Villa's Davies hails "lionheart" Laursen

Curtis Davies hailed Aston Villa defensive partner Martin Laursen after his goal in Saturday's victory over Derby County.

Former AC Milan player Laursen grabbed his third goal in the last five games against the goal-shy Rams to set Villa on the way to a fifth home success of the season.

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Fellow centre-back Davies said: "It takes pressure off the strikers if other people score goals. Martin is a lion-heart. He has got that big lion-mane haircut.

"He gives 100% all the time. He is one of those players who puts his head and foot in anywhere. That is the kind of defenders you need these days.

"Obviously, there are always good ball players but, if they can't defend, it is not much good.

"He had his head bandaged up the other week after going in where it hurts. Mind you, that was probably the best thing with his dodgy haircut!"

Laursen said: "The manager doesn't set defenders goal targets but it is important in the modern game that you get something out off set pieces because it is difficult for strikers to score.

"It is hard for them to play against good defences. It is nice to score from set pieces once in a while."

Regarding Davies' 'lion-heart' claim, Laursen said: "I don't have any fear. Why should I have fear? That is the way I play. If you take that away from my game, I wouldn't play here.

"The Premier League is suited to my game. The things I am strong at, being physical and winning headers, is important here and you see that more here in England than in Italy."

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