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Aston Villa news conference: Unai Emery on Lille in Europe

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Unai Emery has been speaking to the media before Aston Villa’s Europa Conference League quarter-final first-leg with Lille on Thursday.

Here are the key lines from his news conference:

  • Emery will not let Sunday’s Premier League trip to former club Arsenal influence his team selection on Thursday. He said: “No way, we are speaking about the match tomorrow and we are thinking about the match we are going to play then. It’s not good for us, me or anybody (to think about other games).”

  • Asked about his experience in Europe, Emery insisted being able to give his players experience in the competition is crucial: “Firstly we respect the competition and Europe is difficult. It’s good to have the experience we are having in this competition. Sometimes it’s a difficult moment, like losing the first match in Legia Warsaw, or winning in the last minute against Zjrinski. We played two legs against Ajax and it was very good experience for us.”

  • On Thursday’s opponents: “Lille is the same (as other teams), respect the competition and respect the opponent. They have experience in Europe. I know the chairman (Olivier Létang), he is very competitive and an experienced man as well. They are focused on this competition. They are fourth in the league and they are focusing and have good players, a good coach – Paulo Fonseca – and they are very competitive and have a tactically very good coach.”

  • Matty Cash remains out with a hamstring injury with Clement Lenglet also struggling with a minor problem. Long-term absentees Tyrone Mings, Emi Buendia and Boubacar Kamara are progressing but will still not play this season with Jacob Ramsey also out with a toe injury.

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