Ambitious Dunne eyes Villa legacy

Irish defender says victory against Blackburn could pave way for spell at top

Richard Dunne believes Carling Cup success for Aston Villa would mean manager Martin O'Neill being able to attract star quality players to the Midlands club. Villa are favourites to overcome Blackburn in the two-legged semi-final, with the first leg re-arranged for Ewood Park tomorrow evening.

Dunne, who could face his former club Manchester City in the final if they defeat Manchester United, feels that would encourage top-name performers to move to Villa Park.

Dunne, who will be competing in the first semi-final of his 14-year career, said: "The ambition of every footballer throughout their career is to win something. For the young lads here, the more they can win at a younger age, the more experience and the more hunger it will give them to win. If you get your first trophy, it will hopefully lead to more and breed confidence around the side and hopefully clubs will fear us a little bit more.

"But, if we achieve that, players who probably wouldn't want to come to Aston Villa previously will start looking at us as a successful side where the top players can come and win stuff."

The postponement of the first leg last Tuesday and Saturday's Premier League game at Wigan has allowed midfielder James Milner and full-back Luke Young to recover from foot and ankle injuries respectively.

The clash with Rovers will represent the first action for more than a fortnight for skipper Stiliyan Petrov, Brad Friedel, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Dunne, who were rested for the FA Cup tie between the clubs.

Dunne said: "Everyone wants to play every game but sometimes you just have to listen and the manager always knows best. To be honest, I am feeling the benefit of it [a break]. You don't feel tired at the time but, having previously had so many games in a short period does take its toll."

Meanwhile, O'Neill is not looking to offload left-back Nicky Shorey, who is on loan at Nottingham Forest. Shorey started the first five games but lost his place after the arrival of Stephen Warnock from Blackburn.

But O'Neill feels the former England player has a role to play at Villa Park, especially if he improves the defensive side of his game. O'Neill said: "If there was an offer, I would sit down with Nicky and his agent to discuss it but I am not actively seeking [to sell him]. Nicky thought when Stephen Warnock arrived that his chances would be limited at the time. But he is capable of fighting back. I think going forward he has done very well at Forest and, if he tightens up his game defensively, he has loads to offer – and I think he has tried to do that."

Villa full-back Luke Young was an unused substitute for Tottenham when they overcame Leicester – then managed by O'Neill – in the 1999 final. But he is not getting carried away with the prospect of playing at Wembley on February 28.

Young said: "We're making good progress as a club. We're heading in the right direction and this would be another step on the ladder. To get to a final would be tremendous but we're certainly not looking too far forward. We've got a big job to do – starting with the first leg away at Ewood Park.

"The first leg dominates our thoughts at the moment. We've got to go out there and start well. We can't concede early. If we could go there and pick up a draw, with a goal too, that would be nice. It's always important to score a goal and then bring them back to Villa Park and finish the job. But it's going to be very hard."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger is in Argentina having chemotherapy

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
science

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show?
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week