Maccabi Tel Aviv midfielder Dan Glazer is hoping to be in the fray for the Israeli “classico” on Monday and although he’s faced Maccabi Haifa before, this meeting has an added significance, with the in-form opposition hot on Maccabi’s heels in second place in the standings just three points off the pace.
Glazer sounded assured as he spoke to us on the morning of the match.
“We enter the game with confidence, we come in to the clash after two games in which we played really well and won impressively. I think we are ready, we have been prepared well by the training staff,” he said in a conference call. “I think the record shows that we are hungrier for this game than our opponents.”
The anticipation of playing against major opposition in a crucial game was generating positive energy, Glazer said.
“We are usually much more vigilant for big games, the team which will be more aggressive will control the game and that will be the difference. Both teams are of similar quality but a good start will be important, it always is in this sort of game,” he predicted.
“I respect every player in the league, particularly Maccabi Haifa players who have shown their class this season. We know that we will have a very difficult game against them, particularly in defence and midfield and we will have to back each other up. We will need to impress on our opponents that we want this game more than they do.”
Glazer praised the hard work and methods of coach Vladimir Ivic and credited him with Maccabi’s successes this season.
“The team that Ivic has prepared has the entire team defending and helping the defensive unit to ensure they are able to do their job as best as possible.
He has shaped us all so that we are able to play so well defensively.”
Before rushing off to join his teammates as they make their final preparations, Glazer exuded confidence and professionalism.
“This game is no different to any other, 22 players will be working hard to get a result for their own team but I am certain in our ability to prevail. Our loss to Umm El Fahm was a momentary lapse but we have been training hard ever since and we are battling each other to gain our place in the lineup as we have a big squad and everybody wants to play.”