Potter’s wizardry helps Ostersund defy the odds in Europa League

Graham Potter will be the last English coach standing in continental competition this season after leading Swedish minnows Ostersund to an improbable place in the Europa League knockout stages.

Potter described his team’s achievement as “science fiction” after a 2-0 win over Zorya on Thursday sealed their passage from Group J to the last 32 with a game to spare.

The former Southampton defender told Swedish media: “We are showing science fiction. At the beginning of the season no-one would have believed it, but we have done it and we deserve it.”

The Ostersund starting line-up included 23-year-old Curtis Edwards, who moved to Sweden from Northern League Division Two club Thornaby two years ago.

And Jamie Hopcutt, who was released by York City and endured unsuccessful spells at the likes of Whitby and Ossett Town before seizing the chance to join up with Potter, was on the bench.

Ostersund, who languished in the fourth tier of Swedish football just six years ago, will join the likes of AC Milan and Villarreal in the draw for the last 32 which will take place on December 11.

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