Claude Puel says his Southampton players will not be fazed by the challenge that awaits in the UEFA Europa League.
Saints’ European adventure kicks off on Thursday night against Sparta Praha at St Mary’s, with Puel’s side hoping to kick-start their season with victory against the Czech side.
A win would be the perfect way to get their European campaign up and running, and Puel says it’s important Saints bring their maximum level in the competition.
“I think some my players don’t have the experience of the Europa League, but it’s an interesting time and they will be excited to play in the competition,” Puel said.
“It’s exciting and it’s important that we bring our level, because we have to show our quality in every game in the Europa League.
“It’s important not just to play a good game, but we have to take the points.
“We want to win this game, and hopefully my players will be rewarded for their hard work since we started the season,” Puel continued.
“We have played four games, they were interesting with high quality, but the results are not what we have wanted so far.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO FIND THE WIN FOR ALL OF THE PEOPLE AT THE CLUB.CLAUDE PUEL
“Now we have to keep the confidence and our qualities. We are strong in defence and we have created many chances in the games we have played, but now we have to score.
“It’s important to find the win for all of the people at the club and, of course, our supporters.”
Saints face Swansea City in the Premier League on Sunday, giving them just two days to prepare, but Puel says he has the squad to cope with the demands.
“It’s exciting. It’s going to be a good challenge to play this game. It’s hard and difficult to prepare for the two games in a very short amount of time,” he added.
“But we have a good squad, with many players that have played at an international level and some who have played in this competition before.”