Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger has rejected claims the UEFA Europa League will de-rail the club’s recent progress and believes the benefits outweigh the negatives.
Ronald Koeman guided Southampton to seventh place in the Premier League last season, a position that ensured a place in Europe thanks to Arsenal lifting the FA Cup.
While the continental competition brings more games and more travelling to the Southampton squad, Krueger insists they will treat it with respect and look to go as far as they possibly can.
“We’re excited by the difficulty of it and we’re looking forward to the opportunity of growth that we will feel at all levels of the club,” he told the Southampton Echo.
“International competition, for everybody ever involved in sports, makes you better, so it will make us better for the Premier League and it will make us better for the cups we play.
“It won’t be easy, it’s going to be a tough season, but it’s going to be a lot of fun going after all these opportunities that we have.
“So, any club out there that sees this as a negative, or as something that gets in the way of something else, is just not understanding what their business is.
“We love the opportunity. We’re going to take the Premier League just as serious, we’re going to take the cups just as serious.”
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