Europa berth on the line for Sevilla

Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido said his club need to put their fight for European qualification to one side when they face Villarreal.Sevilla are seventh in the table on 46 points but will be hoping to finish fifth or sixth to grab an all-important Europa League qualification spot for next season.

They need to bounce back from last weekend’s 1-0 defeat away at Getafe with a win over fourth-placed Villarreal at home on Sunday, but del Nido said they cannot afford to be distracted by their plight in the league.

“At this stage in the season, we need to focus on Sunday’s game and on beating Villarreal,” del Nido said.

“We will look to make certain that we finish fifth or sixth in the table, and then see what happens in the next match after that.

“The table shows that it is getting more and more difficult. Especially with Villarreal winning last night while we were not able to take a point from our last two away games. The problem is more to do with us not winning than with our opponents doing well.”

But despite failing to reach the heights of previous campaigns, del Nido refused to concede that this season had been a disappointment.

“Failure would be to finish 10th, or eighteenth and get relegated. We are fighting above what our budget allows, and we aren’t talking about failure,” del Nido said.

“We are talking about Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid and Valencia – rich cities, who have other economic possibilities.”