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Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has set his side a target of finishing in the top 10 this season.

The 51-year-old has been at the helm for five months and has picked up eight wins from his 14 Premier League games in charge to steer the club away from the relegation battle.

Villa were just one point off the bottom three when Emery succeeded Steven Gerrard, but they have since picked up 26 points to move towards mid-table and the Spaniard wants the upturn to continue over the remaining 11 games of the season.

He told a press conference: “When I arrived here we were struggling at the bottom of the table, but the reaction from the players, club, supporters and coaches was amazing and we have now really escaped from the bottom positions.

“Now we can think about a new challenge and that challenge is to be in the top 10. We have this opportunity starting this Saturday and the challenge we have in front is amazing for everybody.

“The process for me was to try to escape the bottom, try to improve things, try to organise, to be consistent, try to be competitive and then stay demanding with myself, demanding with the players. Try to analyse everything and be demanding tactically and individually and be ambitious. Now we are in a good position to change our mind.”

Villa go into Saturday’s meeting with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on a four-match unbeaten run, during which time they have only conceded once.

Emery added: “We have been working two weeks with less players because of the international break, but this period is also important.

“I want to share my analysis of the matches we played trying to be in front of our matches and improve and get better with tactical issues in these matches.

“The last four matches we played, we have scored seven goals and only conceded one. Winning three matches and drawing one was a good moment for us and how we can be positive, be confident playing in these matches.”

Emery singled out on-loan striker Joao Felix as one of Chelsea’s key threats.

The 23-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid in January has scored two goals since his nightmare start with a red card on debut against Fulham.

Emery said: “He is a special player because his position as a 10 is very difficult.

“To be like him with the skills – he can assist, score goals, drop in and try build up, he can play in more spaces to try and do something.

“He needs time here to adapt to the Premier League, he is young and progressively getting better with Chelsea as well and I always follow him and admire him as a player.”

Villa will be without Matty Cash after he picked up a calf injury during the international break with Poland.

Boubacar Kamara and Leander Dendoncker are both back in contention after missing out on recent weeks, but Philippe Coutinho remains sidelined.