Clark: Bent will get back amongst the goals for Aston Villa

The striker has been largely left on the sidelines by new manager Paul Lambert, but his team-mate believes it is only a matter of time until he makes a scoring return
Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark has backed team-mate Darren Bent to recapture his best form at the club.

The 28-year-old has struggled to earn a first-team berth upon his return from a knee ligament injury due to the impressive form of summer signing Christian Benteke.

But, despite Bent being widely linked with a January move as he searches for playing time, Clark believes the Englishman can still contribute at Villa Park.

“Darren is deadly finisher and you know he will score goals," Clark told reporters. "That's what the fans want to see, they want to see people scoring goals.

"I'm sure if he had half a chance [as a substitute against Stoke] he would have stuck it in the net. It was just one of those days where he didn't get a chance.

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"He shouldn't be written off. Definitely. I think a lot of people have been writing him off already. It is just one of those things. He did well and all we can do is see how he does in the future."

The Republic of Ireland international went on to praise the Tooting-born striker's attitude during his spell on the sidelines.

"Darren has always been the same,” Clark continued. “He has never changed and that's what you expect from Darren.

"He has just got on with things, he is a good pro and a very experienced lad. He knows what he needs to do.

"He has kept his head up and it shows he must have been working hard in training to get back into the team."