Manchester City’s Richard Dunne wins his 17th Republic of Ireland cap tonight hoping to show club manager Kevin Keegan that his future at the club lies in the heart of the defence. The 23-year-old has been playing at right-back for City in recent weeks, but gets the chance to perform in his preferred position of centre-half as skipper Kenny Cunningham misses out against Norway with a groin injury.

For now, Dunne is just happy to make the team for either club or country, especially as he was almost kicked out of Maine Road earlier this season following disciplinary and dietary problems. But after sorting out his lifestyle, he is determined to prove himself as a central defender.

“I don't mind where I'm asked to play, it's a way into the team and I haven't been playing so I can't start picking where I want to play,” said Dunne, who must pit his wits against Valencia striker John Carew at Lansdowne Road.

“I obviously want to play in the centre but the more games I play, the more experience I'm getting with everyone, so hopefully in the future I might get the chance to play in the centre - but for now I'm happy to be just involved.

“Every time you get a chance to play it gives you the opportunity to impress people. Playing against Norway gives me the chance to play centre-half as well so hopefully I can impress Kevin Keegan in that position as well.”

Filed by Johnny Proby