Unai Emery makes top four stance clear after Aston Villa vs Newcastle United
Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has been speaking about his side’s top four hopes after their comprehensive win over Newcastle United.
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The Magpies put on a disappointing performance at Villa Park, losing 3-0 to an in-form Villa side following a brace from Ollie Watkins and a Jacob Ramsey strike. Eddie Howe’s men have been in good form of late, but they have now suffered a significant setback in their battle to land Champions League football, particularly given they face Tottenham next up.
As for Villa, they are now six points behind Newcastle having played a game more, and while they will know they are far more likely to secure Europa League football, they are now top four outsiders, and they have earned the right to enter the conversation. Saturday’s win makes it five wins on the bounce and seven wins in eight for the Midlands side.
And Emery made it clear his men have a ‘new target’ following their win over Newcastle.
“We have to be in good balance, not thinking after this victory that it is going to be easy,” the Spaniard told BT Sport. “Completely different - it is going to be very difficult, because now we have a really new target and it will be difficult, but I want to take this challenge with the players.”
Speaking about the win more generally, he added: “(I’m) Very thankful, firstly, for the supporters. Today was amazing. It was a very difficult match, but we had a game plan for the players, and we conceded only corner. This is a team that has the most corners of the season. This was a challenge we had in the match.”
Crucially, Villa still have to play Tottenham and Manchester United before the end of the season, giving them a real shot if they can continue their superb form, but Newcastle still have a Champions League spot in their own hands, at least for now, and they will need to pick themselves up quickly ahead of that all-important Tottenham clash.