Marco Silva has warned his Fulham side that they will have to be at very best to come away with anything from Sunday’s trip to Villa Park – largely due to the influence of Unai Emery.
The former Arsenal boss has transformed Villa’s fortunes since succeeding Steven Gerrard following their 3-0 defeat at Craven Cottage last season and Silva told his pre-match press conference that he has held great respect for Emery since the Spaniard’s spell in charge of Sevilla.
“[Villa are] impressive, impressive. I’m not surprised, because I know Unai Emery very well, I know his quality, I know what he’s been doing so far in all his career. I remember him from Seville, when it was the first time I played against him. Of course, the impact has been huge in that football club.
All the results they have been achieving have been great for them. At home, it’s been impressive the way they have been so dominant and the way they have been playing against many, many sides, and different types of sides – so dominant and achieving some very good results, it’s been impressive. Twelve home wins in a row this season five in a row as well. They haven’t lost until now – we want to be the first ones to do it.
If you have five games at home and you score 20 goals, the numbers speak for themselves. It means they have been creating, they have been scoring, they’re being really effective, ruthless in that type of situation. It’s up to us to keep our good organisation, to be aggressive off the ball. On the ball we have to express ourselves and to deliver what we are going to plan to do. It’s up to us to keep our good organisation, to be aggressive off the ball. On the ball we have to express ourselves and to deliver what we are going to plan to do.
“We like this type of challenge, to be honest. The first time we met after Manchester United, straightaway, the squad got my feedback, what was going to be our week, what is going to be our goal, what we want for the weekend as well. And we really enjoy this type of challenge. When you look on paper, of course you see Villa at Villa Park are amazing. A great atmosphere to play football, home support is going to be great, we know all these situations, but it’s a great place to go and to enjoy the challenge. We know their home form has been impressive, has been really good, but it’s a perfect challenge to test ourselves. To be at the level that we want to be, you have to play these type of games.”