Matty Cash was full of praise after being asked about the difference Unai Emery has made since he was appointed as Aston Villa boss.
Although we suffered disappointment in the cup competitions, Villa have secured five wins in seven Premier League outings since Emery arrived, collecting 16 points from a possible 21 while putting together an unbeaten run in our last four games.
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That in turn has seen us move to within three points of sixth place, and it’s hoped that we can maintain that form in the coming weeks to climb into the top half of the table and really compete for a European qualification spot.
The difference that Emery has made has been clear for supporters too, as we’ve seen an improvement in our defensive organisation and discipline for the most part, while we see how the Spaniard wants us to play out from the back and with quick, incisive passing in the final third to break teams down.
While there is still naturally a long way to go and we need to be more consistent, there is already a real sense of identity and a style of play under Emery, and those were key aspects missing previously.
That said, it’s also fascinating to hear insight from the players, and Cash is the latest to praise Emery’s methods and reveal more about his mentality and how the squad has responded to him.
“A lot different,” he told BBC Sport. “Obviously every manager has their own style of how they want to play, and Unai has fine details of what he likes, it’s incredible really.
“The meetings we have are long but it’s like a classroom where you’re learning and everyone wants to learn. I think even the experienced players will say that in the short space of time which he has been here that they have learned from him.
“In the short time we have come on leaps and bounds, I think we have climbed up the table, picked some really good points up away from home and we’re in a really good position but under this manager it’s not good enough to be there we need to be higher.
“We’ve got some amazing players who can make the difference at any time so keep winning and keep climbing the table and that’s all you can do.”
It’s hoped that there is still plenty more that the players have to take on as we look to continue to progress and improve, and although it was a quiet January transfer window, there is still a lot of quality in this current group.
Emery has never wavered from his objectives in terms of getting more out of the players at his disposal as he was adamant that they were underperforming prior to his arrival, and while we’ve seen really positive signs in the first few months, there is a feeling that we will continue to show more as we meet his demands more consistently and execute his gameplans successfully.
🗣 Matty Cash on the Unai Emery influence…🙌🏽🟣🔵#avfc #UTV pic.twitter.com/ygGFnDzQmq
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) February 3, 2023