Unai Emery makes honest top-four claim amid Liverpool, Man Utd and Newcastle battle

Reaction from the Aston Villa manager after the 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

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Unai Emery says that Aston Villa have to be 'optimistic' and try to break into the Premier League top four in the future.

Villa held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw on the penultimate day of the 2022-23 season. Roberto Firmino came off the bench to net an 89th-minute equaliser in his final appearance at Anfield before leaving the club this summer.

Liverpool look set to be in the Europa League next campaign as Champions League qualification looks beyond reach. Villa are also on track to be in Europe as they sit seventh which would yield a Europa Conference League berth.

Villa have climbed up from 14th since Emery took over from Steven Gerrard as manager last October. And the Spaniard wants the Birmingham-based side to continue to show their ambition to potentially be in the mix for the Champions League down the line.

Emery told reporters: “Now it is difficult because they’re a top seven. Other teams as well want to add to try to get those positions. We are in this idea as well. We have to be optimistic, do our work in our way. This year was not our objective to get a European position. We are going to add this opportunity next week.

“We escaped from the bottom and this was fantastic. The top 10 position was fantastic and we’re adding to it now. We will prepare this week to try to work every day, enjoying and being motivated for next week. The club is continuing to work and trying to be ambitious for the next years. We have to be very demanding. Then we have to create and build a strong structure in all areas.”