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Faith: Richard Dunne will be retained by Villa if he can prove fitness

The defender’s current contract expires in June.

DESPITE NOT PLAYING a competitive fixture since returning from Poland in the summer, Richard Dunne could be offered a new contract by Aston Villa in the coming months.

Villa boss Paul Lambert hinted after yesterday’s 2-1 win over West Ham that the defender, whose current deal ends this summer, has a good enough track record to earn an extension if he can overcome his long-term groin and hip injuries.

“I know what the guy can do. It is not as if he is 19 or 20 years old and has to impress.” Lambert told

“I have an open mind but the main thing for me is that he is going to be fit again.”

After watching his side escape the Premier League’s relegation area the Scot did add the caveat that the opinion of Dunne’s surgeon would be vital to his future, but seemed optimistic that the Dubliner would not need to go under the knife again.

“We will have to wait and see what the surgeon has said about the injury.” Lambert added.

“I am pretty sure that he will not require another operation. The advice that Richard has been given is that he will just have to battle through the problem.

“I will have rough idea of what will happen after what the surgeon has been saying to Richard.

“First and foremost the main thing is to get the guy back to fitness. That is the big thing for me. There is nothing in my mind other than getting that lad fit.”

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