Bent keen to grow with Villa

Bent and Ashley Young played key roles in England’s 2-0 win over

Wales in Saturday’s Euro 2012 qualifier in Cardiff while Stewart

Downing was used as a second-half substitute. Young had a big part

to play in the build-up to both goals, laying on the second for

Bent who netted for the third successive international. The duo

will look to impress again in Tuesday night’s friendly with Ghana

should they get the chance. The comfortable win over Wales was in

stark contrast to the relegation battle Villa find themselves

embroiled in under Gerard Houllier. Bent said: “It is difficult.

Our club form obviously takes priority in a lot of ways because it

is the way you earn your living. “But these international breaks

are nice to go away and try and get some confidence and play well

here and then take it back to Villa. “There is myself, Stu, Ashley

and Kyle Walker. If us four can fire and play really well for

England, hopefully we can take it back to Villa.” Bent accepts

success for several players at international level does not

guarantee glory on the domestic front. He said: “I think sometimes

it happens like that. I am sure Villa won’t be the first club in a

relegation battle. “But we are more than confident of getting out

of it. “It is always at the back of your mind and you are thinking

‘the Villa form, the Villa form’ but when you are out there,

international football is hard and you just need to stay focused.

“If we play well at Everton next weekend and get something out of

it, I am sure we can kick forward and move on.” Bent opted not to

hand out any stick to his Villa team-mate, Wales defender James

Collins, after England’s win. He said: “I didn’t to be fair. I

wanted to but I know how much it means to him to play for his

country. “I didn’t want to rub him up the wrong way in case he

smashes me in half at Villa – that’s a joke. “I thought he played

well but we were better on the day.” Bent and Young look to be

developing a promising partnership for club and country. He said:

“We work on it every day in training and to be fair, Ash doesn’t

play wide for Villa. He plays just behind me. “Every opportunity we

get to play together, and can work off each other, it is only going

to help Villa push up the league.”