In-form striker Omer Atzili spoke to reporters at the Hisense Euro 2020 launch on Thursday night and said Maccabi were prepared for the threat of attack by their opponents, Ashdod SC.

“We don’t know exactly what they are preparing for us, but we do know that their players have a very attacking attitude. They are a team that will try to go forward all the time, so we need to be ready. We do know them, so we hope we will be able to gain the upper hand.”

He talked about the rest of the season and the tough road that still lay ahead.

“It’s always harder to retain the title and as things close up in the standings. Every player knows that he must be at his best at the business end of the season because there will be no easy games and we could falter if we lose focus. We just need to concentrate on our own game and make sure we are in the best form possible.

Atzili said his successful return into the side from an injury that sidelined him for six months was due to toil and sweat.

“I worked hard to return from injury after six months out and while it may have seemed as if I fitted in smoothly, I had to put in the effort extensively with two training sessions every day.”