Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas has stressed his desire to win the Europa League this season as his team prepare to kick off their European campaign at home to Italian heavyweights Lazio on Thursday night.
The Europa League is much maligned by some, including former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, who often played weakened sides as he prioritised the club’s Premier League form.
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“It does seem a long time since I won it with Porto,” Villas-Boas said. “A lot has happened since then. The memories are still present but at this time I can’t live off the past. In our position we can’t think too much about the past. In this life you constantly have to motivate yourself and put pressure on yourself to win more [trophies]. This time it would be wonderful to win it again for Tottenham.”
Villas-Boas believes that the competition’s importance should be respected with greater benefits for the winners, with potentially direct qualification for the next season’s Champions League for the winners.
“That idea was raised on the Elite Club Coaches Forum last year and it could certainly be the case,” Villas-Boas continued. “It’s an extremely important competition after the disappearance of the Cup Winners’ Cup and it should be treated with respect. It’s full of history and different winners. It does not generate financial advantages for the clubs in it but it generates emotions when you win it. It’s about emotion and the fans and they should be extremely happy if that happens.”
Tottenham come into the clash with Lazio high on confidence following their first victory under their manager last Sunday, triumphing 3-1 at recently-promoted Reading.
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