Hughes eyes Europa League spot

BY foxsports • May 17, 2011

The Cottagers, who reached the final of the tournament in 2010, have been handed a chance for another European adventure after UEFA awarded England an extra place in the competition based on their Respect Fair Play rankings. The top side from the Premier League's own Fair Play league, who have not already qualified for Europe, will now be awarded a place in the tournament. And Fulham appear the likely beneficiaries after top side Tottenham leapfrogged Liverpool into a fifth place qualifying position at the weekend. If Spurs end the season there on Sunday, the Cottagers will secure a spot in the competition after narrowly missing out on the title to Atletico Madrid last year. Hughes is relishing the prospect, telling Fulham's official website: "If we get into the competition we'll be delighted and we'll try and progress as far as we can. "I think we're very close but a lot of things have to fall into place before we can say we're playing in Europe next season, but if we are, we'll give it a go." The manager knows competing in the Europa League could cut his side's summer break short, with the first round of qualifiers scheduled for June. He added: "We should embrace it, and if we're in it, we'll try our best to be successful. "It's a difficult competition to negotiate because of the time frame and the amount of games you have to play. "If you want to progress you have to come back very early and start playing football almost immediately when you come back." Fulham have picked up several yellow cards in their last two Premier League games, but Hughes has been delighted with their overall disciplinary record. "In some games you'll pick up more yellow cards than you will in other games," he added. "That's a consequence of what we do and we've been very good in terms of our discipline this season."

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