Unai Emery is aiming to end Aston Villa’s wait for a trophy this season (Ian Hodgson)
Unai Emery believes Aston Villa can end a 27-year wait for silverware on their return to European football this season in the Europa Conference League.
Ollie Watkins scored a hat-trick as Villa had far too much firepower for Scottish side Hibernian in a 5-0 playoff, first leg win on Wednesday to close in on the group stage.
Emery won the Europa League four times during spells in charge of Sevilla and Villarreal.
The Spaniard also led Arsenal to the 2019 Europa League final and Villarreal to the Champions League semi-finals in 2022.
“We want to be successful in the Conference League. It’s important to be in Europe and do something,” said Emery after the routine victory in Edinburgh.
Emery revealed earlier in the week he is inspired every day by seeing pictures of Villa’s 1982 European Cup winning side at the club’s training ground.
VIlla’s fortunes were transformed after the former Paris Saint-Germain boss was put in charge last season.
Emery took over a side just outside the relegation zone in October after Steven Gerrard was sacked and led them a seventh-placed finish to secure European football for the first time in 13 years.
“It’s not only about tonight or the Conference League, it’s also about building a strong mentality,” added Emery.
“I want us to try and do something in the FA Cup, Carabao (League) Cup, and Europe is special because we can be candidates to get a trophy.
“The Conference League might be the third competition but there are a lot of great teams so it’s important for us.”