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Bent: Villa move was crucial

Darren Bent claims his January move to Aston Villa helped him win a place in England's starting line-up for Wednesday's friendly in Denmark.

Bent netted in his first two games for Villa, against Manchester City and Manchester United, and marked his return to England's starting line-up with the equaliser in Copenhagen before England went on to win 2-1.

The striker says that leaving Sunderland has proved the difference. He said: "Since I've moved to Villa last month everything has gone right. Fabio said that it has helped my England chances by going to Aston Villa.

"He proved that by making me start against Denmark and I was happy with the performance and the goal. I never dreamed before the game that I would get the full 90 minutes in and it is a big boost. Of course you feel extra pressure to play and take chances with England, especially with the amount of English strikers about at the moment.

"There are still a few to come back as well. Jermain Defoe didn't even play last night and you've got Andy Carroll to come back from injury. It seems like there is a good fight for places but the main thing is when I get my opportunity I've got to take it and I did that.

"I was happy with the performance and hopefully there will be many more performances from me.''

Bent praised Villa team-mate Ashley Young, who produced one of his best performances in an England shirt during the second half.

Bent added: "Since I've come to Villa, Ashley has been a dream to play with. I thought he was fantastic when he came on and he has been the same for Villa as well.

"That is the kind of reason I went to Villa, to play with people like Ashley and Stewart Downing. To be fair, having four members of the Villa team in the England squad is only going to help. Can Villa form the nucleus of the England squad? I'd like to think so.''

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