Andre Villas-Boas says he expects Tottenham to be fully tested by its Europa League quarterfinal opponents Basel, despite declaring his side's superiority.
Spurs face the 15-time Swiss league winners at White Hart Lane in the first leg of their last eight tie on Thursday evening. And, though Villas-Boas believes his side has the quality to win, he has warned that Basel's vast experience in European competition makes it one of the favorites for the Europa League.
"When it comes to the quality of the individuals, we have to admit that we have the superior players," Villas-Boas told reporters. "But on the other hand the experience that Basel have - the fact that they have played Champions League, the fact that they are regular trophy winners, their recent European experience - also makes them one of the favorites.
He added, "They put out Zenit, which was a very strong team, and we expect a tough game.”
Villas-Boas also indicated that Spurs are keen to win the competition as silverware can gloss over any subsequent Premier League disappointment.
“I think your league position always dictates the success of your season, but in the end winning a trophy is tremendously important," he said. “Chelsea finished sixth last year but it was completely overshadowed by the fact that they won two major competitions, and the most important competition in the world, so it was deemed a successful season in the end."
He continued to explain, “We want to focus on trying to win the Europa League but we understand that the fans’ and the club’s expectation for us is to try to reach Champions League qualification this year.”
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