Express & Star

Unai Emery: Leicester defeat can prove a valuable lesson for Villa

Unai Emery believes Saturday’s 4-2 defeat to Leicester can prove valuable to Villa in the long-term if they learn from their mistakes.


Villa’s resurgence under the Spaniard was brought to a shuddering halt by a gaffe-strewn performance in which they largely gifted the Foxes victory, missing out on the chance to climb into the Premier League’s top half.

Boss Emery, who had won seven of his first seven league matches in charge, later admitted frustration at the display but stressed the importance of focusing on the bigger picture.

He said: “We are progressing because we were down the bottom (when I arrived) and now we’re 11th. We have to be ambitious as well to play better. That process needs time.

“Losing is sometimes necessary. Overall, we are trying to improve being clinical.

“In the last result, we won. On Saturday, we can be disappointed but we have to do the same idea and be better next time.”

Emery insisted he would not change his tactic of passing out from the back after Boubacar Kamara’s error handed James Maddison an equaliser, three minutes after Ollie Watkins had opened the scoring. It was the third time Villa had conceded under his watch by losing possession around their own penalty area but the boss believes the benefits of the strategy outweigh the risks and expects players to learn from the experience.

“The mistake was a picture in that moment for that player.

“For example, against Brighton it was Douglas Luiz. Stevenage it was (Leander) Dendoncker. On Saturday it was Kamara.

“Three midfielders making that mistake in each match. They are the players playing in this position.

“They have to try to be consistent, working, practising. That is the way I want to do and that’s my idea I want to propose for the team and the players.

“When we are doing well, in the 90 minutes we had moments playing good and breaking the pressing.

“We created good chances. I will analyse and practice to improve that action of the style we want to create. I will work in the next days and in the next matches to improve.

“The opposition have very good players. They were pressing. We have to learn to try to break the pressing. They came here to push us and press us high. We can play long ball, long ball, long ball but I don’t want to do it.”

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