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“Stay Strong This Season” – Emery’s Simple Pre Newcastle Message After Positive Pre Season

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Aston Villa rounded off their 2023/24 pre season preparations in some style as we took a largely comfortable victory over Valencia out at the Mestalla on Saturday evening. Goals in each half from Ollie Watkins in minute 22 and Emi Buendia in minute 66 took us to a 2-1 win on the night, and the only real disappointment was in seeing Calum Chambers accidentally put the ball into his own net with two minutes left on the clock.

It’s only pre season though, but there are far more positives than negatives and our six build up games see us head into next weekend’s Premier League opener against Newcastle United unbeaten.

Aston Villa:

Martinez, Cash (Chambers 78), Konsa, Mings, Pau Torres (Digne 45), Kamara (Tielemans 64), Luiz, Bailey (Buendia 45), Diaby (Coutinho 64), McGinn (Philogene 64), Watkins (Archer 78).

Unused subs: Olsen, Zych, Revan, Kellyman.

Highlights are available by Clicking Here.

Speaking the day after the game, manager Unai Emery was very pleased with what he had seen from the group again against Valencia, but ow the action begins for real.

“Today was a really tough match. Playing away is always difficult and we have to be competitive. Today, for example, we weren’t brilliant for 90 minutes, we didn’t control the game like we wanted but I think we competed well. Over 90 minutes, we took our moments to control the game better than we were doing. We scored two goals and didn’t concede a lot of chances to them; their goal was a small mistake.”

He added.

“Now we’re analysing the pre-season, I am happy with the matches we played in the United States, I’m happy with the match we played against Lazio and the match we played today with the atmosphere. Next week we are starting away against Newcastle and we have to take the good things we are doing, be competitive and try to stay strong this season.”

With four goals in six games, Watkins is in fine form as we head towards the season proper, and he is obviously looking for that form to continue as we again look for further improvement in the coming campaign.

“It’s nice to be scoring frequently. I didn’t have many opportunities but when it fell to me, I took it. I’m glad I got a goal. Long may that continue and I can take it into the season. It’s nice to score in the games leading up to the season.”

We all know pre season counts for little other than fitness, sharpness and some confidence, but if we can start strongly against Eddie Howe’s side, it’ll be the kick that everyone needs to really get the optimism up about the year ahead – as pre season performances have definitely built on the work Emery put in last campaign, so right now, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be excited.

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