Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has called for a big improvement after his side suffered a surprise late defeat to Stevenage in the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon. The Villans were dumped out of the competition in the Third Round as Dean Campbell came off the bench to win a penalty and score a stoppage-time winner for the visitors.
It was arguably one of the most embarrassing defeats in Villa history as a lacklustre performance was worsened by late drama. The away supporters enjoyed one of their best ever days out with their football club, but it was a different story for most around Villa Park as so many fans left the ground shocked, and dejected.
“I am upset and I am disappointed. I am sorry for the supporters,” Emery said in the press conference post-match. “In the FA Cup we had a good opportunity to do something but we are going to adapt and continue the process. Maybe even more now. We can improve and we can continue in our way.
“I want to work with the players because I have my experiences and I wanted to create here a big mentality with the players. Today could be the first step in our thinking toward that. Usually at the beginning when a coach [arrives] the first action is being excited and everybody giving all they can. But when you can’t be consistent it is same to keep the same mentality,” Emery continued.
The Spaniard went on to speak of his spells at previous football clubs as he urged the Villa faithful to trust the process while affirming his regret for the result on the night. “The process, I passed in other teams and the same here,” Emery said. “In two-to-three years if I will be here we can talk about the process being consistent and demanding and achieving the target we are putting.
“But as well it is not going to be easy. I am not going to magic here to achieve everything. We have 10 points in 15 [in the Premier League] but the last match we play against Wolves I was very upset as we are starting to [reach] the tactical demand I want. Today was completely different and we can be so sorry with our supporters. It can happen when you have chances and not score. We were not clinical.”
Sunday’s result was probably the biggest upset so far in this season’s instalment of the FA Cup, but the Villans will have to move forward from it as quickly as possible. The fixture schedule has finally allowed for a couple of extra days to recoup and then Emery’s team will go again as they take on Leeds United next Friday.