Aston Villa boss Emery on Man Utd Cup defeat: We needed to be stronger mentally

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery felt they weren’t strong enough mentally for their Carabao Cup defeat at Manchester United.

Emery saw his side go down 4-2 despite twice taking the lead in the Round 3 tie.

“In the first half, defensively we were very good, focused, competitive,” Emery told VillaTV post-match.

“I think we needed to improve in the second half, we were speaking about how we could take more time to use our possession on the pitch and attack the final third.

“And we started the second half trying to go more forwards.

“We scored two goals but they reacted so quickly and, really, we were thinking it’s a good moment for us and to keep our same competitive way in the second half.

“But at the end, in the last 15 minutes, and I think it’s only in this match, we lost, really, our mentality.

“We weren’t showing and we weren’t carrying in the match here, in the same way than on Sunday at home at Villa Park against Manchester United.”

Villa were backed by over 7,500 supporters at Old Trafford, just days after a packed Villa Park helped roar on Emery’s side to a 3-1 Premier League triumph over United.

And the Villa boss was keen to pay tribute to the club’s loyal fans.

“I want to thank our supporters because they were here helping us and we were so happy when they were pushing us here in Manchester, away from home,” he said.

“Our first step ahead is to be competitive away, our next challenge is away on Sunday at Brighton and it’s very important to be strong.

“And when our supporters are helping us, it’s the best we can feel with them.”