What John McGinn is telling his teammates as Aston Villa close in on Champions League qualification

John McGinn admits Aston Villa are close to achieving a top four finish
John McGinn admits Aston Villa are close to achieving a top four finish -Credit:Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

While claiming Tottenham are capable of winning all of their remaining six Premier League games, John McGinn believes a points total of over 70 would put Aston Villa in a brilliant position to claim Champions League qualification this season.

Villa are currently six points ahead of fifth-placed Spurs, who have two games in hand, but could fall nine behind Unai Emery's side before their north London derby on Sunday. Chelsea head to Villa Park on Saturday on the back of a 5-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

If Villa manage to win half of their remaining four games against Chelsea (H), Brighton (A), Liverpool (H) and Crystal Palace (A), then Spurs would have to claim four out of six wins themselves to also hit 72 points.

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“We're so close to achieving it," McGinn admitted. "I'm telling the boys, 12 years I've been in professional football and have been watching the Champions League on the telly, now let's be part of that.

"There are a lot of them who have not been involved in it and they won't take it for granted. We're close now but there is still a long way to go.

"I looked at the points total about three months ago. I knew on average 72 points would get us close. But you can never guarantee anything. Tottenham are well capable of winning every single game.

"We don't really have a points target. In my mind I have a certain one, which I’m not going to share. But if we can get over 70 it will be very difficult for Tottenham but we know they are very capable as well."

Villa have balanced their European commitments very well this season and have played a total of 50 games across all competitions so far. To give the players an extra boost before kick-off, the club have encouraged fans to congregate near the William McGregor statue outside the Trinity Road Stand to welcome in the team coach.

Asked whose idea it was to change where the players enter Villa Park, McGinn replied: "No idea. I'm quite a simple captain. I try to look at the way I play and not get involved in things that don't bother me.

"It was brilliant. Home against Brighton we did the other route and we did it once before. It was a wee buzz to see people coming early. That drove us on today."

"The momentum - the welcome we got coming in help us, you can have all the sports science in the world but the adrenaline at Villa Park keeps you going."

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