Key talking points from Emery’s press conference ahead of Villa vs Leicester

Speaking ahead of our clash with Leicester City, Aston Villa boss Unai Emery addressed the media as we prepare for a return to action this weekend.

Following an excellent start in the Premier League under the Spaniard, Villa will hope to make it four wins in our last five outings when we host Brendan Rodgers and his side on Saturday afternoon.

READ MORE: Villa ace provides brilliant insight into Emery influence behind improvement

It’s been an impressive turnaround since Emery arrived, and there are certainly plenty of positives to take from the performances as we’ve also moved to within three points of sixth place.

As per Villa TV, Emery spoke to the media in his pre-Leicester press conference on Friday and naturally covered a wide range of topics, with some of the key talking points detailed below.

Emery happy with squad

While outlining that the minimum expectation coming into the job was to firstly secure our top flight status given our precarious position, the aim moving forward for Emery is to finish in the top 10 in the Premier League table.

The Villa boss was adamant that he feels as though he has enough in the current squad, and believes he has the versatility in the options at his disposal to cover other positions and provide solutions if necessary. There has been concern for some that we didn’t add enough in January and could be short depth wise, but Emery is convinced we’re in good shape.

With no cup competitions or European commitments, the focus is purely on the remaining 18 league games, and so it’s hoped that we can finish strong now and really push up the standings.

Patience needed but pleased with Duran, expects Traore impact

Emery noted that Bertrand Traore pushed to return to Villa from his loan spell in Turkey after initially coming back for treatment on an injury early last month, and so he is evidently motivated to show his worth under a new manager.

It seems as though he has made a positive early impression on Emery in terms of his personality and commitment, and the Spanish tactician is confident that he will provide a solution as winger, which was a profile he wanted to add last month but will now look for an impact from a previously out-of-favour Villa forward.

It’s a fresh slate for Traore and it sounds like Emery will give him an opportunity to earn his spot, and he should hopefully be a better fit in this system and style after falling down the pecking order under the previous manager.

As for Jhon Duran, Emery once again called for patience with the 19-year-old as he adapts, but he not only suggested that the young Colombian forward could make his debut tomorrow, but he expects him to play an important role for the remainder of the campaign.

Reiterated unwavering stance on not signing players unless they improve squad

This is something that Emery has never wavered on from the minute he arrived at Villa. He has been insistent that he only wants to add players to his squad who can significantly improve what we already have available.

While he conceded that we were following individuals in January, deals couldn’t be done and so we’ll wait until the summer for more reinforcements.

It’s surely the sensible strategy on the transfer market, as having just moved on a number of players now surplus to requirements, Villa have to go for quality over quantity as we look to take a big step forward in terms of the level we’re competing at.

Secret behind improvement?

Emery was quick to praise the players for their application and commitment since he arrived. While he admitted that it’s natural for a group to respond well when a new manager comes in, the next big challenge is to be consistent.

He insisted that he will continue to be demanding and focused on establishing that consistency, but he is also convinced that it will take a group effort from himself, the players and supporters all coming together to continue to drive us forward.

From the defensive organisation and discipline that we’ve seen since he took charge to playing out from the back and showing more composure and class in possession to create openings, Emery’s influence is stamped all over this side and there is still a lot of improvement to come.

Message to supporters to believe in squad and players

While adding that there were no regrets in selling Danny Ings and not bringing in an experienced replacement, Emery again shared his intention to develop and give Duran opportunities this season as he sees him capable of providing a crucial option up top.

The Villa boss called on the supporters to believe in the players at his disposal and continue to back them, as he believes we’ve got it right in terms of how he’s shaped the squad thus far, and there will undoubtedly be more significant movement in the summer.

Given the job he’s done to date and the improvement we’ve seen from Villa, there’s no reason to doubt the job that Emery can still do this season and where that might take us.

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