Villa won't gamble with Bent says McLeish

 

Aston Villa are hoping Darren Bent will be fit for Wednesday's home game with Arsenal after playing down his shopping excursion during yesterday's defeat to Liverpool.

Bent missed the 2-0 loss at Villa Park with a thigh problem and some supporters voiced their displeasure at a picture posted online of the record signing buying Christmas presents during the game.

However, Press Association Sport understands Villa are completely relaxed about the situation and are keeping their fingers crossed Bent has recovered in time to face the Gunners.

Villa manager Alex McLeish said: "We can't gamble with Darren. He has to tell me he's not feeling it (the injury) and say 'I'm okay to start.'

"Then he'll be back in the reckoning without question. He has got a thigh-cum-groin kicking strain. He came off the training pitch on Tuesday after having a shot at goal.

"When it's not a clash between two players and they pull up, it means something else has happened and it can be quite serious.

"But the doctor seems to think he should be quite close to being ready for Wednesday. We'll keep our fingers crossed that he is okay."

Bent reported to the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground yesterday morning and underwent two hours of treatment.

He was told by the club's doctors to go home, where he watched the majority of the Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool on television.

It was then that Bent decided to go shopping, which led to consternation from some supporters.

Jonathan Fear, editor of the fans' website Vital Villa, told Press Association Sport: "If Darren was told to go home by the club doctors then that explains things and why he wasn't at the game.

"But even if he does care for Villa, symbolically going out shopping during the latter part of the game makes it look to the fans that he doesn't give a stuff for Villa."

Bent has already issued an apology on Twitter, which read: "Nothing is more important to me than playing football, sadly injury meant I wasn't able to do that today. Gutted not to be involved.

"I hope to be back very soon. Watched the majority of he game on tv. Never knew popping out would cause an issue and for that I apologise."

Meanwhile, Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has dismissed speculation linking him with a January move to Sunderland, who are now managed by former Villa boss Martin O'Neill.

He said: "That came out from the blue and I'm very happy at Villa. When the transfer windows come there is speculation, but I'm a Villa player and every time I go out I play with all my heart.

"I don't have the intention to go. I want to stay. It's up to them if they want me but I'd love to stay and I'm enjoying it."

Petrov believes Villa do need to bring in some new players next month.

He said: "In the Premier League you cannot afford not to add players during the transfer windows.

"I'm sure Alex (McLeish) will be given the money to strengthen the squad and I hope he can get it because he deserves it.

"He has been working really hard and it will be nice to see a couple of new faces."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee