By Dan Harrison
Richard Dunne insists there is no reason why Villa can't repeat their final flourish of 12 months ago and finish the current campaign in style.
The boys in claret and blue lost just one of their last eight games in 2010-11 to propel themselves into the top half of the Barclays Premier League.
That impressive run included wins over Saturday's opponents Arsenal and European hopefuls Liverpool, who Alex McLeish's men are set to face on April 7.
Dunne says Villa are capable of staging another late surge, having been boosted by some encouraging performances in recent weeks.
"We've had a steady season so far and we could quite easily finish the same way as we did last season," said the Republic of Ireland defender.
"We had a late run and ended up finishing ninth. I think that's still achievable for the lads.
"The last three performances have been brilliant, the results have been good and there's plenty of confidence now going into the games coming up.
"They're going to be a little bit tougher, playing against sides pushing for the Champions League places, but the lads have been doing really well.
"There are 10 games to go, plenty of points up for grabs, and we can go and strive to get up towards the top half of the table.
"The teams all around us have similar runs, so we can get up there."
Dunne is adamant Villa are not looking over their shoulder after moving 11 points clear of the drop zone with a win over Fulham.
The 32-year-old reckons a place in the top 10 is well within the team's grasp.
"I think the big thing for us is that we're looking up," he added.
"We're 11 points off the relegation zone, so that thought doesn't even come into it.
"We're looking up at Sunderland in ninth place only four points ahead of us.
"Win a few games and we can push up there.
"We have some big games coming up at Villa Park, so hopefully it can be an entertaining end of season for the fans."
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