Greening eyes more Euro joy

BY foxsports • May 27, 2011

Fulham learned on Friday that they will play in the competition after qualifying via the Premier League's Fair Play League. The west London club enjoyed arguably the greatest campaign in their 132-history two years ago when they beat the likes of Juventus, Hamburg and Shakhtar Donetsk to reach the final, where they lost in extra-time to Atletico Madrid. Greening, who played seven Europa League games that year, insists that manager Mark Hughes can follow in Roy Hodgson's footsteps and reach the final, which will be staged in Bucharest. "Last time we managed to combine all four competitions really well and I think we've got the squad of players to do it again," Greening told "I know the manager wants to add some players as well, so why not. "We've done it once, why can't we do it again?" Some, including Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, see the Europa League as a distraction, but Greening insists Fulham should embrace the competition. "A club like ours will relish the challenge. We know we're probably a few years off the Champions League, so we should take this chance with open arms," the midfielder said. "I was involved in most of the games two years ago and have great memories - especially the Juventus game. "The whole tournament really was special. The performance against Shakhtar Donetsk away from home was amazing and being involved in the final itself, apart from losing, was a great experience." Fulham will return to training early in order to prepare for the first of three qualifying rounds on June 30. Fulham's form tailed off towards the end of their previous Europa League campaign, with the club playing 63 games over the course of the season. Midfielder Steve Sidwell denies the players will suffer from fatigue next year. He said: "I don't think coming back early will be a problem. The boys are quite fit anyway and there's plenty of time when we can have days off during the season. "I'm sure the lads would rather be playing against some of the best teams in Europe than sat on a beach somewhere. I know I would. "It's a chance to test yourself and to play in Europe and at any stage of your career that is a highlight. "I have been fortunate to taste Champions League football whilst I was at Chelsea. "The Europa League is a good competition and obviously with the achievements the club made here two seasons back, we want to go far in it."

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