Laursen targets Villa captaincy

Martin Laursen admits he is keen on succeeding want-away Gareth Barry as Aston Villa captain.

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He said: "If I was given the captaincy if Aston Villa, I would be proud and I would say 'yes'. I would be very happy with that.

"Gareth has been a good captain for us but, if I can become captain, I will take it.

"If someone else is made captain, fair enough, but I would welcome (being) captain. This is a great club which is moving forward."

If Laursen is named captain, it will represent another big step forward for the 30-year-old whose career had been threatened by a long-term knee injury.

But last season he played every minute of every Barclays Premier League game in helping Villa finish sixth and secure a place in the Intertoto Cup.

Laursen said: "On a personal level, I would like to play as many games as last season and be fit. I haven't been fit enough during my four years here.

"Last season was good, I played all the games. It was very pleasing for me after my first three years here when I was injured too much.

"But I'd like to repeat that this season. How I play is important but I would like to make the quantity important as well. I need to play games."

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