Collins backs Bent to fire Villa up the table

23 January 2011 04:00
James Collins believes Aston Villa newcomer Darren Bent will provide the quality and goal threat to propel the midlands club up the Barclays Premier League table. Bent repaid the first slice of his club record £18million fee with the winner on his debut against Manchester City at Villa Park. The former Sunderland player had barely a dozen touches of the ball throughout a 90 minutes dominated by the visitors, but he made the decisive contribution with his 18th-minute finish. It moved Bent level onto 82 Premier League goals alongside Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney as the highest scorer among players still performing in the top flight. Central defender Collins is convinced Villa will climb clear of relegation with Bent's clinical finishing and a repeat of the solid defending which shut out City's £27m striker Edin Dzeko. Collins said: "It is great for the players to see someone of Darren's quality coming into Villa and it does show the intent of the club. He has given a lift to the players, the staff and the fans. It is not being disrespectful to anyone but we haven't scored enough goals this season as well as conceding too many. "Darren has scored goals where ever he has been and I'm sure he will get a lot of Villa because we do create chances. People say he only had a handful of touches in the game but he can do that every week as long as he gets the winner."

Source: PA

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