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Thursday, 22 April 2021

Sevilla coach upbeat on Europa League title defence

Reuters , Thursday 26 Nov 2015
Sevilla's head coach Unai Emery, right, gestures during the Champions League Group D soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Sevilla in Moenchengladbach, western Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. (AP )
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Sevilla coach Unai Emery conceded the Champions League had been a step too far for the La Liga club this season but remained upbeat on their chances of defending their Europa League title.

Sevilla's 4-2 reverse at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday ended their hopes of advancing from a tough Group D that included Juventus and Manchester City, who are both through to the last 16 after the Italian champions beat the English side 1-0 in Turin.

If Sevilla are to finish third and secure a Europa League berth, the Spanish side, who have won the last two editions of Europe's second-tier club competition, must beat Juve in Seville on the final matchday next month and hope City avoid defeat when they host Gladbach.

Emery, who took over in January 2013, has achieved a great deal at the Andalusian club with relatively limited resources and with their passionate fans Sevilla are particularly strong at home, where they have beaten both Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga this season.

After missing out on a lucrative place in continental competition the previous two terms, Emery led Sevilla to fifth-place finishes in 2013-14 and 2014-15, when they also won consecutive Europa League crowns.

"When I arrived three years ago we had the objective of returning to Europe and the distant goal of the Champions League," Emery told a news conference.

"Once you get there (to the Champions League) you know the demands are high and your expectations are harder to achieve," added the 44-year-old former Valencia and Almeria coach.

"We didn't manage it but I don't have the feeling that I made mistakes. I want to play in the Champions League with Sevilla and we will work to return."

Sevilla have struggled for consistency in La Liga this season and are 11th on 15 points after last weekend's 2-0 reverse at Real Sociedad.

They have a chance get their campaign back on track when they host Valencia on Sunday. 

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