Date: 26th March 2013 at 1:42pm
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captain Michael Mifsud is confident Italy won’t find it easy when they face his side in Tuesday’s qualifier.

were hammered 6-0 by on Friday and sit bottom of Group B, having yet to secure a point.

But despite a poor start to the campaign, Mifsud doesn’t expect another heavy defeat against Italy.

are a strong side and we expected a very difficult match but the conditions made things worse for us,” he told The Times.

“We must put that upset behind us now and concentrate on the Italy match.

“There’s no doubt that this will be another tough test but if we are focused collectively and main-tain our tactical discipline, we can gain a creditable result.”

can take heart from the spirited display they showed when they last faced the Azzurri, back in September. Having fallen behind to a strike after just five minutes, they were able to keep Italy out until netted in stoppage time for a 2-0 win.

Mifsud is aware of Italy’s strength, but having secured impressive results in the past – most notably a 2-2 draw with in 2007, he believes can surprise their illustrious opposition.

“If we play like we did against Turkey, we can get a good result against Italy.

“Everyone knows that Italy are very strong and that we’re in for a gruelling test. But we will give our 100 per cent and we will hopefully leave the pitch with our heads held high.”

The Ta’ Qali National Stadium is expected to be sold out and the former Coventry City striker hopes the backing of a strong home crowd can give his side the edge.

“For us, it’s a massive boost to play a team like Italy in a full stadium,” he said.

“It’s something of a one-off for the players to play a home game in front of a massive crowd and I hope that the Maltese supporters get behind us as that could make a big difference.”