Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has spoken of his debt to Richard Dunne as the defender battles to be fit to face Tottenham on Sunday.

Dunne was forced off during the defeat at Reading last weekend with a gash to his shin that required nine stitches.

The 28-year-old initially carried on after tackling Republic of Ireland team-mate Stephen Hunt, before the seriousness of the injury became clear.

City are aiming to improve on a wretched run of two wins in 12 games that has hampered their hopes of a place in Europe next season.

Dunne's presence at the moment is vital given that his defensive partner Micah Richards is recovering from a knee operation.

And City boss Eriksson is hopeful his skipper will be available for the clash at Eastlands on Sunday.

"Richard is a tough guy, and if there is any chance he can play against Spurs then he will do," Eriksson told the club's official website.