Vladimir Ivic spoke about Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 1-0 victory over Hapoel Kiryat Shmona on Saturday which he said was a hard-fought win in tough conditions.

“It was a difficult game, we knew it would be, because this is the first game after the break and the surface was hard. Kiryat Shmona are tough opponents but I’m pleased with the victory.” 

He said it took a while to get settled into the pace of the game: “We did not start well but we got into our stride in the second part of the first half, we played better and we scored. We finished the game much more fluently and we had a few chances to score, we need to maintain this ability.”

He added: “The record is good news for us, but for me it was important to secure the three points. The record is nice but it’s not the most important thing.”

Ivic said the team’s all-defensive style was something he was working on, although there was still more work to be done.

“We train for the whole team to play in defence and that’s how we want it to be. The players are executing the plan but there is still room for improvement.”