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Boss hopeful over Dunne

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Richard Dunne has not been ruled out of this Sunday's Premiership clash with Chelsea.

The City skipper picked up a hamstring strain last week that forced him to miss the final pre-season friendly against FC Porto and tomorrow's Republic of Ireland international.

Manager Stuart Pearce, however, is hopeful that there is enough time between now and Sunday's trip to Stamford Bridge to get his player back to fitness.

"We haven't ruled him out, we're hopeful on him. The one thing with Richard is that he has a burning desire to be at Chelsea, and my main concern is maybe reining him back because I don't want to lose him for a number of weeks.

"It may mean missing one game, and I'm acutely aware of that but I never put pressure on my physios in that respect. We'll judge Richard by eye a little bit, we've got our fingers crossed but having him available or missing would be a big bonus or a big blow to us."

Better news comes from the fact that Andy Cole, absent since February's win over Charlton, has been taking a full part in training sessions at Carrington once more.

"Andy joined in training yesterday and looked the part, his finishing was sensational but he still needs to work on his fitness a little bit. He had a spring in his step, he is a big influence out there and he needs to be again for me this year."

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City v Porto 12-08-2006