Yuval Naim 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
A chorus of boos accompanied Betar Jerusalem’s players as they left the pitch at
National Stadium in Ramat Gan on Sunday night following a 1-0 Premier League
defeat to Hapoel Ramat Hasharon.
After beginning the season with three
wins in its first four matches, matters have gone from bad to worse in recent
weeks for Betar, with Yuval Naim’s team winless in its past six encounters,
losing in four of its last five.
Asael Ben-Shabat scored the only goal of
Sunday’s match in the seventh minute, and despite Amir Nusbaum’s sending off in
the 66th minute, Ramat Hasharon held on for its third straight victory, which
takes it to ninth place with 15 points.
Betar had several chances to
equalize, with Liron Diamant coming closest in first half stoppage time, hitting
the crossbar with his shot from the edge of the area.
“We created enough
opportunities to finish the match, but once more we conceded a silly early goal
and failed to convert our chances,” said Betar coach Yuval Naim, while dozens of
angry Jerusalem supporters jeered chairman Itzik Kornfein and demanded he takes
responsibility for the recent slump.
“No coach has ever worked in my
situation. This is a big team that made no signings.
Any one who expects
better results is wrong. As soon as we concede an early goal we are in trouble
because we are very anemic in attack.”
Jerusalem’s fifth defeat of the
season leaves it only five points clear of the relegation zone, but Naim is
confident his team will maintain its top-flight status.
“We are going
through a difficult period, but that happens in soccer,” Naim said. “I knew what
the situation was when I came to Betar and if we bring in several players in
January we will look much better. We will have to fight relegation, but we will
not be relegated. We knew there would be some tough days, but we didn’t know
they would come so soon.
“We need to be optimistic and I’m certain we
will meet our goal of remaining in the Premier League.”