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Friday, September 28, 2012
Ridgewell wants Baggies bragging rights

Ian Edwards

Liam Ridgewell has warned his former club Aston Villa that West Bromwich Albion are in no mood to surrender their status as number one in the Midlands.

Ridgewell is determined to recover from a calf injury and return to Villa Park to help manager Steve Clarke extend Albion's sequence of three games without defeat against their local rivals.

The Albion defender, who made 93 appearances for Villa, wants to ensure that the Baggies retain their status as the top club in the region. Last season saw them finish above Villa in the table for the first time in 33 years.

"We are playing Villa, a big club who have been around a long time, and we are looking to get another good result," he said. "The rivalry has always been there for me and everyone I know. I've got Albion, Blues and Villa mates, so it's special.

"We wanted to finish as high as possible last season, but I'm sure for the fans it was really special to finish above Villa. It is a big game that everyone wants to do well in.

"They are just down the road, so it's like Manchester United versus Liverpool or Liverpool versus Everton. We will go there with lots of confidence and try to show how good we are."

Albion won 2-1 at Villa Park and took four points from Alex McLeish's side last season. Clarke's team go in to Saturday's game in the top four of the table and have a six-point lead over Paul Lambert's men.

Ridgewell said: "We are not really worried too much about them. We are in a good spell at the moment, and we will go there full of confidence. We look a strong team and look a match for anyone, and hopefully we can carry that on."

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