Bent denies Villa bust-up

Frontman hoping to be fit to face Arsenal on Wednesday

Darren Bent: Striker hoping to be fit when Villa host Arsenal on Wednesday night

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Darren Bent has echoed Alex McLeish in stressing he has not had a row with the manager after he was pictured out shopping during Aston Villa's game with Liverpool.

Bent missed Saturday's 2-0 home defeat with a thigh injury and was not at Villa Park to watch the Premier League match.

However, a picture later appeared on Twitter of the England international out shopping in Cambridge.

The striker issued an apology on his own Twitter account after Villa fans stated their displeasure and reiterated on Monday that he has no issue with the club or McLeish.

"It's been blown way out of proportion," Bent told Sky Sports News.

"As I've said a few times, I watched a large chunk of the game then nipped out to pick up a Christmas gift and someone took a picture. That's it - there are no conspiracy theories about me having a bust-up or anything.

Honest mistake

"I was injured, I was advised by the Aston Villa medical team to stay at home. Obviously being cooped up in the house, I'd watched a large chunk of the game, I decided to go out at the best time to pick something up.

"I never realised it would cause such a big issue. All I can do is apologise to the Aston Villa fans, but as I said there's no conspiracy theory there. It was an honest mistake."

Bent is hoping to be back in action when Villa host Arsenal on Wednesday evening, adding: "I'd like to be. It's all about the medical team and all I can keep doing is working hard in the gym, keep up the rehab and hopefully I'll be fit."

The striker is hoping Villa can get a positive result against the Gunners after the deflating Liverpool result.

He added: "To be fair it's always hard when you play against a side like Liverpool, who are flying this season.

"It was a difficult game for us. As I said, I watched a large chunk of the game and it was disappointing because I thought we could have got something out of the game but it wasn't meant to be and hopefully we'll move onto the next one against Arsenal on Wednesday."