Ronald Koeman admits that Southampton’s chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League are now slim but accepts that a Europa League spot is well within their grasp.
The south coast club is enjoying one of their finest seasons for years and are currently seventh in the Premier League table.
Although Koeman’s squad are eight points adrift of a Champions League place – with only seven games remaining – just a single point covers fifth, sixth and seventh places which are currently occupied by Liverpool, Tottenham and Southampton who have a vastly better goal difference than either of their two big city rivals.
And the Saints boss says: “You have to be realistic. The difference (between us and the top four) is a lot and our focus at the moment has to be about the fifth, sixth and seventh position in the table.
If you’re coach of Tottenham and if you’re coach of Liverpool you won’t be happy about Europa League.
“We’d like to play European football and the fifth and sixth position in the table means European football – and maybe the seventh.
“If you’re coach of Tottenham and if you’re coach of Liverpool you won’t be happy about Europa League.
“But I’m the coach of Southampton and if Southampton reach Europa League it’s good. For the others it’s the Champions League.”