Unai Emery has claimed that Sevilla are prioritising La Liga, rather than the Europa League, for the remainder of the season ahead of Elche on Sunday.
The Andalucians lead Malaga by some distance in the race to qualify for Europe next term but trail seven points behind Atletico Madrid, who currently occupy the last Champions League spot.
Sevilla can still reach the elite club competition if they successfully defend their Europa League crown, but the Coach would prefer his side to focus on their domestic commitments for now.
“We want to pursue a line of consistency in the League, in addition to the excitement generated by the Europa League, because it’s our route back into Europe [next season],” he said at a Press conference.
“Three important points [are up for grabs against Elche], but they are also three very difficult points.
“I’m glad that we’ve become a strong team, who are respected at their stadium and have managed to go a year unbeaten at home.
“Our rivals are in the midst of a good spell. They’re a hard-working team, who have managed to leave the relegation zone through lots of collective work under the command of a Coach in Fran Escriba, who already has a good track record.
“My confidence in the team is total. Everyone is prepared for when they have to play.
“I’ll certainly make changes with respect to the squad for the [Europa League match] at El Madrigal because it’s a game which will demand a lot of us.
“The [squad] players are training well and with optimal responsiveness in the event they had to play [on Sunday].
“I must make changes because a Coach can’t escape the responsibility of seeking the best [for his team], and sometimes it’s best not to keep [the same XI].
“In coaching, what you must do is analyse situations before the games begin.
“Therefore, when you win or lose, you don’t have any regrets about what you did beforehand because you were convinced that you made the right decisions [at the time].
“The match against Elche is different to that against Villarreal so we have to do different things.
“[Regarding Gerard Deulofeu’s omission], there have been times when Aleix Vidal or [Jose Antonio] Reyes have been prominent on the right wing.
“[Gerard] has been out of the team but always worked [in training] with the idea of returning to the team.”