HomePremier LeagueAston Villa: Champions League now the stated aim, says Emery

Aston Villa: Champions League now the stated aim, says Emery

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Unai Emery says qualifying for the Champions League is a realistic target for Aston Villa.

The Spaniard has repeatedly shied away from making claims about Villa’s objectives this season despite his side spending the overwhelming majority of the campaign around the top of the table.

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But with Villa in fourth place with four games to go – they are six points ahead of Spurs but Ange Postecoglou’s side have two games in hand – Emery is now happy to admit that the Champions League is the aim.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game with Chelsea, he said: “We have an amazing motivation in front of us. We’re realistic because we deserve to be contenders. Five months ago, even one month ago, I was being asked if we were contenders to be in the top seven teams. Or even contenders to be in the Champions League but I was always sending the same message: that we weren’t.

“But, of course, now we’re at game week 35 with our position in the table, we can certainly achieve it.

“We are contenders to be [top four] but we have to fight with another contender like Tottenham and so it is going to be very difficult.

“I’m very proud but we are adding another objective which is to try to get a Champions League position.”

Emery recently agreed on a contract extension at Villa Park, despite reported interest from Bayern Munich.

“I’m happy here and I’m very motivated,” he added. “When I arrived here one-and-a-half years ago, our expectation has progressively got better but there is still a lot of work to do.

“I signed a three-and-a-half-year contract but I had a clause which the club have activated one year more.

“I’m of course very happy.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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