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Dunne insists Villa will not fade away in 2010

December 29, 2009

Richard Dunne has urged Aston Villa to bury the memory of their weekend setback against Arsenal and react in positive fashion when they entertain Liverpool in Tuesday's Premier League clash.

Aston Villa, Richard Dunne
GettyImagesRichard Dunne: Achilles blow ahead of semi

And the central defender believes the depth of the Villa squad this season means they can have "no excuses'' if they fail to maintain their form of the opening half of the campaign.

Villa are fifth after their 3-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium which ended a seven-game unbeaten run which had yielded 17 points.

Dunne said: "The Arsenal result is one of those things. We've done well. We've not got overly confident. We can't let this result set us back. We just have to forget about it and move onto Tuesday night and get a result there.

"There are so many teams who are losing games and then a couple of weeks later are back in it. The manager just told us the main thing is how we react to defeats and Tuesday night is the perfect opportunity against another side who are pushing for the top four so we have to put a performance in and get back on track.

"People say we have a history of being poor in the second half of the season but we have a stronger squad this year. It's a little bit bigger and the manager can rest people so I don't think we have any excuses for dropping off.

"If we do, then it's just down to the players losing form and we just have to keep on top of ourselves mentally. I don't think it should be a factor. There are enough experienced players in the dressing room to keep everyone going and, as soon as anyone drops off, everyone knows there are players in the squad who can replace them.

"Everyone has to be on their toes to make sure they perform every week.''

Dunne believes Liverpool are still a force to be reckoned with despite their up and down form during the first half of the campaign.

He said: "They are good side. This year they have had some problems but you know, when they put a team out, it's going to be a difficult game. The presence of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard means it's always hard but we have to go and do what we have been doing, be strong at the back again and hopefully we can keep a clean sheet.

"It's a very difficult league this year. There are a lot of sides that have improved and that makes it hard. For them to go from finishing second last season is a bit of a dip but, now they are out of the Champions League, they can maybe increase the pressure in the second half of the season.

"I'm sure they will come back strong because they have a very good squad.''