• Premier League

Lambert denies Bent rift

ESPN staff
November 3, 2012 « Meaker drafted in as cover for Finn | Chartbeat test »
Darren Bent has been dropped to the bench in four of Villa's last five matches © PA Photos
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Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has once again denied there is a problem between himself and Darren Bent, despite the striker's latest omission from the starting line-up.

Bent, 28, has found life tough at Villa Park this season, having been dropped to the bench in four of the club's last five encounters, as well as losing the club captaincy.

Tuesday night's 3-2 Capital One Cup win at Swindon was the latest match in which Villa's record signing has found himself as a substitute, with Lambert preferring Andreas Weimann, Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor ahead of him.

However, the Villa boss insists the England international's exclusion was down to tactics and when asked if there is a rift problem between the two, Lambert told the Daily Mirror: "No, nothing. Not a thing - I speak to him.

"All I try and do is pick a team which will win a game. Everybody is involved in it and that is all I do. The system at Swindon dictated I played Andi [Weimann] out wide. To be fair to Andi, I think he has been playing really well and been unfortunate not to start.

"It [where Weimann played] is a different position from the way Darren plays."

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