Impressive Bouma wants to start

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Aston Villa defender Wilfred Bouma is hoping to secure a starting role in the FA Cup tie with Manchester United this weekend following his impressive performance against Chelsea.

Bouma has been out-of-favour with boss Martin O'Neill, who preferred skipper Gareth Barry in a left-back position.

But with Barry suspended against the Blues, Bouma took his chance to shine for Villa, providing a tremendous display to prevent Shaun Wright-Phillips from impressing.

And now Bouma is hoping his performance can help cement a position in O'Neill's starting line-up.

Speaking of his performance against the Blues, Bouma added: "I played against Shaun Wright-Phillips who is a very clever player with a lot of pace.

"I tried to get as close as possible to him and not give him the space to turn and run at me. I think it was a good battle between us.

"But what really mattered was the result. If the header from Didier Drogba had gone in seconds from the end, then being man of the match would not be important.

"I thought we defended well as a team. That's the main thing you need to do. If you defend well, then it's hard - even for the champions. I think we were tough opponents.

"Of course, now I want to stay in the team. Gareth Barry is back again on Sunday but hopefully I will stay in the team.

"If I am not, the manager knows I'm always there when he needs me."