Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham's Europa League exit hurt more than Champions League failure

tom collomosse
Evening Standard
AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed Tottenham’s exit from the Europa League was more painful for him than their Champions League elimination.

Spurs fell at their first hurdle in both European competitions, departing the Champions League at the group stage before suffering defeat to Belgian club Gent in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Though Spurs’ failure in the Champions League was a surprise, it was nothing compared to their failure in the Europa League, against a side who were in mid-table in Belgium at the time.

The Tottenham boss said: “The Champions League is a closed chapter. I am more disappointed to be out of the Europa League. That hurt me more than the Champions League.

“Why do English teams struggle in Europe? The Premier League is so difficult to manage, along with the cups. Then you have to be fresh to play very good teams in Europe.

“For many clubs in Europe, the Champions League or the Europa League is the most important competition. They rest players in other competitions so they are ready for Europe, which is a different approach from in England.

“Here you can’t rest players or make changes. At Christmas we have the toughest period of the season, whereas players in European leagues are in Dubai or the Bahamas, places like that. We are training, competing, focusing on football.

“That affects the situation when you get to February and March. It is a big advantage for the teams in Europe whereas for us, it is very tough.”

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