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Journalist asks Jose Mourinho whether the Europa League is a priority this season

Tottenham Hotspur may not enter the new season in the four competitions they would like to be in, but they are in four competitions all the same.

The Lilywhites missed out on Champions League football for the first time in five years, only just sneaking into the Europa League qualifying spots.

Thanks to an FA Cup win for Arsenal which also saw the Gunners qualify for the Europa League, Spurs must now navigate three qualifying rounds in order to make the group stage.

First up is an away trip to Lokomotiv Plovdiv in Bulgaria tomorrow evening, a tie that will be played over one leg, meaning extra-time and penalties are on the cards.

Spurs have been without a trophy for over 12 years now, with their last coming in the form of a Carling Cup in 2008.

A Europa League win this season would not only end the trophy drought, but also see the Lilywhites qualify for the Champions League again next season.

Asked in his press conference where the competition lies within his priorities, Mourinho replied (Football London): “First of all we need to win three matches to be in the real Europa League. This is just qualification to be in the group stage. We need to win three matches. Without that nothing.

“The Europa League has some very good teams, some teams are dropping from the Champions League. Yesterday for example I think it was AZ Alkmaar and Benfica who dropped from Champions League qualifiers to the Europa League.

“Later in December some other teams will drop from the Champions League to the Europa League. The Europa League is a very hard competition to win, but if you qualify to the group stage, which is the most important and difficult thing now, we get six matches to play for points, no knockouts.

“I think we are strong enough to go over that.”

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