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By ESPN Staff

Bent bears no grudges

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent insists there are no hard feelings between him and his England team-mates who left the club this summer.

• Shay Given still has self belief

Wingers Ashley Young and Stewart Downing joined Manchester United and Liverpool respectively for a total of £35 million, much to the disappointment of Villa fans. However, Bent believes his international colleagues are entitled to move in search of major honours.

He said: ''You're always going to be disappointed when you see players like Ashley and Stewart leave because they are top players, which is why the big clubs want them.

''But at the same time I wish them all the best and I hope they go on to achieve great things. Everyone wants to play in the top competition, which is the Champions League.''

Bent, who moved to Villa Park from Sunderland in January, has backed the team's youth and fringe players to step up and fill the gaps created by the departures.

He said: ''We've got top players that are still here and I'm sure they'll go on to do well as well, and we'll grow as a team.

''We've still got players here like Marc Albrighton who's coming through, Gabby (Agbonlahor), Nathan Delfouneso and Stephen Ireland's going to be like a new signing. So I'm sure this season will be better than last season.''

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