Southampton's Claude Puel on target's for new season - shows why he's perfect for the club

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Southampton's new manager certainly has a record to be proud of when it comes to European football.

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New Southampton manager Claude Puel has made it clear that the club's aspirations are towards regularly competing in Europe, in an interview on the Saints' website following his appointment.

The 54-year-old has led three of his four clubs in regular continental football, having started at Monaco and then gone on to Lyon and Lille. Even more impressively, his four seasons at recent club Nice have seen two fourth place finishes, including in the campaign just gone.

And he made it clear that he is a manager who knows how to juggle domestic and European commitments.

“The challenge for me, and for the club also, is to continue the good results and to play games every three days," Puel told the Southampton website.

“It's a new thing for the club, although not for me, because I know this, but it will be important to know the particularities of this season.

“It’s a very, very good challenge for Southampton, but for me also. I know the high level with different clubs in France, I know the Europa League, I know the Champions League.

“I hope that it's a possibility in the future for Southampton to play in the Champions League, but it's important to improve with these players. They know the high level with the Europa League and I hope with the Champions League for the future.”

The Saints qualified for Europe last season, the first time since 2003, but they were unable to make it through the qualifying stages that came so early in the season.

Southampton comfortably beat Vitesse Arnhem, before losing out to Danish champions Midtjylland with an under strength team.

It would be one of the few criticisms that could be levelled at Ronald Koeman last season, that he failed to bring the south coast club into the Europa League proper.

New boss Puel certainly hasn't had such problems at either qualifying for Europe or making a real fist of continental competition.

In fact, after Arsene Wenger, no other Frenchman has managed more Champions League matches than the Saints' manager.

Southampton fans will certainly be hoping that he can add to those 48 games sooner in the near future.

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