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Williams pleased to avoid Europe

Published 18/05/2015

Skipper Ashley Williams feels Swansea are better off next season without the demands of the Europa League
Skipper Ashley Williams feels Swansea are better off next season without the demands of the Europa League

Swansea skipper Ashley Williams feels it is a blessing to be missing out on the Europa League next season.

The bloated European competition is considered more of a curse than a reward by many, with the playing and travel demands having a serious impact on a club's Barclays Premier League campaign.

Swansea manager Garry Monk said he was disappointed the club's European hopes had been extinguished after the 4-2 home defeat to Manchester City on Sunday, but his captain Williams did not share that sentiment and is content to focus on domestic commitments.

"I really enjoyed playing the games when we were in the competition last season but it is very difficult," Williams said.

"You see that most teams in the Premier League suffer when they play in it.

"It was one of those things where if we had got it then brilliant, but now we haven't we can concentrate on the Premier League.

"I'm glad I've played in it once in my career and it wouldn't have been doom and gloom if we had got in there.

"But I'd prefer to concentrate on the league."

Swansea might have missed out on European football for the second time in three seasons, but the Welsh outfit have still had an outstanding campaign with a record Premier League points total haul and a best eighth-placed finish.

Many pundits believe Swansea have hit their ceiling as far as the Premier League is concerned but Williams insists the aim at the club is to keep on improving.

"Who knows if we've hit the ceiling, we're just enjoying being in eighth right now," Williams said.

"The main thing is that we keep getting better and we've progressed this year.

"If the Europa League is the next step then you have to try and get in it, and then it's down to the club to get a bigger squad and manage it better than we did last time.

"I wouldn't say that we want to sit in eighth for the next five years because we want to keep getting better and better.

"It's up to us as players and the club to make sure we can compete."

Monk has said he wants to add "two or three quality players" this summer to a squad which has been severely depleted by injuries in recent weeks.

"We have a lot of talking to do before next year as we've learned a lot this season," Williams said.

"It will be good for the senior players and the manager to get our brains together to decide what worked and what didn't and which direction we want to go in."

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