Ahmed Elmohamady talks about West Brom win, hopeful about reaching PL
Aston Villa’s Ahmed Elmohamady talked about beating West Bromwich Albion in the Championship play-offs semifinals and believes they can participate in the Premier League next season.
Aston Villa have beaten West Brom 4-3 in on penalties in the Championship playoffs semifinal to reach their second final in a row. They will face Derby United in the final on May 27.
Egypt’s Ahmed Elmohamady talked to Aston Villa TV about the semifinals and if they can qualify to England’s top division.
“It’s been good, we had a tough two games especially the one at their place but we managed to get through. It’s been good and everyone is looking forward for the final now,” Elmohamady said.
“To be fair, through the game I always believed we were going to score and that we were going to go through. Because I think we played a good game, they just scored from a set piece and defended the whole game. We had all the time in the world to get one back but they defended very well.
“At the end we got through from the penalties. We kept our calm and focus in the penalty shootouts and it’s good to go through and be in the final.
“I came off in the last five minutes and it’s always tough when you’re out, watching the lads take the penalties. But we had all the confidence in the world after they missed their first two penalties and Jed was on fire in the penalties and everyone stood out in the penalties,” he added.
“In the play-offs I like to play away first, because I think that the advantage for you in the second-leg will be much better and especially when you win and go through. But it wasn’t too far from our home ground.
“Now we just focus on the final, we celebrated in the night and the we had a couple of days off. Then we came back to training and now everyone’s focuses on the game.
“It’s always nice to be at Wembley, the first time in 2010 with the national team I was so happy to play at Wembley, everyone was talking about Wembley. It was my first time in England as well, so it’s always a good time there.
“I had a good time with Hull, getting promoted in the play-off final. Last year was a bit disappointing, we lost against Fulham so hopefully this time is going to be a good time for us because last year was very disappointing. Hopefully it’s our time to get back to the Premier League,” he continued.
The Villans also qualified for the playoffs final last year but suffered a 1-0 loss to recently relegated Fulham City.
“I think we have more balance this year, especially the lads who came this year they balanced the team. Last year wasn’t a bad team, it was a great team but this time we just need to be focused and go into the game from the first minute.
“I think last year we put everything in the second-half and I think it was a bit late. This time we learned from it and we’re going for it.
“When you’ve been there and you feel the disappointment after the game and you see the fans were a bit down. You put all this in your mind before the game and just go out and give everything.
“Hopefully this time will be our time to be back in the Premier League, because this club deserves to be in the Premier League,” the former ENPPI-man said.
Villa had enjoyed a couple of good months before the end of the season and managed to win 10 games in a row for the first time in the club’s history.
“In the last three months the team has been outstanding, the confidence is high and this unbeaten run gave everyone confidence. Now we go into the final knowing it’s a totally different game. We had 19 days to prepare for it and everyone is looking forward for it.
“I think it’s a completely different game, I mean you saw the Derby-Leeds game. Leeds beat them twice in the league but they still managed to get through. I think it’s a different game, depending on who’s focused on the day and who prepared well for it.
Aston Villa played Derby twice this season and beat them on both occasions 3-0 and 4-0 respectively
“We have to go and play our game and give everything because like I said last year was bit disappointing so hopefully this year is our day.
“I think it’s a bit long, but it gives us a bit of time to prepare and focus on the game and get through the games we played against them before. To also see what happened in the play-offs, the two games they played against Leeds they looked like a different team.
“Everyone can’t wait, everyone is excited and we’re going for it.
“It’s exciting for me to be part of this club and play two play-offs finals but this year we have to get it right and get the club back in the Premier League, because it’s important for everyone.
“This summer is going to be a big summer for me personally, playing in the play-offs final and then the AFCON with Egypt back home. So hopefully we can get back to the Premier League and win the AFCON, it’s going to be a huge summer for me,” he concluded.
Egypt are hosting the upcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and were drawn in Group A alongside DR Congo, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
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