Vladimir Ivic, the Yellow & Blue boss addressed the assembled media prior to Saturday night’s (20:30) Matchday 4 contest at Maccabi Netanya:

“I am just thinking about the next game and our games and I am not focussing on the national team games. We are playing Netanya on Saturday, the Toto Cup on Wednesday and the Derby the next Monday and we have 22 players that are ready. I’m happy we have a lot of games to play ahead of us.”

Injury status of Enric Saborit and Jair Amador:
“Saborit’s had a muscle injury but he is ready and we can use him. He will train the next two days and we will follow his progress. Jair had a shoulder injury and I think he could have played last match but just before the game he felt strange and we didn’t want to take a chance. We can use him.”

Being prepared:
“We prepare for every game and we have the same goal which is to take 3 points. We must fight, concentrate and be ready to improve and to take responsibility during the games and have possession in order to win the game. Netanya has played well over the past couple of seasons and even though they changed some players, they are still a good team and we have to be prepared from the first to the last second of the game.”

Not signing a striker just before the transfer window closed:
“We didn’t move for the striker because I am someone who likes to make a move for someone who can help us. If there aren’t any players that can, then it’s better that we stay with the squad we have and we will continue to work with them.”

Improving game to game:
“We are still at the beginning of the season and this is only our 4th league game. Some of the teams who didn’t play in European qualification matches still need time to improve. We work hard every day and our goal is to play better from game to game and fix the mistakes we had in past games.”

Competition to be in the Starting XI:
“We will have the State Cup tournament at the end of the year and it’s good for me that there are players who can compete for each position. There are 21-22 players and they have to work hard, fight and concentrate in order for them to play. This is what I asked from them at the start of the preseason.”

Being in Israel for the High Holidays:
“It’s interesting and nice. Each religion offers something new. You have a lot of interesting holidays and I tried to understand them.”

About Matan Hozez:
“Matan Hozez signed a new contract with us a few weeks ago and it was our decision to do so. He is a quality player and there are a number of good players at his position. If he continues to work and show the good attitude that he has been, then I am sure he will play. You need time to give everyone a chance and I am happy with him as he works extra everyday and tries to improve himself. He is the future of Maccabi.”

Players must show they deserve to play:
“Every one is a Maccabi player and no one has a contract that says they need to be in the Starting XI. They must fight and show they deserve to play. If someone tries to make a problem then they will be out.”