Shropshire Star

Ashley Young targets an Aston Villa push for Europe

Ashley Young claims Villa are preparing for one final big push as they target European qualification over the Premier League run-in.


Villa sit 11th in the table, four points behind sixth-placed Liverpool with 11 matches to play following a remarkable reversal in fortunes under Unai Emery.

The Spaniard arrived with the team sat just above the relegation zone but they have taken 26 points from his first 14 matches in charge to set up an outside shot of Europe.

Young said: “When you look at the start of the season and how things were and where we are now, it is looking much better.

“We want to look further up the table and that is what we are doing. It is exciting times for us and for the club. The prospect of possibly having European football back at Villa Park is amazing for the fans.

“The manager has come in and done a great job and it has been his ambition to get us back there. It is down to us to keep playing the way we have. There is a big push from now and the end of the season to get more points on the board. We will see what happens at the end of the season.”

Villa next travel to Chelsea, above them in the table on goal difference, a week on Saturday for the first of eight remaining fixtures against teams higher in the standings.

Emery’s men also travel to Brentford and Liverpool, while hosting Fulham and Brighton, the latter on the season’s final day.

Evergreen Young recently made his 200th Premier League appearance for Villa, 43 of those coming in what is his second spell at the club after returning in 2021, following a decade away at Manchester United and Inter Milan.

The 37-year-old said: “I said when I came here,the club deserves to be back in Europe and that is where I think the ambition of the manager, the staff and the players and the owners want to be.

“For a club this size, it is right we keep looking up the table and try to get back into Europe.

“It is exciting, the way the manager wants us to play and shows with the results, with where we are in the table. We are now looking up more than behind us.”