Yesterday is Gone - but on Sunday we go again - Roy Chipolina, Gibraltar's Captain, on last night in Liege looking forward to Sunday

Losing 9-0 to anyone is hard to take for any footballer, no matter who the opposition may be. Mitigating factors may, or may not, have played their part in last nights’ defeat in Liege against Belgium – the domestic season in Gibraltar has not started, the vast majority of the players in Gibraltar’s 23 man squad are still in the early stages of their club’s pre season preparations. But it is what it is, and something that was known well before this current international window opened. The fact remains Belgium were far superior to Gibraltar last night, in every department, and the whole squad and support staff now have to take stock, dust themselves down and go again, in two days time, against a Bosnia & Herzegovina team who will be reeling from a shock defeat at the hands of Cyprus (also last night):

Speaking ahead of this evening’s training session, Gibraltar’s captain and leader, Roy Chipolina, is under no illusions after last night in Liege and imminent task that lies in wait – a hurting, wounded animal: Bosnia & Herzegovina:

"There is no point in making excuses. Yes Belgium are far superior to us, in every department. Yes every player in their team, and most of their substitutes are probably worth over £30 million in today’s transfer market. Yes there were 30,000 passionate and loud Belgian fans demanding goals from their superstars. Yes they are one of the top ranked nations in the world. Yes we are in the early stages of our preseason with very little game time under our belts."

"But none of this is anything we didn’t know about well before the game. We have experienced all of this before in Germany, Portugal, Poland, Ireland, Scotland etc etc, as well as late domestic season starts and playing international matches having had very little game time."

"9-0 hurts like hell. But there are NO excuses. We were nowhere near our best, nowhere near. I am not for one second suggesting, that if we had all been at out best, that the result would have been different, the scoreline - perhaps. But it’s the badge, the colours, the flag, the anthem, who we are, who we represent, the former players that came before us and never got to play in these stadiums. All the coaches, the staff, the fans, the people who travel, all those watching at home who believe in us and stand by us through thick and thin. It hurts to sit here thinking about the what if, what if I had put my foot through one of those Belgians last night, what if we had made that tackle, what if I had played a different pass … I could go on and on."

"But the good thing is we have another chance, in two days, to change this, to change this feeling, this raw emotion, this raw hurt. To get this out of our system. To put it to bed.  It’s not about beating Bosnia & Herzegovina. Yes Cyprus have just beaten them and just because we played well against Cyprus, well that means absolutely nothing now. Bosnia are coming with Dzeko, Pjanic etc and we have to improve, and we will. Our desire, our commitment and our passion will be there again to do ourselves and our country justice on that pitch."  

"Starting this evening in training, starting with myself, Lee (Casciaro), Ryan (Casciaro), Joseph (Chipolina), Liam (Walker) and all the other senior players. We will set the tone and lead the way. We know what’s coming and we are determined to put in a performance to be proud of and show who we really are. Again our opponents will probably be far superior to us, but the pride, passion and desire to play for our flag, our country our fans and all those who believe in us will be restored. NO excuses. We are Gibraltar and proud to be, and that red and white shirt we wear means absolutely everything to all of us!”    

Sunday’s World Cup Qualifier versus Bosnia & Herzegovina, at the Estadio Algarve, kicks off at 19:45 (Portuguese Time), 20:45 (Gibraltar Time).

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