Maccabi Tel Aviv midfielder Dor Micha is getting ready for this week's match with Hapoel Haifa, but he hasn't forgotten losing to them in the Toto (League) Cup: "Now we know how good they are."

After returning to training yesterday after a two day break, the Maccabi Tel Aviv squad continued their preparations for this week's league encounter at Bloomfield Stadium against Hapoel Haifa (Sunday, 8.15 P.M.). After the training, head coach Oscar Garcia and midfielder Dor Micha attended the weekly press conference in the run up to the match and journalists found Oscar in no mood to underestimate his rivals, despite their holding up the table from the bottom. "They'll come to Bloomfield with confidence, they made it all the way to the finals of the Toto (League) Cup and beat us in our last encounter in the quarter finals. Still, we're at Bloomfield now and we'll have the full support of our fans and I hope we'll see the same Maccabi Tel Aviv we saw in the second half against Maccabi Netanya."

This will be Maccabi Tel Aviv's fourth encounter this season with the team of manager Nir Klinger and they'll be looking for a win to hold on to the top spot in the table. Gal Alberman will not be available for the match after passing the limit on yellow cards. Head coach Garcia was asked how the side he'll field will compare to recent matches: "That's a calculation we do before every match. I don't believe that playing two strikers up front gave us more attack against Netanya than in other matches."

Midfielder Dor Micha also talked about recent matches against Hapoel Haifa: "Losing to them in the Toto (League) Cup only made us appreciate them more and our weak performance is good motivation to show them this time what we're really capable of." Micha, who opened against Maccabi Netanya, is aware of the competiton for places in the squad. "Obviously I want to prove that I've earned my place on the pitch, but we have a side with lots of quality so there's a lot of competition. For my part I'll be out there every second working hard to earn my place."

Micha, who has one goal and one assist in eight league appearance this season, feels comfortable at the club and also had something to say about the upcoming transfer window: "I know I'm appreciated here but on the other hand I know I can always play better and get more accomplished this season. Anyone joining the team during the transfer window can only help strengthen the team and that's a good thing."