The 28-year-old striker believes new manager Paul Lambert should show faith in the former Manchester City midfielder and allow him to thrive in his favourite position
The former Manchester City man endured a frustrating first season at Villa Park, making just 16 league appearances, but going on to be named the fans’ player of the year.
Bent has hinted that former boss Alex McLeish's indecision over Ireland's best position hurt the midfielder's performances, and called for the 25-year-old to be played off the strikers.
“As a striker you want to have somebody like that picking out your runs and playing passes to give you more chances,” the ex-Sunderland forward, who has missed England’s Euro 2012 squad through injury, told reporters.
“The best way to do that is to play him in the ‘hole’.
“There is no point playing Stevie one game and then moving him to the right and then taking him out of the team. You’ve got to play him four or five games in that position.
“For me, he’s the best footballer in the squad and, if you want to get the best out of him, you need to be playing him.
“Confidence can make a massive difference to any player and when he is feeling good about himself the performances will follow.”