'Bigger' - Unai Emery makes Newcastle United, West Ham & Man United claim after Aston Villa defeat

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Unai Emery watched his Aston Villa side lose 3-1 to Newcastle United.

Unai Emery has named the Premier League teams he believes will challenge Aston Villa for a top five finish this season.

Villa remain fourth the top-flight table - three points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur - despite losing 3-1 to Newcastle United on Tuesday night. It was the first time Emery's men had suffered a home defeat since February 2023.

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Newcastle, meanwhile, tasted victory away from home for only the second time in the league this campaign. As a result, Eddie Howe's men ended a run of fourth straight defeats and moved up to seventh.

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Aston Villa boss Unai Emery. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Aston Villa boss Unai Emery. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Emery believes the Magpies are among the "bigger contenders" to finish in the European spots. The Spaniard also namedropped the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion.

"I told the players I am proud of them and our supporters, as well as our work at Villa Park," said Emery. "The loss has to come like tonight, it is going to be one day. Tonight it came but the way we did it was fantastic. The perspective we have can be lost and the perspective is that against a team like Newcastle, it is not easy to win.

"We are now on day 22 and we are in the top five, but we know there are other teams who are bigger contenders than us to get there and one of them is Newcastle, one of them is Chelsea, there is Manchester United. Other teams too like West Ham and Brighton. We are being consistent, but we lost tonight and we are a little bit disappointed and a little bit frustrated.

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"We are not happy tonight with this result, but I have to try and understand now our perspective and the way we have done it. I prepared it a long time before, to tell the players that I am very proud of them and I prepared that a long time before and today is that day."

Emery added: "I don't want to lose our perspective. If we are winning and winning and winning and winning then it is better! We could finish even winning the Premier League but when people spoke about that it is very, very difficult.

"We are facing seven teams who are stronger than us and who are better than us overall in everything. We have our process and that is to try to get last year to get top ten. We got a European position and we started this year losing 5-1 to Newcastle and then 3-0 to Liverpool, two teams contenders for top seven.

"Liverpool is still there and Newcastle are behind us even winning against us. We respect them a lot and our idea it to try and be consistent. I told you before that when we get to day 32, 33, 34, where we will be, maybe we can speak about different objectives. This is our perspective."

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