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Southampton midfielder still believes in top four finish

Morgan Schneiderlin says Southampton are refusing to give up on their Champions League aspirations despite Saturday's damaging defeat at Stoke.

Schneiderlin scored in Saturday's defeat at Stoke. Credit: PA

Saints missed the chance to close the gap on fourth-placed Manchester City to two points as they went down to a 2-1 defeat at the Britannia Stadium.

Schneiderlin opened the scoring with his first Barclays Premier League goal since September, but a mistake from Saints goalkeeper Kelvin Davis allowed Mame Diouf to equalise and substitute Charlie Adam stole all three points with six minutes to go.

Schneiderlin accepts the Europa League is a more realistic goal for Southampton now, but he insists the players still have faint hopes of qualifying for the premier club competition in Europe.

"We wanted to achieve the top four and now it's going to be even more complicated but we're not going to give up," the midfielder told Southampton's website.

"We wanted to give the fans the most prestigious competition but if not, we want to give them the Europa League. We want to secure European football for this club, that's our main target."

Stoke v Southampton starting line-ups

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