De Zerbi says Brighton must build stronger squad for European challenge
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi admits the Seagulls will need to spend ahead of their European debut.
They have qualified for the Europa League for the first time in their history after finishing sixth in the Premier League.
Brighton had already wrapped up sixth spot before Sunday’s final day 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa and De Zerbi knows they will need to expand their squad to cope with the demands of European competition.
“We are not ready to play three games in a row, three games per week. We are not used to playing three games in a row,” he said.
“We have to work in the transfer market, we have to build a stronger squad, with more players and then we have to improve.
“The result we achieved this year was incredible, Tony (Bloom), me and Paul Barber, we have the dream to improve this result.
“The season is finished which is bad news for me – it’s difficult without football. I will go to Italy and will work with Tony Bloom and the club to improve the squad.
“This season was fantastic and we have to try and repeat it.”
Deniz Undav’s goal was not enough to rescue a point after Brighton fell 2-0 down inside 30 minutes at Villa following strikes from Douglas Luiz and Ollie Watkins.
Victory earned Villa seventh in the Premier League and a Europa Conference League play-off spot, returning to Europe for the first time in 13 years.
Boss Unai Emery said: “It’s important because we’re going to be one step ahead in our objective to be in Europe. To play in the Conference League is very important.
“We’re adding the possibility of another trophy because it’s very difficult in the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup. Our objective and ambitions will be to try and always be a candidate to get a trophy.
“To play in Europe for the club and the coaches, because I was playing 15 years in a row in Europe, so to get that again next year is fantastic for me individually and I’m very happy playing in Europe.”