Express & Star

Matty Cash on why Aston Villa will keep looking up after success

Matty Cash feels the “only way is up” for Villa after Unai Emery announced his decision to commit his future to the club.


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Emery penned a new five-year deal at Villa Park after leading them to Uefa Champions League qualification for the first time in their history.

The Spaniard secured a top-four finish with one game to spare following Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of eventual champions Manchester City.

Villa will take part in Europe’s elite cup competition for the first time since 1982/83 – the season after they famously lifted the European Cup in 1982 – and for the first time since it was rebranded the Champions League in 1992.

Speaking at a charity golf day in support of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice in Barnet, Cash said he cannot help but be excited for what the future holds under Emery.

“It just shows where the club is going,” he said in an interview with Sky Sports. “It’s a massive thing that the boss has stayed.

“Since he has come in, he has made the club a million times better in terms of the way we’re playing and performing.

“Obviously the club and the fans speak for themselves because they’ve been a massive part of it.

“The fans run the club really. So the fact that we’ve got it really good off the pitch, with the manager and stuff behind the scenes, shows that the only way is up for Villa.

“Fingers crossed we can start well next year.”

Emery has overseen a remarkable transformation at Villa since succeeding Steven Gerrard in the dugout back in November 2022.

15 wins from his first 25 league games at the helm steered Villa from 13th to seventh as they confirmed qualification for the Europa Conference League in his first season.

Villa went onto reach the semi-finals in their first European campaign in 13 years, before consolidating their European adventure with their highest league finish in 28 years.

From an individual perspective, Cash could also be set to make his Champions League bow in what will be his fifth season at Villa Park.

The 26-year-old has made 142 appearances across his four seasons with the Villains and found the net five times this term.

Wild celebrations ensued at Villa’s end-of-season awards ceremony, as Cash revealed Emery granted them ample time off to toast their stunning achievement.

And after a gruelling campaign, which saw Villa play no fewer than 56 games in all competitions, Cash is looking forward to hitting the reset button ahead of another monumental year next season.

“The boss said to us, ‘you can party as long as you want’, so we had a good 48 hours,” the Poland international laughed. “It was a great night. It was good that we could do it all together as well at the awards night.

“It was special because everyone who had been involved at the club right through to the cleaners and the waiters.

“Everyone was involved which was a great way to do it.

“We needed it (the time off). When he is doing the video meetings, we’re all listening and we all want to get better and improve.

“But time off is nice as well.

“We’ve all worked hard and now we’ll enjoy a little rest and get ready for pre-season.”