Sunday 22 April 2018

Emery urges Seville players to create history with hat-trick of titles

Emery: Aiming for hat-trick (PA)
Emery: Aiming for hat-trick (PA)

Carl Markham

Sevilla coach Unai Emery has urged his players to create history by winning the Europa League for a third successive time.

No club in the history of European competition has achieved that particular treble but despite back-to-back victories they go into the final in Basel as underdogs against Liverpool.

That matters little to Emery.

"Every time football gives you an opportunity you have to seize it and to write history you have to live in the present," he said.

"We want to relive it and experience it again. We want to grow, be demanding and giving everything all the time.

"This is an opportunity to play in a third final and win it to change history and to have our names recorded forever and ever is very motivating.

"We are winners, we are the champions and we have the possibility to defend our title.

"Sevilla does not fail when we are really focused."

That does not mean Emery is underestimating Liverpool - or their huge travelling support.

The holders will be outnumbered off the pitch with more than twice as many Reds fans expected to pack into St Jakob-Park than their Spanish counterparts, who returned 2,000 tickets after selling just 7,000.

"Liverpool are among the 10 best teams in the world," Emery added. "They are pure football, real football, they have a great history - they have won five European Cups, won the UEFA Cup and leagues.

"We are not really worried by the fact there might be more Liverpool supporters in the stadium. We need to feel the support of those who are here and feel and remember those who have not been able to travel but will follow what we do from home."

There is a very likely prospect hundreds of Liverpool fans will be interspersed with Sevilla supporters as they have been busy snapping up tickets intended for the Spaniards.

Emery urged both sets of supporters to enjoy the occasion.

"This is a game, it is something very serious for the players but the fans are there to enjoy the game," he said.

Emery's team's seventh-placed finish in La Liga is based on the strength of their home performances, having failed to win an away match this season.

Their only victories on the road of any kind so far, indeed, have come against lower league opposition in the Copa del Rey, at city rivals Real Betis in the same competition, and in the Europa League's quarter-final first leg at Athletic Bilbao.

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