LONDON: Unai Emery has urged Aston Villa to “write a new history” ahead of the Premier League club’s first European campaign in 13 years.
Villa face Scottish Premiership side Hibernian in the first leg of their Europa Conference League qualifying play-off at the Edinburgh team’s Easter Road ground on Wednesday.
Emery, a four-time Europa League winner as a manager, and said pictures of Villa’s 1982 European Cup triumph on the walls of the Birmingham side’s Bodymoor Heath training were an inspiration to him and his players.
“Everyday when I go to the training ground there is the ‘82 European Cup (picture),“ Emery said on Tuesday.
“It’s good to have that memory.
“This is the history for Aston Villa and it’s amazing. Of course we want to write a new history now, doing it our way and hopefully we can do something important here.
“Always when I go in my office I am passing this (picture) and I am always watching the trophy,“ the 51-tear-old added.
Emery won the Europa League with Sevilla three years running (2014, 2015 and 2016) and lifted the trophy again with fellow Spanish club Villarreal in 2021. He was also a runner-up when in charge of Arsenal in 2019.
“We play Hibernian and have to play two matches to try and get to the group stage and that is the objective,“ he said.
“I’m so happy about this and want to share my mindset with the players and the supporters because Europe always is something amazing for everybody.
“We have our experiences, the players and me as a coach. Playing in Europe always gave me a lot as a coach. In football, I’m so grateful for the possibility to play in Europe like I have.”
He added: “Now with Aston Villa, I want to share with everybody the experiences and I want to share my competitive way. What I did before, I want to do here.
“That is the message to the players and to the supporters. I want to focus on the two matches with Hibernian and enjoy it.”
Emery said recent signing Nicolo Zaniolo, who won the inaugural Europa Conference League with Roma in 2022, could make his Villa debut against Hibernian after joining on loan from Galatasaray until the end of the season on Friday. –AFP