'One of the best' - Every word Paulo Fonseca said about Aston Villa vs Lille, Emery and Watkins

Paulo Fonseca spoke to the media on Wednesday night
Paulo Fonseca spoke to the media on Wednesday night -Credit:Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Lille boss Paulo Fonseca spoke to the media at Villa Park ahead of his side's Europa Conference League quarter-final first leg against Aston Villa.

The French club have arrived in Birmingham in strong form having won their last two games and are unbeaten in their last seven in all competitions. Here's every word Fonseca said in his press conference...

What is the Lille injury news?

"We’ve left Rafa [Fernandes] and Sam [Umtiti] in France. Angel has travelled with us. All the others are ready. They are ready for the match tomorrow. Angel has only done one training session, he’s not ready to start the match. If we need him, he can play some part, but he is there to help the team definitely."

READ | Unai Emery opens up on Lille, Arsenal, injuries and Aston Villa's 'great scorer'

READ | Pau Torres Q&A: Every word about Villa, Man City, Champions League, fitness and Emery

How will you compete with Villa tactically?

"We’ve watched all of Aston Villa’s matches. It’s clear that for us we can see what structures they have in place. But I think that we have to pay attention to the individual players.

"They’ve got very good players and tomorrow of course strategies are important and we have prepared the match in order to take on the tactics we have seen Villa put in place, but we have to take into consideration the individual players."

Who is the favourite to win the competition?

"We could say Villa are the strongest team. Perhaps they are the main candidate to win the competition, but as for this word ‘favourite’, when we look at 90 minutes on the pitch, we’ll see the quality of the teams.

"It’s not important to say who is or isn’t the favourites. We know Villa is a really strong team with a really good coach, but we just need to go out there and play our own game, believe in our abilities to play against this big team."

Will this be the best frontline you’ve played this season?

"They are a strong team, I won’t compare their first three with our first three. After PSG they are probably the strongest team."

How will you stop Watkins?

"I believe a lot in our centre-backs, but I know he is an amazing striker. He is hard to stop and he is in a great moment. We have prepared the game so that he won’t get many chances. For me, he is one of the best strikers in Europe at the moment."

What are your thoughts on the job Emery has performed?

"For me, Unai is one of the best coaches in the world. He has had an amazing career. What he is doing at Villa is amazing. His team plays very well. He is a coach who I love a lot and he is one of the best coaches in the world, without a doubt."

Will you enjoy the experience?

"It’s a really big moment for us. We just have to play with a lot of confidence and ambition. We want to enjoy it. Coming here, we know it will be a very difficult match but we want to play our game out on the pitch."

Will you play to win the first leg?

"We will always play to win and we have prepared for this match to win it. When we prepare the match I never think about another result apart from winning it. At the same time we know that we will have to be perfect for us to get a positive result."

What’s more dangerous - Emery’s record or Villa’s quality?

"It’s both things. Having a coach like Emery is important, but the organisation of the team is also magnificent. He has his team defending well to spring on the counter attack. Defensively, Villa have one of the best structures I have seen this season. After that, they have so much individual quality."

Will the extra time to prepare for the second leg help?

"Aston Villa are used to playing so many games, but we are not used to it. I am really happy with the option the federation made. It is amazing. They give us the possibility to prepare in more days for this round. But Aston Villa are used to playing three games a week and this is normal. I think this will not influence the games."

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