Puel: It's still in our hands

By SFC Media Fri 25 Nov Sparta vs Saints

Claude Puel hopes Southampton can “give the supporters a good feeling” by securing a place in the UEFA Europa League knockout, despite defeat to Sparta Praha on Thursday night.

Southampton’s defeat at Generali Stadium means they must either beat Hapoel Be’er Sheva, or draw 0-0 with the Israeli side, in the final Group K fixture.

While unhappy with his side’s display against the Czech outfit on Thursday night, Puel insists his side can still achieve their aims in the final group game.

“We hope to give our supporters a good feeling and the pleasure of qualification, because that is what we all want,” Puel said.

“The most important is to consider the final game in front of our supporters at St Mary’s. Of course Sparta was a disappointment.

“We have to prepare for the final game now at St Mary’s.

“It’s clear it is a very difficult group, with Inter finishing bottom of the group. That’s show it’s very tough.

“It’s a disappointment for this game, but it’s important to consider that we still have the possibility to qualify.”

But Puel knows his side will have to be at their best. He added: “We will have to play a very good game to make sure that we qualify.

“We know they are a difficult opponent, but we want to qualify. It’s important for the players, but also for the fans.”

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