Vladimir Ivic, the Yellow & Blue Head Coach addressed the assembled media ahead of Saturday’s (17:00) top of the table clash against Hapoel Hadera at the Netanya Stadium on Matchday 7 of the Ligat Japanika and began by talking about the Maccabi players who were with their respective National teams:

“I believe that we had more players with National teams if you also count the Serbia and youth national teams. We had 11 players who played and that is special for us. We work for Maccabi and our target is Maccabi but playing with the national team is something to be proud of as well as for the coaches. This is something special for all of us and something we support. Hopefully there will be even more players next time.”

About Hadera:
“Hadera is the best team in the league as they are in first place and they deserve this position as they have five victories and one draw. They may have come from the second division but we all must respect their results. We know we type of game we have in front of us. Are we favorites? I believe we are favorites every home match but we know what kind of a game we have on Saturday. We will all have to give 100% and more to win the game. We are playing the first place team and we have big respect for them, but we know what we want to do in this game. Right now this is a big derby.”

Ivic continued: “They aren’t in this position by accident. They deserve to be there. If you see the results and how they take them, when they score in the last minute of 3 games to take the win they know what to do and how to play and they’ll fight until the end.”

Changes in the lineup:
“It’s not my plan to change every game and put in another 11 players. At the beginning of the league we had many games and it was part of the plan. The players weren’t ready yet as they had just come from preseason and we wanted to protect them from injuries. We work with 22-23 players and thy all know how I work but now the championship is starting. It’s not usual to play all of the players and change 5-6 players every game. What will happen this week? We have prepared for the game and you’ll have to see on Saturday what we will do. All of the players are ready expect for Eitan Tibi and we aren’t sure if Ofir Davidzada will be ready for this game or not. We hope he will be ok in the next few days.”

Hadera’s style of play:
“Hadera deserves to be in the position and they have quality players who know how to play. They know how to play a passing game with experienced and dangerous players in front and that’s why they have 5 victories and 16 points, they work hard and they have a team that works for 90 minutes. It’s not just last game when they won in the last minute, they have done it 3 times. They have a fighting spirit, work hard and they have a good coach.”

Dasa’s future with the club in reference to his performance to the National team:
“Eli Dasa is our player until the end of the season. What happens then we’ll see. Right now Dasa is only at 70% of his potential and can improve, we all work with him to get him to 100%. The good thing is that he understands that and he is trying to improve both himself personally and tactically for the whole team.”