After suffering their second league defeat of the season, losing 2-0 at Sammy Ofer, Matan Baltaxa, faced the media and said: “We were not surprised by the pressure Maccabi Haifa placed on us. We played with fire in the opening minutes and paid for it. When you can concede an early goal against Maccabi Haifa at Sammy Ofer you pay for it. We are not looking at our opponents but only focus on ourselves and know we must improve and look better.”

The 28-year-old defender who joined Maccabi during the January transfer window, said: “We spoke about this game in advance and know its’ important, but we didn’t have the best of starts to the match and paid the price.” Answering criticism at such an uncoordinated defense, Baltaxa responded: “To have coordination in defense takes time, but these are all excuses, when you walk onto the pitch one has to forget about everything and aim for a victory – but we didn’t succeed. The points we dropped against Maccabi Haifa are important but if we will manage to do our job in the future we will win the title.”