Crocked Bent backed by boss
Darren Bent has been backed to come back stronger from his ruptured ankle ligaments by Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish.
Last Updated: 28/02/12 6:53pm
Darren Bent has been backed to come back stronger from the ruptured ankle ligaments which look set to rule him out of Euro 2012 by Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish.
England striker Bent is facing three months out of action after suffering the injury during Saturday's Premier League clash with Wigan.
McLeish admits the forward is "gutted" at the blow, especially after being overlooked for England's 2006 and 2010 World Cup squads, and admits his absence will be a big blow for the Midlands side.
McLeish said: "I have texted Darren a couple of times and I've also spoken to him. Right now he's not at the training ground and it will be a couple of days before we see him.
"But I know he is suitably gutted. It would appear to be the case that he may miss the European Championships, as the suggestions are he's going to have to possibly get an operation.
"This would definitely rule him out of the Euros, but he's still a young man and still has a big career ahead of him.
"He's got a lot of life left in him yet. It's a setback for everybody but I am sure he will come back strong and determined to get back among the goals on his return."
McLeish has challenged the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Stephen Ireland to make up for the loss of Bent at Villa.
McLeish said: "You don't want to see any player have that bad luck. It is a big loss to us, such is his prowess as a goalscorer, but it gives an opportunity to others.
"We have other players who have to take the responsibility, players such as Gabby Agbonlahor and Stephen Ireland. That's the great challenge for them.
"It's also a chance for them to show they can handle that type of responsibility."