Dunne demands Anfield result to kick-start Villa season after derby blow
Published 03/12/2010 | 05:00
Skipper Richard Dunne admits that Aston Villa have to discover the winning habit sooner rather than later if they are to salvage their season.
Villa's chances of reaching the Carling Cup final for the second successive season ended when they were beaten 2-1 at local rivals Birmingham in Wednesday night's quarter-final.
They are also too close to the Premier League drop zone for comfort and face a testing trip to Liverpool on Monday.
Dunne remains confident that another top-six finish is still a possibility but knows Villa need to start putting results on the board.
The Republic of Ireland centre-back said: "Getting beaten against your local rivals is disappointing, but I think we can walk away and say we gave it a good go.
"We played as well as we have done for a couple of weeks and hopefully things will turn around.
"Everyone is really low and disappointed. We have to go away now and try to pick ourselves up for Monday.
"Hopefully, this is the lowest point of our season and, from here, we can turn it around.
"We had a good result at Anfield last year so it would be great to get a result to kick-start our season."
Dunne added: "We have dropped off in the league and we have gone out in the cup to our local rivals so for us it has been a very disappointing season so far.
"Things have to change because we can't just keep saying we're unlucky. We have to go out and put in performances on the pitch whether we are lucky or not. We have to win games.
"The position that we are in looks bad and we're close to the relegation zone. But we're only three or four points of the top five or six so the season is still wide open for us but we can't keep waiting for it.
"We believe we can be in the top six or seven but it's all right believing. We've got to start doing it."
Assistant manager Gary McAllister believes Villa will become stronger when a posse of experienced players return from injury.
The likes of Stiliyan Petrov, Nigel Reo-Coker and Emile Heskey are moving closer to fitness after lengthy lay-offs.
McAllister said: "Everyone has got to keep the faith, absolutely. We will be okay.
"It's a tough run of games for us but the beauty is five or six youngsters gained some game time and we have got five or six very experienced players coming back to fitness.
"They will be like signings really because we haven't seen a great deal of them either.
"We've only seen them for two or three games before they picked up serious injuries. Once we get those four or five experienced players back in the fold, it gives the managers a nice problem in picking from 23-24 players.
"They are getting closer to fitness. They've moved away from the physios and are now working with the fitness guys. It is just getting those fitness back."