Dunne looking for right response

Villa dropped to fifth in the Premier League after a 3-0 defeat at

the Emirates Stadium which ended a seven-game unbeaten run which

had yielded 17 points. Martin O’Neill will still be happy with the

position of his side at this stage of the season, however, and

Dunne believes the depth of Villa’s squad means they can have “no

excuses” if they fail to maintain their form in the second half of

the campaign. He said: “The Arsenal result is one of those things.

We’ve done well. We’ve not got overly confident. We can’t let this

result set us back. “We just have to forget about it and move onto

Tuesday night and get a result there. “There are so many teams who

are losing games and then a couple of weeks later are back in it.

“The manager just told us the main thing is how we react to defeats

and Tuesday night is the perfect opportunity against another side

who are pushing for the top four so we have to put a performance in

and get back on track.” Dunne added: “People say we have a history

of being poor in the second half of the season but we have a

stronger squad this year. “It’s a little bit bigger and the manager

can rest people so I don’t think we have any excuses for dropping

off. “If we do, then it’s just down to the players losing form and

we just have to keep on top of ourselves mentally. “I don’t think

it should be a factor. There are enough experienced players in the

dressing room to keep everyone going and, as soon as anyone drops

off, everyone knows there are players in the squad who can replace

them. “Everyone has to be on their toes to make sure they perform

every week.” Dunne believes Liverpool are still a force to be

reckoned with despite their up and down form during the first half

of the campaign. He said: “They are good side. This year they have

had some problems but you know, when they put a team out, it’s

going to be a difficult game. “The presence of Fernando Torres and

Steven Gerrard means it’s always hard but we have to go and do what

we have been doing, be strong at the back again and hopefully we

can keep a clean sheet. “It’s a very difficult league this year.

There are a lot of sides that have improved and that makes it hard.

“For them to go from finishing second last season is a bit of a dip

but, now they are out of the Champions League, they can maybe

increase the pressure in the second half of the season. “I’m sure

they will come back strong because they have a very good squad.”