Express & Star

Unai Emery warns 'no excuses' after latest Aston Villa setback

Unai Emery has declared injuries no excuse for Villa after Ezri Konsa became the latest player sidelined.


The defender will miss up to a month with a knee sprain sustained in Saturday’s 5-0 win at Sheffield United.

Villa are also without Lucas Digne (hamstring) and Jhon Duran (hamstring), though Pau Torres will return to the squad for tonight’s FA Cup fourth round replay against Chelsea.

Emery has regularly been forced to rethink his plans due to injuries since losing Emi Buendia and Tyrone Mings for the long-term at the start of the campaign.

He said: “Injuries were not part of our plan but they are coming. I accept each injury because it is something we have to adapt.

“It is not an excuse. We were without Jacob Ramsey and Alex Moreno until November. They were not available to play.

“We were being more or less successful in our performances. If we had every player we could have better performances but it is not 100 per cent.

“Now we are going to try and adapt with a new injury but we are also adding Pau Torres and soon Lucas Digne who were very important early in the season.”

Konsa’s absence will be keenly felt, with the 26-year-old having been an ever-present in the Premier League to this point.

His performances at centre-back earned a first England call-up last November, while he has also impressed at right-back over the past two months.

Emery said: “Sometimes one month is not a lot but it depends. For example now we are without Ezri Konsa for a month.

“It will be a lot because he is playing every match and is playing very well. His performances have been fantastic because he is playing two different positions, two different roles.”

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