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Aston Villa head coach Unai Emery insists he is comfortable with the pressure which comes with growing expectations and wants his players to embrace it.

The Spaniard has effected a remarkable turnaround having been appointed in October with the club in 14th, just three points above the Premier League relegation zone.

On the back of their current nine-match unbeaten run, in which they have taken 23 points, they have risen to sixth place and are in contention to play in Europe for the first time since 2010.

Having previously managed at Sevilla, Paris St Germain and Arsenal, Emery is no stranger to European football and he is relishing the challenge of securing a top-six finish for Villa.

“I need to play under pressure because, to me, to play under pressure means you can achieve and you can be successful in your career,” said the four-time Europa League winner.

“Trying to be positive when you’re not winning, you have to be.

“Then, when you are facing each match, try to play thinking this is the most difficult match of your life. That is my idea to create here.”

Fulham, who have returned to form with back-to-back victories after four successive defeats, are the visitors on Tuesday.

However, Villa have won their last four home games without conceding a goal and Emery believes that will ensure the Cottagers give them the necessary respect.

“They are going to face us being strong,” he added.

“After the last matches we played at home, keeping four clean sheets and playing very well against Newcastle (winning 3-0 last time at home), they are going to respect us more than normal.

“As a coach, tactically, I expect a lot from them. They have a lot of different, tactical ways to play against us. For us, tomorrow will be a very difficult match.”

Goalkeeper Emi Martinez is expected to play after being forced off with illness at half-time of Saturday’s draw against Brentford.