Dunne ready for biggest club game

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Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne admits tomorrow night's Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Blackburn at Ewood Park is the biggest club game of his career.

The Republic of Ireland player distinguished himself for nearly a decade at Manchester City and before that played with Everton, but he has never progressed past the last eight of any major competition.

"I've been to a few quarter-finals but every time I thought we've got a chance of getting to Wembley, we have been knocked out," said the 30-year-old.

"There were games where we were expected to win when we were drawn at home but it never happened for whatever reason.

"I was a YTS lad with Everton when they won the FA Cup in 1995. That was a good occasion at Wembley but it seems a million miles away now.

"I think this is the biggest club game of my career. We're getting close to having a chance of getting a trophy and it will be good to look back when I've retired and be able to say that I've won a medal and played at Wembley.

"But, because of my record, I don't even want to think about the possibility of a final. I know how difficult these two games are going to be.

"The opportunity is there but we have to make sure we're 100% right for the two games and that we are still in contention going into the second leg."

Trophy success would also guarantee Villa a place in Europe, although their main target is a Champions League spot via the Barclays Premier League.

But Dunne added: "No one has mentioned the fact that winning this trophy would get us into Europe. The main thing is it is a chance to get a trophy under our belts, although there's still much work to be done."

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League Cup
Premier League
Richard Dunne
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