Aston Villa 1 West Brom 1: Bent has nothing to prove, insists Lambert

Aston Villa 1 West Brom 1: Paul Lambert insists Darren Bent has nothing to prove after he scored his side's equaliser at Villa Park

Aston Villa
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West Brom
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Paul Lambert insisted Darren Bent has nothing to prove after the Aston Villa striker came on as a second-half substitute to rescue a point against West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies took a 51st-minute lead when Republic of Ireland forward Shane Long was on hand to turn James Morrison’s cross past Brad Guzan.

Villa manager Lambert introduced Bent with less than half an hour remaining, and the England international finished from close range in the 80th minute to snatch a draw.

“I don’t think Darren Bent has got anything to prove to me or the outside world, everybody knows he’s a proven goal scorer,” Lambert told the BBC.

“I just thought for this given game this was the right team. I need everybody, not just 14 lads, or a squad of 18, you need the whole 26 lads to perform.”

Bent was replaced by Ron Vlaar as Villa captain ahead of their defeat by Swansea City on 15 September, before being dropped for Sunday’s West Brom tie.

The 28-year-old admitted it has been a difficult start to the season but issued his backing for Alex McLeish’s replacement at Villa Park.

“It’s obviously been a difficult couple of weeks, losing the captaincy first off then finding out I wasn’t playing today,” said Bent.

“Obviously it would have been nice to play from the start but I managed to score the goal to get a point.”

Bent added: “The start of the season’s been up and down. Today we showed signs that we are heading in the right direction and we’ve all got faith in the manager.”

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