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Oct 28, 2013

Christian Benteke backed to regain form

Christian Benteke has the mental strength to recover from his penalty miss against Everton at the weekend, according to Aston Villa teammate Brad Guzan.

Christian Benteke sees his penalty saved by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Christian Benteke was guilty of not taking his chances against Everton.

• Hughes: Misfiring strikers

Benteke saw a spot kick saved by Tim Howard in Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Villa Park and was also denied by Guzan's United States teammate in open play as Villa slipped to a frustrating home defeat.

The Belgium international had to shoulder most of the blame for the loss because of his missed chances and the focus will remain on him, with Arsenal and Spurs both rumoured to be considering a January transfer bid.

Benteke has gone from virtual obscurity to being one of the most coveted strikers in the Premier League and the constant spotlight is a new challenge for the 22-year-old, but Guzan is convinced the heightened attention and expectations will not faze him.

"The way he has handled himself speaks volumes about his character and about the type of professional that he is,” Guzan said.

"He’s had a lot of press and a lot of media, a buzz around him, good and bad, he never lets that stuff bother him.

"He gets on with his football, he plays well and he’s an important part of what we’re about at Aston Villa. He’s an important piece of what we’re doing here as a team.

"There’s no-one who needs to go and console him. He’ll bounce back just fine. Christian is a top guy and a top professional. We have all the confidence in the world in Christian.

"Christian is still the same footballer that he was when he scored all those goals for us."

Benteke scored 23 league and cup goals during his debut campaign in English football, following his seven million pound arrival from Genk, but his penalty miss was the second this season having had a spot-kick saved on the opening day against Arsenal.

But Guzan is confident the big striker will volunteer to take the next penalty, adding: "Yes, definitely, his confidence won’t waver from this. He’ll take the next one and put it in the back of the net. This will then all be forgotten."

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