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Villa fullback Bouma targets Carling Cup final appearance

Fit-again fullback Freddy Bouma is eyeing Aston Villa's Carling Cup final against Manchester United as his comeback game.

First choice left-back Stephen Warnock is currently out of action with a shin problem, while Nicky Shorey has joined Fulham on loan for the rest of the season.

Dutch international Bouma said: "I am working every day really hard.

"It's up to me to get fit, then it will be up to the manager whether he needs me to be involved (in the Carling Cup).

"But obviously that's something that's still in my head because it's something that won't come along very often. This is a final and, if I can be part of that, I would be thrilled.

"I will take one step at a time and I just want to get back as quick as possible. If I am involved with the boys (at Wembley) that would be great.

"I am really glad Villa are doing so well but, because I was injured for such a long time, I just want to be back and part of things again."

Bouma, 31, was determined to remain upbeat during his lengthy absence.

He added: "Was it hard to stay positive? Sometimes yes, but then if you've got a goal - and that's what I had - it can help you.

"I knew in my mind what I wanted to achieve, and that was getting back out on the pitch and being part of the first team again.

"I knew it would take a while. I just had to work hard. The toe injury in training didn't come at a good time but then injuries never come at a good time. It's now behind me."

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