Mauricio Pochettino: 'Europa League qualification would be achievement'

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino believes that qualifying for Europe this season would be a big achievement for the club.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that qualifying for the Europa League this season would be a huge achievement for the club, although he would prefer the Champions League.

Pochettino said that the club has come a long way in five seasons since dropping down to League One, and that the next step is to manage a regular European place.

"For Southampton it would be a great success to be in the Europa League," Sky Sports News quotes Pochettino as saying. "Personally I prefer to play Champions League which is a better competition.

"But for Southampton it would be a wonderful success, it's going to be a difficult goal to achieve, but it would be welcomed and a great success for the players.

"It's been five years of complete success overall for this club, going from League One, to Championship, to the Premier League. This season we've been successful, and who knows where we can finish."

Southampton are currently eighth in the Premier League, six points behind Everton in the final guaranteed European spot of sixth.

Rickie Lambert of Southampton celebrates with his manager Mauricio Pochettino after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Crystal Palace at St Mary's Stadium on September 28, 2013
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