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Dunne faces race against time for Germany clash

ASTON VILLA boss Paul Lambert admits that the fitness of Richard Dunne is still a concern as the Dubliner tries to work his way back in time for Ireland's vital World Cup clash with Germany next month.

Dunne has been sidelined by a groin injury which has kept him out of action all season and Giovanni Trapattoni had hoped to have Dunne back in central defence before Germany's visit to Dublin on October 12th.

But Dunne is no closer to a return and that is causing concern for the club. "Richard still has a little way to go. He is ok but I think he is going to be out for a few more weeks," said manager Lambert.

Villa have just four games before the Irish squad assemble in Dublin ahead of the World Cup double header at home to Germany and away to the Faroe Islands (league games against Southampton, West Brom and Spurs and a League Cup meeting with Manchester City) and he would need to prove his fitness in at least one game before his club release him for international duty. In Dunne's absence, Lambert has been full of praise for fellow Ireland man Ciaran Clark in central defence.

George O'Callaghan is back in football with English non-league side Dover Athletic.

The Conference club have moved to bring in the former Cork City star (33) to aid their promotion bid. O'Callaghan had three spells with home-town club Cork and also lined out for Dundalk and Waterford United while he was most recently playing in Brunei.