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The England international is determined to push the club forward as the temporary leader whilst permanent skipper Stiliyan Petrov continues his battle against acute leukaemia

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent says he is honoured to captain the club during Stilian Petrov's rehabilitation following his battle against acute leukaemia.

Villa boss Paul Lambert has already comfirmed the Bulgarian will remain the club captain for the forthcoming season despite his absence from first team duties.

But the former Norwich manager has backed 28-year-old Bent, who has experience as Charlton Athletic's skipper, to lead the team on the field while Petrov is missing.

The England international expressed his honour at being handed the responsibility of wearing the armband.

He told Sky Sports News: "It's a great honour to captain a side like Aston Villa, especially after someone like Stilian Petrov, who has been captaining Villa for a lot of years.

"If I can hang on to it, I'll be delighted, and that's a big goal of mine. The gaffer just said to me 'I've given you the armband for now, and I just want you to justify why I've given it to you'.

"I want to just try and lead by example and try and be a good role model. I was captain of Charlton for a year and I enjoyed that and if I get to keep it this year I'll be delighted."

Record signing Darren Bent is yet to feature for the Villans in pre-season after missing the final few months of the Premier League season due to injury, and has targeted the friendly against Nottingham Forest on August 4 for his return.

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