English clubs disadvantaged in Europe, says Puel

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Southampton boss Claude Puel was unsurprised to see Tottenham crash out of the Champions League and thinks English clubs have a tough task competing on the continent.

Puel spent his whole playing career with Monaco, had seven years working under Arsene Wenger in the principality and later became manager himself.

He was therefore thrilled to see the Ligue 1 side dump Spurs out of the Champions League, but feels the toughness of the Premier League drains top-flight squads for their European endeavours.

Southampton also suffered a midweek defeat, losing 1-0 at Sparta Prague in the Europa League ahead of Sunday's home match against Everton - although their hopes of reaching the knockout stages are not yet over. 

"I was happy for the result of Monaco because Monaco was my club during 25 years - all my career was in Monaco," Puel said to Sky Sports.

"I saw the game against Tottenham, I saw Tottenham tired, without energy.

"I think it is very difficult to play Premier League and to play a European game also. 

"Monaco has good players, good level. They're technical, physical - the result was normal for me.

"But it is very difficult for English clubs to play different competitions because the Premier League is difficult every week." 

Arsenal boss Wenger was a huge influence in Puel's career, but the Saints manager stressed he also has his own identity. 

"Of course, Arsene Wenger was very important for me," he added.

"I learned from him during seven years at Monaco, it's a long time and now it's interesting to see all the great trainers to develop what I can do.

"I think it is important always to keep my character because it is my personality. But it is interesting to stay open with all the styles, the possibilities of the team."