Aston Villa news from Birmingham Live as Unai Emery speaks ahead of the club’s Europa Conference League clash with Legia Warsaw
Unai Emery sat down with the media on Wednesday evening at the Stadion Wojska Polskiego ahead of Aston Villa’s first Europa Conference League group stage fixture against Legia Warsaw.
Here’s every word Emery said ahead of Thursday’s clash (kick-off 5:45pm)…
Can you sense a different sort of excitement playing in Europe?
“Of course, I am happy in Europe and I am really happy with what we did last year. We are trying to be demanding in what we want to do and we want to do something important in this way. We are trying to get a step forward as well, trying to enjoy here.
“It is sold out at the stadium tomorrow and I think we will play with a very good atmosphere. I know they are coming from Birmingham, 700 more or less, trying to be with us. This is special to start here in Europe. We have to enjoy, be demanding and try to do something in this way, working a new step in Europe.”
Can Jacob Ramsey and Alex Moreno play?
“They are working with the team, but we will decide tomorrow. They are here with us, but they need to take confidence again, and for us, those players are very important for the next matches and for the season. We have to take care with them playing minutes and trying to fix as well, playing minutes with us.”
Is there extra pressure because you will be classed as the favourites in most games?
“The Premier League is the best league in the world and each match is very tough. It’s the first objective we have to face this year, but Europe is another clear objective for me. We have to be demanding in Europe and enjoy.
“I never think that we play under pressure because I want to be here and we should do enjoying each match. Tomorrow, Legia Warsaw are second in the league, they’ve played two less games. They are playing very well.”
Your 100th win in Europe could come on Thursday…
“Thank you. I don’t know these matches I’ve played, but it means a lot to me, Europe. I am going to share with Aston Villa fans, workers, players and coaches a new chapter I want to write.”
What has been your favourite win in Europe?
“Every year was different. My second title I won here against Dnipro. When I was not successful it was important to learn, so I don’t want to set one special match or one because every match, winning and losing was good experiences. I want to use everything that I learned now.”
Is it David versus Goliath?
“Of course, I have my career behind me and I am here in England, in the Premier League for the second time. Always I have to be trying to understand each moment, it is a new challenge for me. To be in Europe it’s important to me, but the football is now.
“The past is only to take experiences, trying to use those experiences, trying to help me again to do something. I respect a lot every team and every coach. Legia Warsaw are playing really well and I think they have a very good structure offensively and they will play in their best football capacity and we have to be ready for it.”
What is it you enjoy about Europe so much?
“Sometimes successful, sometimes not. But I always try to use each experience and try to get better. I played in Champions League, the Europa League, the competition I had success in a lot of times. Now in the Conference League it’s a new competition, the third year in a row it is starting.
“Of course, I want to do something in this competition, but I want to enjoy each moment. We started against Hibernian. Today, tomorrow, playing the match, [we are] trying to use our processes as a team. That is the next success I want to do.”
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Welcome to Claret & Blue – An Aston Villa Podcast. Hosted by Dan Rolinson, Mat Kendrick & John Townley of Birmingham Live. On our YouTube channel, we’ll be posting a minimum of three new podcasts per week throughout the 2023/24 Premier League season.