Tottenham keen to avoid Europa League, Mauricio Pochettino suggests
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has suggested he would prefer not to qualify for next season's Europa League.
Spurs reached the round-of-32 stage of the Europa League before bowing out to Fiorentina in February, but the benefits of the competition -- which involves playing on Thursday nights -- have been called into question given its impact of teams' domestic campaigns.
Tottenham are currently on course to qualify as they sit sixth in the Premier League, but Pochettino said that both Liverpool, who finished second last season, and Manchester United, who are currently third, have shown the advantages of missing out on Europe.
"You spend a lot of energy when you play in the Europa League but you never know," the former Southampton boss told a news conference.
"It is true the experience of last season with Liverpool and now with Man United -- I think that is a clear example that maybe you will have the opportunity to stay closer to reach the top four if you only have focus on the Premier League and the cups.
"The Europa League is not an easy competition. It is a very tough competition because it affects your domestic league and I confirm -- because it always was my opinion at Southampton because you ask a lot -- it is very difficult to manage the Europa League and Premier League and both cups."
Despite his reservations, Pochettino, who said Spurs would still "try" to finish in the top four despite being seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, confirmed that his club would accept a place in the Europa League for financial reasons.
"If you achieve the Europa League, it might not be the dream of the club or the supporters, but you need to play it because it is good for the financial side of the club," he said.
"The most important thing is to be ambitious and to understand we need to try and build a strong team for next season to fight for the top four, and after if you reach the top four, fantastic, but you need to be competitive and ambitious to make the conditions to fight for the top positions."
Tottenham are currently just one point ahead of Southampton and so could drop out of the Europa League qualification places, but if Arsenal were to beat Aston Villa in the FA Cup final then the team finishing seventh in the Premier League would also be granted a place in Europe.