Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert backs Richard Dunne to play again


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The Independent Football

Aston Villa's manager, Paul Lambert, insists defender Richard Dunne's long-term groin problem is not career-threatening. Dunne has not played since picking up the injury last June on Euro 2012 duty for the Republic of Ireland. He has had three operations.

Lambert said: "It's been really complicated. Richard has been over to the United States a couple of times to try and get it sorted. Is it career-threatening? No, nothing like that. You can't say that."

Murphy loses captain's role

The Blackburn Rovers manager, Michael Appleton, has replaced Danny Murphy as permanent captain with defender Scott Dann.

Former England international Murphy, 35, who was left out of the squad for Sunday's FA Cup sixth-round tie against Millwall, has been linked with a return to his former club Fulham as a coach.