Lambert defends Bent absence

  • Last Updated: November 28 2012, 7:31 GMT

Paul Lambert insists he will "live and die" by his selection decisions after again leaving record signing Darren Bent out against Reading at Villa Park.

Lambert defends Bent absence

Darren Bent

19. Darren Bent

Title Number
Appearances 1 (6)
Goals 0
Assists 0
Yellows 0
Reds 0
*Current Season

A goal from Bent's replacement up front, Christian Benteke, secured a 1-0 victory for Villa and moved them out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three.

But it was still a surprise to see £18 million England international Bent fail to make even the bench, with rookie striker Jordan Bowery preferred among the substitutes.

Lambert said: "I do rate Darren but I pick a team I always think will win. I've got 25 guys to look after. The most important thing is this club and I'll always make decisions I think are right for this club.

"I'll live and die by them. That's the nature of the beast. I'll always make an honest judgement on who I think should play but I have no problem with Darren, absolutely none."

Lambert denied there was any fall-out with Bent or that the striker had left the stadium before kick-off after his exclusion from proceedings.

Lambert said: "Darren was in the squad, it was the same on Saturday. I just picked the same group. I do what think is best for Aston Villa.

"I do rate him as a player. I've no problem with his attitude in training, none whatsoever."

Away from the ongoing intrigue over Bent, Lambert hailed the significance of Villa's third win of the season.

He said: "It was a big result because we knew the Arsenal game at the weekend would take a lot out of us.

"Reading had also played well against Wigan so knew it would be a tough game.

"But I don't know about it being a six pointer. Never look at things now, look in May."


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