Danny Rose believes Tottenham Hotspur's participation in the Europa League has had a direct impact on the club's disappointing domestic campaign.
In a tumultuous season where the club have attempted to accommodate seven new summer signings in a period where they also underwent management upheaval, Tottenham's 'continental hangovers' have also proved detrimental to their hopes of finishing in the top four.
Taking into account their games in European qualifiers, group games and knock out ties, the club have seldom returned to Premier League games firing on all cylinders, winning just four matches off the back of continental competition, drawing one and losing six.
Ahead of their second leg last 16 clash against Benfica in Lisbon, Rose has pointed to the exquisite campaign Liverpool have enjoyed as an example of how effective exclusion from European competition can be.
"Look at Liverpool –they've played one game a week for much of the season because they're not in Europe, and they're challenging for the title," Rose said, the Evening Standard report. "It's hard to argue that playing one game a week isn't better than playing two or three.
"If you look at how many injuries they've had, I imagine it's fewer than we have had. Playing once a week can only help any team.
"In terms of the Europa League, though, it's a lot better that winning it next season will bring qualification for the Champions League. At least there is that incentive to do well.
"I still feel that is a great competition. Once the Champions League clubs join the competition for the knock out stages you have a chance to play some fantastic teams. "
A 3-1 defeat at White Hart Lane last week leaves Tottenham on the brink of an exit from the Europa League. Tim Sherwood's side can turn things around is Lisbon on Thursday evening but will have to do it with a squad dismantled by injury.
The north Londoners do not have any senior centre halves available with Younes Kaboul, Michael Dawson and Vlad Chiriches injured and Jan Vertonghen suspended, with midfielder Sandro and left back Zeki Fryers likely to deputise.
The Spurs boss has named seven untested youth players in a squad that is also without Emmanuel Adebayor, Hugo Lloris, Paulinho and Kyle Walker.