Belfast Telegraph

McLeish hopeful over quartet

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish is hoping Marc Albrighton, Chris Herd, Ciaran Clark and Stephen Warnock will all be available for Saturday's clash with Sunderland at Villa Park.

Albrighton, Herd and Warnock all missed last weekend's 4-0 defeat by Manchester United, while Clark suffered a head injury in that game but has recovered.

McLeish told www.avfc.co.uk: "Marc has not yet trained with the group. But it's likely that he'll train on Thursday and he'll be available. Herdy is looking quite good as well. He's stopped seeing stars and he's fine. Stevie is training with the physios at the moment."

Of Warnock, he continued: "He's still got a wee bit of puffiness in his ankle but he said he was feeling quite good. If they can work on getting the fluid out of his ankle then I would like to think he's got a chance of making the squad."

Charles N'Zogbia and Carlos Cuellar are also pushing for starting places, while McLeish hinted defender Richard Dunne could make an appearance before the end of the season.

The Republic of Ireland international broke his collarbone in February, and McLeish added: "It might be holding him back that's the problem, but it's a happy problem. I don't think he's too far away from joining the group."

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