“When you look at the teams now and the money that’s being spent, you have to be honest and say it’s going to be difficult replicating that fifth-place finish. But our ambition must be to try to do that.
Demba (Ba) went to Chelsea, and that was a big blow for us last year. I think the fact that we never really replaced him got missed a little bit. We brought in (Yoan) Gouffran, but we weren’t really able to replace Demba like for like. If I can replace Demba into this team, I think this team is stronger than the one that finished fifth. But I think the task of finishing in the top five is more difficult for us because of the growth of some of the other clubs who were just below us.
In particular, Liverpool and Spurs have spent a lot of money, and other clubs such as Swansea and Southampton have coordinated their financial strength really well.
You look at a club like Southampton, and they’re in a much stronger financial position than us in terms of purchasing players. Even though my team might be slightly stronger on paper once we replace Demba – team and squad – it’ll be even more difficult to get fifth“.