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Lambert plays down Bent's exclusion from Aston Villa starting XI

The striker was consigned to a place on the bench for the match against West Brom having already lost the club captaincy, but grabbed a late equaliser as a substitute

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert insists that there are no problems between him and Darren Bent after the striker saved the club a point with a late equaliser against West Brom.

Lambert preferred to start with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke in attack for the derby match at Villa Park but turned to Bent as his team searched for an equaliser in the second half.

The former Norwich City boss claimed that the England international had not taken issue with being left out of the starting line-up having already lost the club captaincy to Ron Vlaar.

"No, he was great," Lambert told reporters. "There was no problem. I just named the team and that's the team I picked."

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Lambert emphasised the need for teamwork and togetherness at the club and praised Bent for the "world-class" finish that salvaged a draw.

"It was a world-class substitution," he joked. "I need everyone, it's a collective thing, I never look at individuals. The goal was brilliant, it was a world-class finish.

"He was fine at full-time. I spoke to him in the dressing room as well. He was totally fine, totally, no problem, none."

"Everyone is as important as anyone else. I explained the captaincy thing was to do what he did there - to score. That's the only reason I did it.

"I need everyone. If we can keep the collective thing and have the crowd with us, we'll be fine."

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