Aston Villa star Emi Martinez has revealed he does not enjoy playing the sweeper ‘keeper role – but says he is adapting under manager Unai Emery.
The Argentine shot stopper made the admission after putting in a top performance against Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup, helping his side keep a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge.
The Villans, though, could not score at the other end either, meaning both sides will have to do it all again following a goalless draw.
“We weren’t a strong enough side to get the win today,” Martinez told BBC Sport. “They had chances and started the game really bright. They didn’t score and then I think we had really, really good chances to win the game.
“But with the high line and balls in behind they are dangerous with quick players. I had to sweep a lot today, but we got the draw and play at home now.
“We made mistakes but our manager always gives us the confidence to keep trying and build out from the back. We are doing something right and doing well. Now we need to focus on Newcastle on Tuesday.”
Martinez says he isn’t the biggest fan of playing behind the kind of high line instituted by Emery, preferring his defenders to be positioned closer to him, but is adjusting to the sweeper role.
“I don’t really enjoy it, but I am working on it,” he said. “I’m really strong when we low block and the ball comes into the box. I feel really strong.
“But we play that way and I adapt. I have had training sessions on this with balls in behind and deciding when to go. With my national team and all my career I play low block, this is something new to me as well. I am adapting and doing something quite right.”
Aston Villa have not won a major trophy since claiming the League Cup in 1996, something Martinez wants to change this season.
“We want to give the fans a Cup run, we want to give them the trophy, we want to give them Champions League,” he said. “We had the best year in Villa history in terms of points last year. We want to give them something at the end of the season.
“That’s why they come in numbers, they feel connected with the team. I feel the same way with the national team, with Argentina. We felt the same way with our fans and we repaid them with titles. I feel something similar here.”
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