Escriba: Villarreal want EL glory

Fran Escriba has made it clear that Villarreal are ready to emulate Sunday’s La Liga opponents Sevilla by winning the Europa League this season.

Villarreal dropped into the Europa League after they exited the Champions League at the playoff stage to Monaco on Tuesday, but Escriba is keen for his side to follow Sevilla’s lead and show they mean business in Europe’s second-tier competition.

“We already know about Zurich, Steaua Bucharest are a historical team and it’s only Osmanlispor we don’t know about, but we know how difficult Turkish football is,” the Coach said at a Press conference.

“The idea is to finish top of the group, it’s the obligation and idea for all our games.

“At home, there must be wins and we must be strong for our fans. The away games, with the European atmospheres, are complicated.

“The disappointment of exiting the Champions League is big, but we must think about winning the Europa League.

“Perhaps the group stage is not that exciting, but then come the games that generate more enthusiasm.

“I expect Sevilla to be the one we’ve seen in the Super Cups, very brave, open and having gone from a physical team to a more technical one.

“We have to be a team that are close-knit and give them no space.

“[On no Villarreal players in Julen Lopetegui’s first Spain squad], it’s logical that when a new Coach comes in, there are changes.

“We respect Lopetegui’s decisions completely and I’m sure Villarreal players will soon be back in the squad.

“[Lopetegui] has all our support, and if Villarreal have a good campaign then it’ll be better for everyone.”

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