They think it’s all over

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport - BY SI­MON GRIVER AND DANNYCARO

IS­RAEL’S play­ers may not have given up hope of reach­ing the 2010 World Cup fi­nals, but it seems that their sup­port­ers have.

Only 5,000 fans are ex­pected to turn up in Ra­mat Gan to­mor­row for the penul­ti­mate Group Two qual­i­fier against Moldova, leav­ing 35,000 seats un­filled.

Ly­ing fourth in the group, Is­rael need a mir­a­cle to clinch a top two fin­ish. They con­clude the cam­paign in Switzer­land, the cur­rent leaders, in what could be a decisive match.

Tamir Co­hen tried to re­main up­beat. “We un­der­stand the dis­ap­point­ment of the fans. But no­body is more dis­ap­pointed than the play­ers who have brought this on our­selves. Even if the

AVRAM Grant has been reap­pointed as di­rec­tor of foot­ball at Premier League strug­glers Portsmouth. The for­mer Chelsea man­ager, 54, said: “I’m very happy to be re­turn­ing to the best league in the world.”Keeper David James de­scribed it as “a very good move”. The ap­point­ment came af­ter bil­lion­aire Saudi busi­ness­man Ali Al Faraj bought the club. crowd doesn’t come, we are pre­par­ing for the game with the high­est mo­ti­va­tion.

“We are not think­ing about the re­sults of the other teams in the group. We are con­cen­trat­ing on the mis­sion in front of us which is winning the next matches and then we will hope for good re­sults from the other matches.

“The at­mos­phere in the squad is al­ways good. The play­ers, those who play in Is­rael and those who play abroad, are happy to rep­re­sent their coun­try. The feel­ing of to­geth­er­ness is one of the key char­ac­ter­is­tics of this na­tional team.

“We do not use any spe­cial mo­ti­va­tional tech­niques. All play­ers have full com­mit­ment to the na­tional team, and we all know that we must win in or­der to fin­ish the cam­paign with a smile, for us and for the fans.”

Tal Ben Haim, an­other mem­ber of Dror Kash­tan’s 22-man squad, vowed not to give up hope. “There is a chance,”

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