Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach Rami Hadar (right) speaks to chairman Shimon Mizrahi.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
The Rami Hadar era gets underway at Yad Eliyahu Arena on Wednesday night when Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Galatasaray, with the yellow-and-blue still searching for its first win of the Euroleague season.
Hadar was appointed as Maccabi’s new head coach following Erez Edelstein’s shock sacking on Saturday night and takes over a team that showed plenty of deficiencies in defeats at Olimpia Milano and against Real Madrid at home. Nevertheless, it lost those games by a combined nine points and has a roster well capable of playing a lot better.
Hadar has been entrusted with getting the players to play to potential, if not better than than sum of their parts, even though he has never coached in European competition and only first guided a team in the Israeli top flight at Maccabi Haifa two years ago.
“I was surprised by Erez’s sacking and by Maccabi Tel Aviv’s approach to replace him,” admitted Hadar in his first press conference as the head coach on Tuesday. “This isn’t the way or the time I wanted to get the job. After he was fired I was required to make a decision and I took it while being aware of all the consequences.”
Hadar said he hasn’t received Edelstein’s blessing. “I’m as responsible as Erez for everything that has happened until now,” added Hadar, before elaborating regarding the changes he plans to bring to the team. “We are facing a hectic run of games and we have already made some changes on defense and offense. We also have the system Erez left here. We can’t, and don’t need, to change everything. Erez left a good foundation and we will take it from there.”
Galatasaray has also lost its first two games in the competition, with both defeats coming at home. The Turks are giving up a league-high 97.0 points per game, with Maccabi second-worst at 94.0.
“At this point in time we need to focus on the team’s internal dynamics,” explained Hadar. “A coach needs to know how to cope with the roster he has and I have a superb roster. Galatasaray is a deep and talented team but I think we should win this game.”