Maccabi Tel Aviv's new head coach Paulo Sousa has been officially presented at the club's press conference: "I want my players to come to trainings because of their passion and not because of their contracts"

Right after his maiden training session with his new squad, Maccabi Tel Aviv's new head coach Paulo Sousa came to the studio with the club's sports director Jordi Cruyff for his first press conference of the 2013/14 season. The latter opened proceedings by welcoming the new coach to the club: "Paulo was always our first and only choice, we talked at length, and I believe he is the right choice for the club". Cruyff continued: "I feel like we made a big step forward last season, unfortunately (former head coach) Oscar (Garcia) chose to leave and we needed someone who would be able to continue what we started and take us another step ahead. Paulo is energetic, tactically astute, his players respect him as a person and he has the experience and the ability as a coach to carry us forward".

"We want to be a club of deeds, not of words, but just because we don't actually say something doesn't mean we're not interested. Retaining the title this season will be more difficult because of the way we will have to deal with the challenges, the pressures and the matches we will be playing in Europe. This season is already looking like being one of a variety of challenges we'll have to face and that's why it's so important for us to have a squad with depth and balance. You've asked a lot of questions about (striker) Barak Yitschaki so I'll tell you, he's staying with Maccabi. I don't think we need to announce that fact because he's already a Maccabi player. I saw a lot of his matches throughout the season in Cyprus and we decided that this is the right moment for him to play for us again".

New head coach Paulo Sousa spoke about his plans for the new season: "Both as a coach and as a person I'm always interested in learning and bringing with me all the knowledge I have to the club and to the players. I always expect to get the best possible results and the best possible results for us is to win game after game. My notion is to advance one match at a time, I want to see my players wanting to come to practice out of passion and hunger and not because of any obligations in their contracts. It's very important to me to be modest, along with a mentality of winning in every competition, every match. Maccabi is a top club, with lots of supporters and so far I'm concerned, it's a great honour to be here, at this club and to do everything I can to move the club a step forward".

He also spoke about the shape of the squad in the run up to the new season: "It's important to have balance in the squad, that the players will compete with one another for a place on the squad. We're facing a lot of matches this season in all competitions and that's why we need a squad with depth. My players are always the best players, you'll never see me criticising my players or singling out one player or another. Concerning my style, I suit it to my players and to the mentality at the club, so that we all stay realistic with respect to what we have. In Hungary (Videoton FC) for instance we developed a style of controlling the match, but in order to manage with our European campaign we had to adapt that style to falling back in defence. Like Jordi said, we can't bring in players like Messi, it will be our goal to build a team with the players we have".