Despite having already qualified for the group stages of next season’s Europa League, Ronald Koeman says Southampton must learn lessons from their exploits last year.
Koeman’s men were knocked out in the play-offs of last season’s competition, suffering a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Danish side FC Midtjylland, ending hopes of competing in the group stages.
But following a sixth-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League and Manchester United’s success in the Emirates FA Cup, Saints will now enter the competition at the group stage in 2016/17.
With last season’s disappointment still in mind, Koeman says Saints must learn from that ahead of competing in the competition again next season.
“I think it was for everybody a good experience, because if you need to play already before starting the Premier League, you need to play for qualification in Europe,” Koeman said.
“That makes it a little bit different in your pre-season, and I think that was good to learn from. Then already you need and you like to be ready before the Premier League starts.
“We had two fantastic games against Vitesse and disappointment against Midtjylland away, because I think we lost it already in the home game.
“It was close that score and one-one was not enough. That makes the away game very difficult. I think we learn from it and we will be better for it.
“We like to play in Europe and it’s a good experience for the players, it’s a good experience for the club.
“We like to go on and we like to march on. That also means to be part of Europe,” concluded Koeman.