Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp fears that qualifying for the Europa League could damage his sides’ chances of finishing in the Champions League places next year.
Spurs have had a successful run in this year’s UEFA Champions League, defeating Inter and AC Milan, and exiting at the quarter-final stage against Real Madrid.
This season, with Spurs currently sitting in 6th place, it would seem that qualifying for the Champions League may be beyond Tottenham, however they can still qualify for the Europa League, and Redknapp feels that could be detrimental to their long term ambitions.
Quoted in the Guardian, Redknapp said: “Teams who get into the Europa League want to get out of it. Half of them put reserve teams out in the early stages and it’s difficult to play every Thursday and Sunday. It disrupts things.
“We didn’t have European football last year and we finished fourth. That was a big advantage to us. If there are teams around you in the Europa League, you want to keep them in it. If we were in it next year, and you were one of the other clubs around us, you’d want us to stay in that competition because it takes its toll.
“I wanted Man City to stay in it this year because they were playing every Thursday night, slipping off to Azerbaijan to play a team out there. It’s unreal, but that’s how that competition is.”
Tottenham have only won one game from their last eleven in all competitions, and are currently seven points behind Man City. They are also level on points with Liverpool in 5th, although they have a game in hand over the Merseysiders.