Bent hails Gabby partnership

Villa striker hoping to continue good start to the season

Bent: Happy with his partnership with Agbonlahor and has praised his team-mate's contribution

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Darren Bent believes he and Gabriel Agbonlahor have proved they can form an effective strike partnership at Aston Villa this season.

England striker Bent joined Villa from Sunderland in January and, on the occasions former Villa manager Gerard Houllier played two up front last season, Emile Heskey was his partner, with Agbonlahor deployed on the wing.

However, new boss Alex McLeish has been playing Bent and Agbonlahor in tandem and the duo were both on target in Saturday's 2-0 success over Wigan Athletic.

Agbonlahor scored the first goal - his fourth of the campaign - and then created the second for Bent as Villa maintained their unbeaten league start.

Complement

Bent said: "There were people who said myself and Gabby couldn't play together because we are too similar.

"But we complement each other well and give each other chances. Hopefully it will continue and Villa can have a good season.

"Last season when I came I didn't really play with Gabby up front. He played wide left.

"Did the previous manager feel we could not work together? Maybe. I know he never said it - but you could tell by the team shape last season."

Darren Bent

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"Did the previous manager feel we could not work together? Maybe. I know he never said it - but you could tell by the team shape last season.

"We only played one striker at times, and when we did play two, it tended to be myself and Heskey. It answers itself really."

Bent believes Agbonlahor's pace will cause problems to most defences and that he will eventually regain an England spot if he maintains his current form.

Dangerous

He said: "I don't think there are too many strikers playing better than Gabby. He looks strong and fast and dangerous.

"The goals he has been scoring this season have been fantastic so there is no reason why he shouldn't be called up by England.

"When you have someone with that kind of pace up front it makes the job easier because Gabby is always going to get past people and expose people with his pace.

"It is going to help both of us and the team. I don't think anyone in the league could keep up with Gabby. He is up there with the quickest of them.

"He can get from point A to point B very quickly and in this league people say the league is about pace - and he has that in abundance."