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|Martin O’Neill has warned Villa they face a Reading side brimming with confidence in the FA Cup on Sunday.
Earlier in the season, almost anyone would have been licking their lips at the prospect of facing the Royals, who were struggling at the wrong end of the Championship. But wins at Liverpool and West Brom in the Cup have led to a big upturn in league fortunes – and O’Neill says they are a dangerous side. MON also had good news on the injury front for Villa fans.
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O'Neill said: ‘Their effort to beat Liverpool was absolutely fantastic. Their whole spirit, everything seems to have picked up there. The cup run has done them the power of good.
‘I think it has been a massive fillip for them. They have gone from strength to strength on the back of those wins. And why wouldn't it help you?
‘If you're going to go to Anfield and win a game there, surely you should think you can replicate that with a few league performances to get yourself out of trouble and I think that's exactly what they have done.
’They have gone up and beaten one of the best sides in European football. If that doesn't give you confidence not only for the next couple of rounds but also for the season ahead then nothing will."
The boss said Richard Dunne should be fine to face Reading despite missing the Ireland friendly with Brazil in midweek.
He added: ‘Richard should be okay. He has played a lot of games and the Republic of Ireland very graciously allowed him to take that time out to recover and I'm very grateful to them for that.’
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