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Oct 2, 2012

Bent bemused by Villa omission

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent claims he only discovered he had been dropped from the team for Sunday's game against West Bromwich Albion when manager Paul Lambert read out his team to prior to kick-off.

• Blog: What a difference a miss makes

After first losing the captain's armband, Bent has hinted that he was frustrated at Lambert's decision to drop him in place of new signing Christian Benteke, yet he confirmed his worth to the team by coming off the bench to snatch a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw.

Bent scored his first Premier League goal of the season in the 4-1 defeat against Southampton two weeks ago, so he was stunned to find himself left out after finally getting his scoring campaign off and running.

"I only found out when the gaffer read the team-sheet out," he told the Daily Mirror .

"It's frustrating and disappointing. I can't remember the last time it happened. I've not spoken to him at all about why he left me out. We'll probably speak in the week.

"Strikers are always judged on scoring goals. My confidence was back after getting the one against Southampton and I thought that would build me up for Sunday, but it wasn't to be."

Bent admits his confidence 'took a knock' when he was sentenced to a spell on the bench against the Baggies, but he insists he will bounce back as Villa prepare for a trip to face in-form Tottenham at White Hart Lane this weekend.

"I'm always a confident character and if I get the chance I'll score the goals," added Bent.

"I got one on Sunday and I hope I can build on that. I'm going in the right direction, as far as goals go. It was good to get on the pitch and show I am a goalscorer and I can score goals if given the chances."

Lambert has moved to play down speculation over a rift with Bent by claiming the striker has shown no signs of discontent after being dropped.

"Darren was great after the game, no problem," Lambert said.

"Everyone is as important as anyone else. I explained the captaincy thing was to do what he did there, which is to score. That's the only reason I did it. If we can keep the collective thing and have the crowd with us, we'll be fine."

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