Aston Villa players must adapt to Gerard Houllier tactics says Darren Bent

Record signing Darren Bent insists Aston Villa's players have to adapt to the formation and tactics under-fire manager Gerard Houllier wants to employ.

Houllier has opted to use Bent as the only out-and-out striker in recent weeks with Ashley Young playing behind him in either a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-1-1 system.

The England striker did not have a single clear-cut chance during Saturday's 1-0 home reversal against Wolves and was well policed by Richard Stearman and Christophe Berra.

But Bent knows the Villa players have to come to terms with Houllier's ideas and philosophies.

When asked if the current formation can be effective, Bent said: "It was difficult against Wolves, especially against those two (Berra and Stearman) as centre-halves.

"But, at the same time, the manager wants the system and, as professionals and players we've got to respect that.

"If he wants to play one up front, then that's fair enough.

"As you said, the fans wanted to see 4-4-2 but this 4-5-1 seems like quite a common formation now."

Bent added: "We have to try to make the system work.

"It's always difficult when you're the only striker trying to compete in the air against two centre halves but the main thing is the manager is not going to change it.

"He wants us to play this way and we've got to get on with it and adapt to it."

Bent, currently preparing for England's Euro qualifier against Wales on Saturday, added: "It's so tight down there at the bottom of the league.

"It's probably the tightest that it has ever been. Any number of nine or 10 teams could go down this season.

"But we're still fighting, we're still working as hard as we possibly can and I'm sure we'll get out of it."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat