Dunne accepts Villa career is over

Club manager Paul Lambert ‘proven right’ after a season relying on youth

Richard Dunne claims his Aston Villa career is over because of Paul Lambert's insistence of favouring youth over experience.

Dunne is looking for a new club and could play his first game in a year when the Republic of Ireland take on Georgia this evening.

“The manager is the manager and whatever he says goes, so there is no point in senior players complaining and saying that you need senior players in the team because it could just be sour grapes,” Dunne told Sky Sports News. “But I certainly think there is a place in the team for senior players - it is great having all these young lads coming through but when they need someone to turn around and look, it helps.

"Brad Guzan was great, but Shay Given has all the experience and Stephen Warnock, we had players who could have played. But it worked out well and the manager has been proven right and next season it will be less bigger known players at the club and that seems to be the way they are looking to go at the moment."

Dunne is getting ready to play for the first time in almost a year - and he says he’s been through the toughest period of his career. The defender was injured at Euro 2012 and missed the entire season for Aston Villa - and he says getting back to fitness was a terrible experience.

“I have never really missed out for long periods, and if someone had said at the start of the season I would be out for nine months then you can get your head around it but every two months to be let down it is hard and nobody could tell me, but now the biggest thing for me is to look forward,” he said. “Hopefully Sunday will be the end of it and I can finish the season playing.”