James Collins: Why the Europa League will be difficult for West Ham

Upton Park

West Ham United defender James Collins feels there is going to be additional pressure over the Hammers because of Europe.

West Ham United defender James Collins told talkSPORT he feels the Europa League is going to be really tough for his team when the new season gets underway.

The Hammers have qualified for the competition through the Fair Play table from the Premier League last season, which creates a chance for the quad to gain experience of the competition before hopefully qualifying again before the move to the Olympic Stadium.

It’s a challenge for the side which will be unfamiliar to a lot of the players, but a competition where Slaven Bilic has some real experience.

“With the Europa this season, it’s going to be really tough on us with the pressure. Let’s hope this season goes well, that we go well in the Europa and we can look forward to our last season at Upton Park,” he said.

It’s going to create pressure because the exposure and criticism which follows European matches can sometimes be more intense than most players are used to.

It’s also a competition which creates pressure for Bilic in terms of improving the squad, because he will know all about the need to have extra options in various positions with the turnaround time before important league games very short.

If West Ham can ensure they compete well in Europe, it will give the squad a little extra added motivation going into league games, because there will be an eagerness to get back into the competition for next season.

The league is always going to be the priority but if the Hammers can get themselves into a position near the top eight and stay there, European football at the Olympic Stadium only creates more possibilities and benefits for the club long term.

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