HomeEmery: Aston Villa have improved since Newcastle drubbing

Emery: Aston Villa have improved since Newcastle drubbing

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Unai Emery believes Aston Villa are now a “completely different” team to that thrashed 5-1 by Newcastle United on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, as they eye revenge in Tuesday’s return fixture.

Villa’s 2023-24 campaign got off to a miserable start as they were hammered 5-1 at St James’ Park in August, with defensive stalwart Tyrone Mings suffering a season-ending knee injury in the first half.

The two teams’ trajectories have been very different since then, however.

While Newcastle are languishing in 10th place, sitting 14 points adrift of the Champions League spots after enduring an injury-hit campaign, Villa are fourth and will move within two points of leaders Liverpool if they win on Tuesday.

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Recalling the reverse fixture at Monday’s pre-match press conference, Emery said: “It was tough, not only the result but for the match because it was the moment Tyrone was injured.

“It was a difficult moment. We had some circumstances that were really bad. We analysed and worked after that match, trying to improve, and I think that now it’s completely different.

“We respect Newcastle a lot. They have some injured players and with the Premier League and Champions League, the demand is very high.

“They are not being like last year when they had an amazing season, played fantastic and qualified for the Champions League. They were successful in the cups as well.

“This year it’s different, but my respect has not changed. We are going to respect them as they deserve and we are ready for tomorrow.”

In the build-up to the game, The Athletic’s David Ornstein reported that Newcastle had made an approach for Villa midfielder Jacob Ramsey.

The Magpies would reportedly need to make a major sale to fund a move for Ramsey, who is valued at around £50million by Villa, while Tottenham and Bayern Munich have also been credited with an interest in him.

Emery, however, is desperate to keep the 21-year-old, saying: “Jacob Ramsey is a very important player. He grew up here in the academy and his progress is clear, he’s getting better.

“His level is increasing a lot and I want to keep him here with us. He is a potentially big, big player for Aston Villa and England. I want to keep him here 100 per cent.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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