Jubilant Emery aware of Chelsea and Liverpool’s European desires

Unai Emery has turned around Aston Villa’s fortunes. The Villans are six points adrift of Champions League places, a far cry from their relegation slot placement back in October.

The Spaniard did not need much time to adapt to his new surroundings in the midlands. Moreover, the squad has rallied to his war cries, responding in the only manner that was acceptable given their conditions.

Both Chelsea and Liverpool find themselves in a similar quandary to Villa when Emery took over. The Villa Park’s faithful are the envy as Emery’s men overtook the famed duo in the Premier League rankings.

The former Arsenal and Villarreal manager knows about the enormity of the feats they have accomplished. However, he was unwilling to accpt that the deed is done and knows harder tests are to come their way in the final stretch of the campaign.

“First, we have to be consistent now in the top 10. Of course, with those victories we have added six points in the table. Now, we can add another step ahead thinking to be candidate to be in the European position,” Emery remarked.

“But it’s going to be very difficult because of Brighton, Brentford – they’re playing very well. We’re now with them – Chelsea and Liverpool as well, they have to be in Europe next year and we have to fight with them to be in Europe. They will react as well. We can have ambition and motivation to try to be a candidate.”

Traore Rennaisance in Villa Park

Burkina Faso attacker, Bertrand Traor, has impressed in Aston Villa’s cause this season. The attacker has found life in the Premier League difficult following his move from Olympiq Lyon in the summer of 2020.

Traore cut short his loan move to Istanbul Basaksehir and scored his third goal in Villa’s colour this season. Emery was pleased with the output from the 27-year-old, stating his impact across the pitch. Traore is not just putting the ball into the back of the net put also disrupting the opposition’s defence while being a vocal member in the dressing room.

“Yes, Bertrand Traore! He’s very appreciated in the dressing room. Everybody loves him. He decided to come back [in January] to help us. He was progressing because he was injured at the beginning and, today, everyone is happy. He’s a very good guy. He has good skills, good 1-vs-1. He has the capacity to score and he helps us. The goal is great for him,” Emery commented.

Watkins risese to the challenge

England striker Ollie Watkins has been in sensational form in recent weeks, building on his burgeoning reputation at Villa Park. The England international has scored 11 goals in their cause and has been a key highlight in their season.

Emery hailed the 27-year-old attacker, attributing to his incrased output given their circumstnaces to work on the traiing ground. With Villa adopting a pressing style under the Spaniard, empasis on Watkins’ role has incresed and the striker has lived up to his billing.

“For us, he’s very important. He’s not only scoring but his commitment every day trying to add more work, watching his clips. He’s the first defence in our idea, trying to be consistent.

“He’s working very well with the high pressing. He’s trying to fight with the defenders. He’s scoring and he’s adding the best quality as a striker – the goal.”

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