Maccabi striker Itai Shechter spoke to the media after the Toto Cup final defeat to Beitar Jerusalem in Netanya on Tuesday and said:

“It’s very disappointing to lose any trophy but Beitar were better than we were, it’s undeniable. This may be the least important of the season’s trophies but for us, Maccabi, all trophies and matches are super important.

“We conceded through a lapse in concentration and it’s undeniable that Beitar played better than we did. We weren’t sharp, weren’t hungry and didn’t threaten and when you play like that, the opponents take advantage. We have a few days to prepare now for a clash that is probably even more important and I believe that we will be well prepared when we face Beitar at Teddy Stadium on Saturday.

“If you surrender possession when there is no pressure on the ball, you lose confidence. It’s disappointing but you need to be able to accept such situations.

“I just hope that for the rest of my career, I’ll always be able to be in a position to win more titles. 

“It’s true that we are not playing as well as we did last season but as we accrue points, things will get better and we will gain confidence.

“We knew that our opponents want to make things more difficult for us this season and have prepared, so it’s no surprise. But this is when we are tested. Last season, things were too easy but it was a one-off. We are a very strong club and when things are less happy we regroup and improve.

“I have every confidence that a strong club like Maccabi will be much better.”