Aston Villa 1 Reading 0: Bent has a future at Villa Park, insists Lambert
Aston Villa 1 Reading 0: Paul Lambert says Darren Bent has a future at the club despite the striker's absence for their win
Paul Lambert insisted Darren Bent still has a future at Aston Villa after Christian Benteke scored the winner against Reading at Villa Park.
The home side’s record signing was left out of Lambert’s squad for the relegation clash against the Royals, despite Benteke’s four-game run without a Premier League goal.
Republic of Ireland international Ciaran Clark came close to netting from a Villa corner in the second half, while the Royals centre-half Adam Le Fondre headed narrowly over from six-yards out.
But it was Villa’s Belgium striker who scored the winner with 10 minutes remaining, out jumping the Reading defence to head past Adam Federici and move the Birmingham outfit two points clear of 18th-place Southampton.
“Darren Bent just has to play well and train well. I’m not going to invent something that football people understand. He has a future, everybody has,” Lambert told the BBC.
“Nothing against anybody in the club, but I’ve got 25 lads to look after. Bent and Benteke can play together – they did against Southampton. I’ve got to pick a team I think will win.
“Benteke’s done fantastic for me. He was up against a big lad. It was a fantastic header.”