'Criticism is part of football' - Bullish Benteke retains belief

The Aston Villa striker insists he has not been affected by recent criticism of his form and believes his goal against Arsenal can spark a strong run of form
Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke insists he has not been affected by recent criticism of his form.

The Belgium international ended a Premier League goal drought spanning almost four months after scoring in Monday's 2-1 defeat at the hands of leaders Arsenal.

12/1 Aston Villa are 12/1 with Betway to beat Liverpool
Benteke has struggled to follow up a stunning first season in England's top flight, which saw him contribute 19 goals in 34 matches, but retains confidence in his ability.

"Criticism is part of football; it's part of life. It doesn't matter if people criticise," he is quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

"I just need to do my thing and do what I can do, and some days will be good and others will be bad.

"I am still developing my game. I am still young; I am still learning so I don't worry about what people say because I know if I work I will be better."

Meanwhile, Benteke believes his goal against Arsenal could spark a strong run of form.

"The first season here, everything was good. It seemed like in every game I played I scored a goal, especially the second half of the season," he added.

"This season has been a bit harder for me, but it was nice to score against Arsenal and I can bring my confidence now for the team again.

"The fact I scored is very important for me and the team, that I can bring some more good moments. This is what drives me on."

Villa head to Anfield for Saturday's late kick-off to take on Liverpool, with Benteke having scored a superb double in the corresponding fixture last season.