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John McGinn says Aston Villa’s Conference League exit a ‘learning curve’

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John McGinn believes Aston Villa’s Europa Conference League campaign has been a “learning curve” despite suffering a semi-final exit to Olympiakos.

Unai Emery’s side missed out on a place in the final after going down 6-2 on aggregate against the Greek side.

Villa travelled to the Karaiskakis Stadium needing a memorable turnaround, having lost the first leg 4-2 on home soil, but were unable to overturn the deficit.

“I think it has been a big learning curve for us,” McGinn told TNT Sports. “It’s not been a smooth journey.

“We got to the semi-final and were down to the bare bones a wee bit. However, those of us that were out there across the two legs lost to the better team, and the scoreline shows that.”

Despite falling in the Conference League, Villa will secure Champions League football next season if Tottenham lose to Burnley on Saturday or if Emery’s side beat Liverpool on Monday.

“For us going into more European competition next season, we need to learn how to manage moments a lot better,” added Villa captain McGinn.

“Of course we wanted to do better this year and get to a European final, but we will do everything we can to get ourselves back into this position and get to a final.”

Emery says Villa are having an “amazing season” after playing in Europe for the first time since 2010.

“My message is clear,” Emery told TNT Sports. “Move on and we have to try and finish the season.

“[We are] doing an amazing season, particularly if we manage to achieve the last objective. Even without it [Champions League] we are in Europe, in the Europa League.

“This is an experience for us at Aston Villa after a long time [of not being in Europe] and again we are going to compete in Europe next year. Of course we are a little bit disappointed, a little bit frustrated, but we have to move on quick.”

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