Collins feeling Villa cheer

BY foxsports • May 16, 2011

Bent took his tally to nine goals since an £18million January move from Sunderland with an early brace in the 2-1 Premier League win at Arsenal. Despite several moves, the 27-year-old has continued to find the net on a regular basis and has forced his way back into Fabio Capello's plans ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Centre-back Collins feels Bent has brought a much-needed quality to a Villa squad which has struggled for consistency, battling in the wrong half of the table. "Everyone knows what Darren is about, he is going to score goals," the defender said. "Look at his chances to goals scored record and he is right up there. "Darren is somebody we needed in the team to score goals and he has brought that. "We knew last season we needed someone who could get 10, 15, maybe even 20 goals a season. "Next season hopefully we will have a full pre-season and kick on." The win at Emirates Stadium meant there will be no possibility of Villa being dragged into the scrap for survival on the final day of what Collins accepts has been "a very disappointing campaign". He said: "We shouldn't be anywhere near the bottom half of the league. "But to put in a performance and get a win at the Emirates is massive, and we will take a lot of confidence out of it. "We know we haven't been to the levels we were last season, but I think we showed signs of it again at Arsenal. "We will take confidence out of this, we have a big game against Liverpool and hopefully that will help us next season." Collins added: "We have a fantastic squad here, so obviously we would like to keep all of our best players and move on next season." Villa boss Gerard Houllier could make an emotional return for the final match of the season on Sunday. The French coach, 63, was admitted to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital on April 20 suffering with a heart problem, and discharged nine days later. However, considering Houllier's health history - he underwent open-heart surgery nine-and-a-half years ago - there has been speculation over whether he will return to the helm at all. Assistant manager Gary McAllister, who has served as caretaker for Villa's last four matches, has confirmed Houllier is on the mend and could be at Villa Park for the game against his former club. Collins maintains the players must focus on getting their job right in difficult circumstances. "The situation we were in we knew we had to concentrate on the games," he said. "A lot of people behind the scenes are speaking to the manager and seeing how he is, so I'm sure Gary McAllister will let us know on what is going on."

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