Perrin: UEFA Cup is a chore
The French club host Werder Bremen on Wednesday needing to overturn a 1-0 first-leg defeat to reach the quarter-finals.
French sports daily L'Equipe reported on Monday that Perrin did not want St Etienne to qualify.
"I have noticed that whenever we play on the European stage, we lose or draw the following game in Ligue 1... The UEFA Cup is such a chore. We won't try to go through when we take on Werder Bremen," Perrin was quoted as saying.
But Perrin later backtracked and told the St Etienne website: "We still have chances of qualifying.
"We are happy to have reached the round of 16 and to challenge opponents such as Werder Bremen, who played in the Champions League this season... It is going to be difficult but we have to honour our shirt and to fight for our qualification."
St Etienne dropped to third from bottom in Ligue 1 after a 1-0 defeat at Grenoble on Sunday.