• Football

Darren Bent talks of 'horrible' times at Villa

ESPN staff
August 20, 2013
Sidelined at Aston Villa ... but now Darren Bent has a fresh chance at Fulham © PA Photos

Darren Bent has spoken of his relief to be away from Aston Villa and the opportunities he hopes his season-long loan at Fulham will bring.

Bent started the 2012-13 season as Aston Villa's captain but was soon out of favour and left on the sidelines to train with the youth team even though the club was struggling.

"It was really difficult at Villa because we weren't allowed to play in any matches, a few of us were kind of alienated to train with the kids. It has been difficult," he said. "There were times when I was thinking‚ 'Do I really deserve this?' It's all well and good not being part of the squad but to be treated like we have is bad.

"It was horrible. It wasn't so much the injuries, although they certainly didn't help, it was just the uncertainty. There were times I was in the squad and times I wasn't and there was just no explanation why.

"I understand that not every player can be every manager's cup of tea but to be alienated like that, to be kicked out of the first-team dressing room, when I've played a long time, when I'm an international, just felt a bit disappointing."

He said he was excited at the new opportunity. "I know Martin Jol. I've worked with him before, he signed me at Tottenham and I respect him hugely. Fulham are a strong, solid team and a good, solid club who have got some fantastic players.

"I'm not just hungry to play football again. I'm absolutely starving," he said. "I'm ready to get going. Hopefully for the next game I'll get a piece of the action. I've missed on a couple of major competitions with England but I just hope this is my year. I need to get back to playing regularly, scoring goals for Fulham and that's my priority. That's what I do best."

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