Southampton’s Les Reed says the pressure of dealing with Premier League and Europa League football next season is one of the club will relish.
Ronald Koeman’s men are guaranteed of at least six UEFA Europa League matches after automatically qualifying for the group stages of the competition thanks to a sixth-placed finish in the league.
Many have argued that involvement in the Europa League presents challenges for clubs in terms of league form, but Reed says Saints will not approach it with that mentality.
“I think the thing is you can talk yourself out of it and into it being pointless trying because we’re in the Europa League so we’re going to have a bad season,” Reed told youtube.com/southamptonfc.
“Or you can talk yourself into it and say it can be done. You can believe that you’re good at managing recovery time, you’re good at sports science and how you travel.
“If you pay attention to the small margins and if you can get those right, then it’s more than manageable.
“Championship clubs do it every year in terms of the number of games they play. At the moment we’re looking at six extra games.
“Let’s see how we fit them in, how we recover the squad between games and what we do in terms of travel to make sure it works for us.
“The alternative is you persuade yourself that you’re not going to do it, and if you do that then you won’t. We won’t be doing that.”
With qualification to the group stages assured, Reed says it will make it much easier for Saints in terms of being better prepared for the season’s start.
“If you have to play in the qualifiers you really have your work cut out. To miss that stage and go straight in at the groups is great,” he added.
“We will be able to plan all the travel around it easier and get a proper pre-season in which is so important.
“It does give you a much better chance for it when it comes around.”