Emery Remains Determined for Last Europa Chance
After Aston Villa suffered a narrow defeat to Wolves at Molineux on Saturday, Villa manager Unai Emery remained upbeat about his team’s performance. The game’s only goal came in the ninth minute from Toti’s header, but Emery saw positives in his team’s play, despite their lack of chances coming from their 62% possession of the game.
“I’m disappointed with the result but happy with the game plan we did,” reflected, Emery. The Villa boss went on to show contentment over how his team managed the match, staying level-handed and sticking to the game plan, after conceding the early goal.
Game management is a positive in terms of the bigger picture, but in the here and now, Villa desperately needed points and ultimately Emery will be privately disappointed.
Although Villa’s hopes of qualifying for Europe next season hang by a thread, the Villa boss was upbeat and quickly switched his focus on the next game, the visit of Tottenham to Villa Park.
It’s a game Villa will have to win to stay in the European equation.
“We’re going to play the next match against Tottenham at home with three points difference,” reflected Emery. “They are in the European position. We have to be excited and we have to be very focused to get the last opportunity.”
Emery was able to include Boubacar Kamara, Leon Bailey, and Philippe Coutinho in his match day squad for the game after injury, and after sitting on the bench in the past few weeks, Diego Carlos got some actual minutes, as a second-half substitute.
“It was very important, Diego Carlos coming back from a long injury is fantastic,” enthused Emery, adding he was happy to have also strengthened the bench with his other returnees. “Players are coming back from small injuries and it’s very important.”
It may be too little, too late for Villa this season. Villa needs to beat Spurs to stay in the race for a Europa place, with difficult games against Liverpool and Brighton to close out the season.
“Next Saturday at home to Tottenham is our next challenge and our last opportunity to get a European position,” admitted Emery, knowing his team are in the last chance salon and in need of a few favours elsewhere too.