The pressure is amazing – Unai Emery relishing shot at European qualification
Unai Emery has welcomed pressure as Aston Villa look to seal a European return.
Victory over Brighton in Sunday’s Premier League finale will book seventh spot and a place in the Europa Conference League play-offs.
Villa last competed in Europe in 2010-11 and Emery is relishing the task on Sunday, with the Seagulls having already sealed their Europa League spot.
“For me, the pressure is amazing to try to feel matches when you’re playing for something important,” he said.
“We want to be excited, not anxious, but to be excited, be very motivated and to enjoy the process. When you’re in the match, you have to be prepared to focus only on your game plan.
“The players are doing that. When you are very focused and you’re really trying to work hard on your style and idea, and your players are practicing hard, this is a good way.
“That is a moment you feel you are doing all you can on the pitch.”
Alex Moreno is out with a hamstring injury while Philippe Coutinho is also sidelined and Diego Carlos is expected to miss out.
Emery added: “In front of us is the most important match we are going to face. We are trying to prepare for it like the last matches we played, being motivated and enjoying the process.
“Our time is coming on Sunday with our supporters in Villa Park to enjoy this match. We are going to face a very difficult team.
“They are playing amazing football. Their structure, tactically, is very strong. I enjoy the matches we are playing in the Premier League and the matches we are watching of other teams. One of those teams is Brighton.”