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Premier League

Dunne shrugs off the praise for adding to Villa's scoring options

Defender shares the credit with team-mates after getting two goals in two games

Defender Richard Dunne has modestly played down his goalscoring exploits for new club Aston Villa.

The Republic of Ireland international, a transfer window signing from Manchester City, has scored in each of his last two games for the club, a 1-1 draw against his former side City and last Saturday's 2-1 victory over Chelsea. However, the 30-year-old insists Villa's solid start to the campaign has been a collective effort.

Dunne said: "It's nice for people to score, but the amount of work we put in all over the pitch – Gabby [Agbonlahor] was frightening in the first half and John [Carew] won every single header – it runs right through the team.

"As long as we are winning games and working hard for each other, we will stay happy. It goes right through the team and we are all happy no matter who is scoring.

"From the top men all the way back to Brad [Friedel], we all worked really hard, dug in and made tackles at the right times," Dunne added. "The dressing room is brilliant. Everyone gets on with each other and that spills over onto the pitch."

Dunne's 32nd-minute header at the weekend cancelled out Didier Drogba's opener, but it was central defensive partner James Collins who clinched victory seven minutes after the break. The pair both arrived at Villa Park in £5million moves as the summer window drew to a close, and the Irishman has been hugely impressed with his Welsh counterpart.

Dunne said: "He's been outstanding since he has come in. Every game has been brilliant. In this game [Chelsea], he really topped it off. Any ball that came in the box, he headed out and on the ground, he dived in front of it.

"Then for him to get the winner was really good. I think he is really enjoying himself, as am I. It's going well and it's nice that we can score goals. The important thing is keeping them out, but for him to get the winner is also nice."

At Dunne's former club, Manchester City, his old team-mate Micah Richards is determined to fight for his future and has dismissed reports he wants to leave as "absolutely ridiculous".

The England international started the first six matches of the season but after the 4-3 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford he lost his right-back slot to Pablo Zabaleta. He returned as a centre-half for Sunday's 1-1 draw at Wigan, which he finished on the right of defence after Zabaleta was sent off.

That dismissal means the Argentine is suspended for the visit of Fulham on Sunday so Richards is likely to start in his favoured position.

He stressed his focus is on securing his first-team place and not looking for a move away despite speculation to the contrary. "For them to suggest that I want to leave City is absolutely ridiculous," Richards said. "I have three-and-a-half years left on my contract. When you look at the way this club is going, who in their right mind would want to leave?

"I am 21 and people seem to forget that I am still learning my trade. I am just enjoying the ride. There is perhaps the impression out there that I am bit older than I am but I know I am not the finished product."

There is more competition for places at City than ever before and Richards, who has been with City since he was 14, knows he cannot afford to take his selection for granted.

"There will be seven people sitting on the bench who all think they deserve to be in the starting line up - most of whom will be internationals," he said. "That is great for the club and great for us as individuals."