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Bent wants Villa improvement at home

Darren Bent says Aston Villa's miserable home record needs to improve if they are to avoid another season of struggle.

Villa have not won in front of their own supporters for six months since claiming a 1-0 victory over Fulham on March 10. They won only four times under manager Alex McLeish last season, leading to a struggle to stave off relegation.

One win in their previous 14 attempts at Villa Park represents a dismal return, with the problem continuing in a 3-1 defeat to Everton on new boss Paul Lambert's home debut.

And captain Bent, 28, knows a significant improvement is required this season, starting against Swansea on Saturday, if Villa are to avoid another difficult campaign.

"Our home form hasn't been good enough and we need to start putting that right," Bent said. "We need to be having better performances and results to give the fans something to cheer about.

"They have shown they will get behind us even when we are not doing well. It's been hard for them, but they still come and support us. They have been brilliant in the time that I have been here, to be fair. So if we can get them going by playing well, that can only be good for the team and the fans."

Meanwhile, Marc Albrighton is set to return to training next week after missing the whole of pre-season with a fractured metatarsal.

The England Under-21 winger suffered the injury on the first day of pre-season, but Lambert has been encouraged by his rehabilitation ahead of schedule.

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