Aston Villa want 'big performance' from Darren Bent on return to Sunderland

Alex McLeish believes Aston Villa striker Darren Bent will be unfazed by the hostile reception expected on his first return to Sunderland tomorrow.

McLeish is looking for a "big performance" from the England international and feels he can "hurt" his former team-mates at the Stadium of Light.

Bent angered many Sunderland supporters by making the £18 million move to Villa last January and he has since scored 12 goals in 23 games.

McLeish said: "We all know football and the way it is. I'm sure a lot of the Sunderland fans will remember Darren's prowess in front of goal with fond memories.

"But, when you leave a club to go somewhere else, fans see you as the enemy and that's their prerogative.

"Darren is experienced and mature enough to understand that is what happens in football.

"I'm sure he will take that and it won't faze him and his game and not affect him trying to score a goal past Sunderland. Bent is an England international, he has got a tough mentality.

"I will certainly be looking for a big performance from him. There is no reason why Darren can't go back and hurt his own team.

"But Sunderland will be trying equally as hard and they will be saying in that dressing room 'we can't let Benty score'."

McLeish revealed Bent is determined to put right his glaring first half miss against West Brom last weekend.

The Villa boss said: "Benty missed a good chance last week and right away in the dressing room took responsibility and held his hand up for it.

"He was smarting and said 'I just want another chance like that' and that is the type of guy he is.

"He tries to push it off like a piece of dandruff and will be in the very same position the next game. Darren has got that goal hungry type of attitude."

McLeish is looking for a positive response from his side after successive defeats against Manchester City and West Brom ended their unbeaten start in the league.

He said: "Sunderland will be confident. They had a great result last weekend (at Bolton). But equally you can look at Sunderland getting that result on the back of a couple of bad ones.

"There is no reason why we can't do the same thing. We've had a couple of reversals now.

"We were very frustrated at the way last week's result at West Brom unfolded.

"But it doesn't mean we can't go to Sunderland and get the points just as Sunderland did at Bolton last weekend with a terrific performance.

"They will be buoyed by their performance and victory but equally they will be aware that we have a big threat in our team as well."

On-loan Tottenham midfielder Jenas Jenas is finally fit and included in the squad while defender Alan Hutton has recovered from a head wound which required seven stitches.

But midfielder Barry Bannan is suspended while the club conduct an internal investigation after the Scot was arrested on suspicion of drink driving last weekend.

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments