McGinn says Aston Villa want more after thrashing Ajax
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McGinn says Aston Villa want more after thrashing Ajax

John McGinn says Aston Villa don’t want their European venture to stop after thrashing Ajax 4-0 to reach the Europa Conference League quarter-finals.

Villa produced a stunning performance to dismantle the four-time European champions at Villa Park, on a memorable night that underlined Unai Emery’s side’s status as Europa Conference League favourites.

Ollie Watkins headed the home side in front – though was substituted soon after after picking up an injury – before Leon Bailey showed fine footwork and drove in a second to put daylight between the teams on the hour.

 

Ajax then had Sivert Mannsverk sent off for two bookable offences on 66 minutes and Villa made their man advantage count, with Jhon Duran and Moussa Diaby sealing an emphatic win.

Villa will enter the quarter-final draw as favourites to win the tournament and McGinn hailed the night as one of his best since signing for the club.

“Great performance, a good reaction from the weekend. It stung us. A chance to get a European quarter-finals for the first time in a long time, McGinn said to TNT Sports.

“A good night at Villa Park and I’m delighted with some of the players on the scoresheet. A bit of a worry with Ollie Watkins and Diego Carlos – we’ll see how they are.

“Its going to lift us definitely. it’s been a tough few days. We didn’t perform in the big game.

“Tonight was a big game. A big reaction needed. We showed a reaction.

“It’s up there [with his best nights at Villa]. We want to achieve more. Tonight we’ve given the fans one to remember but we don’t want to stop here.

“We didn’t want the journey to end tonight. Much better than the last two games for sure.

“I’m proud of them, it’s been a tough few days. They need to rest up for Sunday.”

 

Goalscorer Bailey also celebrated an unforgettable night and outlined his ambition for Villa to reach the latter stages.

“Tonight was a brilliant night for the whole team and the fans. The atmosphere was brilliant,” the winger said.

“We’re really happy with the result. We showed good character and spirit. We made it very difficult for them tonight.

“I was happy I could get the second goal, it was much needed.

“I’ve had a lot of discussions with the manager and he always tries to give me confidence. He always lets me know when I need to step up my game. I’ve been working with the staff members a lot in training about how to get more time on the ball and get more space.

“When I’m on the pitch I feel better in terms of my movement.

“It was difficult for me when I first came because I didn’t have a pre-season. I kept trying to come back and getting injured.

“Since the manager came in a lot has changed for me. I feel more relaxed and have more energy.

“It’s really paying off. Details, that’s why things have been going so great.

“It’s an exciting moment for everyone. We should all be proud of where we are. We’ve worked very hard to be where we are. Enjoy the moment and stay humble and hopefully we can move further.”

Read – Five of the best-ever Premier League comebacks

See more – Ranking the five favourites to win the 2024 Ballon d’Or

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