Andre Villas-Boas taking Europa League seriously

Andre Villas-Boas, Tottenham HotspurTottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has stated that he will treat the Europa League with respect and is eager to win the trophy.

The European second-tier competition has been looked down upon in the past, with some sides fielding weakened sides.

However, the Portuguese trainer has stated that the north London club will aim to prevail in the tournament, which he won with Porto back in 2011.

“I have always regarded the Europa League as a prestigious competition and I think it should be promoted that way,” he is quoted as saying in The Sun.

“It gives the winners access to the European Super Cup and we want to do something special in this tournament.

“If we can win this trophy it would represent a lot for Tottenham’s history and would be something really, really special.

“The best teams outside of the Champions League are all involved and then the sides who don’t qualify from the Champions League group stages also come back into the Europa League.

“And sometimes, as we saw last season, some of those teams we are speaking about are among the top teams in the world.

“It’s important European football is not all about the Champions League.

“The Europa League is a very hard and strenuous competition. But we will give it our best efforts,” Villas-Boas confirmed.

Spurs take on Lazio in their Europa League opener on Thursday.

By Gareth McKnight