Aston Villa v Olympiacos: Emery says past Europa League titles count for nothing

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Unai Emery insists his past European achievements count for nothing in his quest to guide Aston Villa to Europa Conference League glory.

Villa host Olympiacos in the first leg of their semi-final clash on Thursday, with the decorated Spaniard looking to add a Conference League to his four Europa League titles won across spells with Sevilla and Villarreal.

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But the 52-year-old is fully focused on writing more history rather than celebrating the past as he prepares for the visit of the Greek side to Villa Park.

He said: “I don’t want to remember my past in Europe. Of course I know it’s successful more or less but I want to focus on each moment.

“The past is important for my achievements but not the future. It’s only practicing with the players we have and the club we are I can use my experiences, but it’s about creating a new way and trying to enjoy a new way.

“I know football is only to win. I’m here because I was more successful than less and we were always focusing on Europe.”

Villa are appearing in their first European semi-final since 1982 and Emery says guiding the former European Cup winners back into continental football was the main aim when he was appointed in November 2022.

“You know I was always speaking about Europe, even when I arrived here my first objective was to get to Europe,” he added.

“We did a very big effort and we have the Europa Conference League. We have enjoyed it.”

Emery will be without a number of key players for the first leg, with Emiliano Martinez – whose penalty heroics against Lille sealed Villa’s place in the final four – ruled out along with Alex Moreno and Youri Tielemans.

https://x.com/AVFCOfficial/status/1785661756125200770

But he was able to share some positive news news about the availability of attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo.

“With the injured players, this morning Nicolo Zaniolo was feeling better after yesterday not feeling very well, we are thinking to include him in the squad tomorrow,” he said.

“With Tielemans, Emiliano and Alex Moreno tomorrow they are not available. On Sunday I don’t know. They are progressing well but it is three days. I don’t know.”

 

 

Cian Cheesbrough
Cian Cheesbrough
Cian is a sports journalist with a wealth of experience writing for national titles, including LiveScore, MailOnline, Eurosport and Sky Sports. He has covered a number of key events during his time in the industry, including from the press box at live Champions League fixtures.

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