Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach Paulo Sousa at a press conference ahead of tomorrow's Europa League group stage tie with Eintracht Frankfurt: "We'll have to play at our highest level"
With a little more than 24 hours left till kick-off, both Maccabi Tel Aviv and Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt held their traditional press conferences ahead of tomorrow night's intriguing Europa League tie between the two sides at Bloomfield Stadium here in Tel Aviv. While the German's held their pre-match practice at the stadium following the press conference, the home team trained in the morning at Maccabi's Kiryat Shalom training ground. "When you play against teams like Eintracht you have to perform at your very highest level and show a great deal of fervour', said Maccabi head coach Paulo Sousa."It's our aim to play positive, tenacious football, and of course with the help of our fans urging us on to provide them with an historic moment for the club".
Sousa is confident his players are prepared for the game despite having played a league match just three days beforehand. "The league match in Beer Sheva will have no significant effect on the club or the players. I've already touched on that matter, this is a different competition, a different atmosphere and we'll give it everything we have. Playing at home will give us the opportunity to get a result, I feel quite sure of that". As for his adversaries and their line-up for tomorrow night's match, Sousa said: "It makes no difference who they field, no doubt there will be eleven players out there and the reality is that we've no reason to believe that we're any better than teams from other leagues. On the other hand as a head coach I have a very positive outlook and I have great faith in my players".
Maccabi central defender Eytan Tibi also stressed the fact that the team were ready despite having played on Monday: "We play the same way after winning or losing, we keep straight on our path and that goes for our belief in ourselves as well. We're focusing only on this match and we'll be as prepared for it as we possibly can". Tibi has played in every one of the team's matches so far this season and the question arose about the possible pressure on him personally and on the squad as a whole in the run up to the match: "There's pressure, certainly, but I want to play in every match and we have a professional staff that gets us ready and make's sure we're fresh for every match and that's the way we'll be tomorrow too".
Eintracht Frankfurt head coach, Armin Veh, also spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow's tie: "I'm not going to talk about the players I'm fielding tomorrow, we prepare ourselves tactically for every opponent, the competition makes no difference. The Bundesliga and the Europa League are equally important to us but I know how to rotate my players". Eintracht midfielder Johannes Flum talked about his side's current form: "In the last few matches in the league we weren't focused, I hope that here we'll find our way back to maximum concentration".