Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi has admitted his belief that the Basque club can qualify for the Europa League.
La Real were on a particularly strong run of form before Christmas, going seven unbeaten and taking the scalps of Valencia and Sevilla, but Coach Philippe Montanier has been at pains to point out that their target remains simply to accumulate as many points as possible.
Illarramendi has shown a little more ambition in an interview with the club’s website today, albeit whilst keeping his feet on the ground.
“You have to go little by little,” said the 22-year-old. “It is clear that we can get to the Europa League. But at the moment it makes no sense talking about it, we still have the second half of the season to play and must keep fighting.
“We finished the year well,” the Basque born no. 8 continued. “We did well to draw in Granada and go seven games unbeaten. I think we’re fine in seventh or eighth. We start next year with a difficult game against Real Madrid, but we’re confident. Let’s see if we can play a good match at the Bernabeu.”
Illarramendi finished by speaking about his own future at Anoeta.
“I am comfortable, the Coach trusts me and I’m getting minutes. A player needs that, I feel loved here. I have renewed until 2018 and I’m very happy. Let’s see if we can get into the Europa League, it will be difficult but not impossible.”