returning Mifsud keen to help Citys title challenge Published on: 07-03-2017
The sight of Michael Mifsud approaching the touchline as a second-half substitute was met with cheers by the Valletta supporters on Sunday.
The veteran striker was making his long-awaited return from injury against Mosta after eight weeks on the sidelines.
Early this year, Mifsud was advised to seek treatment to cure a slipped disc which eventually meant he had to go under the knife.
After almost two months of a painstaking rehabilitation programme, the former Kaiserslautern and Coventry City goal-getter was back to full fitness and given his first taste of competitive action last weekend when he replaced Maximilian Velasco with 16 minutes left and City already leading 3-0.
Mifsud took little time to remind the fans what they had been missing when nine minutes later he embarked on a typical surging run before setting up team-mate Luke Montebello to fire home Valletta’s fourth goal.
Contacted by Times of Malta yesterday, Mifsud said that he was relieved to have finally made it back to the field of play.
“Really, I feel like I’m born again,” Mifsud said. “The past two months were difficult for me. Football is my biggest passion and being forced to sit on the sidelines for such a long time left a huge hole in my life.
“I worked really hard during rehabilitation and I followed all the instructions my doctors gave me. I thank God that both the operation and the rehabilitation went very well and according to plan.
“Actually, I made it back earlier than expected but now that I’m fully fit I’m looking forward to help Valletta’s bid to retain the league title.”
Sunday’s victory enabled the Citizens to remain four points adrift of leaders Balzan and three behind second-placed Hibernians.
Mifsud said that he is now determined to do everything he can to help his team recover lost ground in the run-in for the championship.
“It’s a perfect time to return to action as the title race has now reached a decisive stage,” Mifsud reckoned.
“As things stand we are engaged in a close tussle with Balzan and Hibernians who have already proved that they are very strong sides but we are ready to fight till the end to stay in contention.
“There are nine matches to go but we are not looking too far ahead. As the coach said we are taking it one game at a time and although we don’t have a very long squad at the moment I believe we still have enough to sustain our push till the end.
“I feel fresh and motivated and I want to see my team becoming Malta champions again. As for the national team, it’s coach Ghedin who decides so I have to make sure that I stay fit and ready to give my contribution.”
Mifsud’s return from injury is also a welcome boost for Pietro Ghedin ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Slovakia at home on March 26.
The Italian coach was at the National Stadium on Sunday, along with his assistant Ray Farrugia. He said he was pleased to see that the national team’s all-time leading scorer was finally back in business.
“Michael Mifsud is a very important player for the national team and it’s a big boost for us to see him back on the pitch fully recovered,” Ghedin said.
“It’s still early days to decide on his participation in our next World Cup qualifier against Slovakia. There’s little time left and we still have to determine which players will make the squad.
“But the most important thing at the moment is that Michael is healthy and he remains fit and continues to work hard.
“He needs to show on the pitch that he has recovered his match sharpness. On Sunday he played the last 15 minutes or so but he looked sharp and that’s a very positive sign for the player, Valletta and the national team.”
Source - timesofmalta
Source - timesofmalta