Ridgewell targets starting spot

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Aston Villa defender Liam Ridgewell is aiming to make one of the centre back positions his own at the midlands club next season.

The 22-year-old was a regular feature in Villa's defence last season because of Martin Laursen's long-term injury as well as niggling problems for Mark Delaney and Olof Mellberg.

With Laursen now edging towards full fitness once again, Ridgewell is hoping to prove he has the credentials to remain first-choice under the club's new manager.

"It has got to be my ambition to now get into the team on my own merit rather than coming in when there are injuries," Ridgewell said.

"As a youngster coming in, it is difficult but I think I showed I was worth it whenever I was given my chance. Hopefully I've done well enough to stay in for the new season.

"Every young player coming into the side aims to prove himself. I set myself the target of playing more games last season than the season before and I achieved that.

"I didn't expect to play as much as I did with Martin Laursen coming back but his injury meant there were circumstances where I was back in again and it was a great learning curve for me. Now I hope to kick on."