Matan Hozez who has been sidelined with an injury lately, but is on his way to recover revealed how he feels: “Much better, thank you. I reached the stage of an intensified recovery and believe I will be back this season”.

On the end of season run-in, Maor Kandil said: “There is obvious tension and pressure in every game, but we don’t deal with the rivalry and that is no cliche but we really like to focus on every game. There is pressure but fatigue. I hear people talk about fatigue when the results are not as good, just like we had against Kiryat Shmona when people said that it was fatigue that was the deciding factor. Personally I didn’t feel it, because when we were down to 10 men it looked as if we were with 11 and they were with 10. The pressure is part and parcel of our routine because there is a trophy to fight for and plenty at stake. But we are dealing with everything that comes our way and will do everything we can to win that plate this season and maybe even the double”.

On the influence of Patrick van Leeuwen on the team, Dor Peretz added: “Personally I think that the key is Patrick has been at the club for around 6 years if I am not mistaken. He spent most of the time at the Youth Academy, but he has the Maccabi DNA, and we can witness the order and discipline that we know. One see something that either a person has it, or he needs to assimilate a certain something. He brought these values into our dressing room, and this is the senior side. We felt that he gives us values that already exist, but he tweaked them even further, imposes more order and discipline which is extremely important at a football team. At the end of the day these small details are the ones that make a team look better. To win in the 95th minute from a penalty that Matan Hozez wins or from a goal that another player scores – are the things that happen as a result”.