Goal-shy Daz will be Bent back into shape

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By PETER PRINCE

SHAY GIVEN is back­ing As­ton Villa’s record sign­ing Dar­ren Bent to re­dis­cover his goal touch sooner rather than later.

Bent has net­ted only once in six games this sea­son and spurned two glo­ri­ous chances dur­ing Satur­day’s 1-1 home draw with New­cas­tle.

That’s in con­trast to last sea­son when the Eng­land striker net­ted nine times in 16 games af­ter his £18mil­lion move from Sun­der­land.

Bent has been strug­gling with a groin in­jury this cam­paign, but his goal­keeper reck­ons the goals will soon be fly­ing in again.

Given said: “We got into the fi­nal third on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions against New­cas­tle but just didn’t have the com­po­sure when we got there.

Con­fi­dence

“Peo­ple say that Dar­ren can’t buy a goal at the mo­ment but it will come. We know the qual­ity he has.

“He’s just got to keep be­liev­ing in him­self. Strik­ers sort of thrive on con­fi­dence.

“If Dar­ren can get a goal, I’m sure it will kick-start his sea­son.”

Given is also con­fi­dent that sum­mer sign­ing Charles N’Zog­bia will soon sparkle as new boss Alex McLeish beds in his trans­formed side.

The former Wi­gan winger has been brought in to fill the gaps left by Ash­ley Young and Ste­wart Down­ing’s big-money moves.

The French­man has so far failed to shine at Villa Park, but Given said: “If he can show what he did last year at Wi­gan it will give him be­lief.

“If the fans give him time I am sure they will see the best of him.”

RIS­ING STAR: Wel­beck CLAPPY DAYS: Fergie wanted to keep Owen

in the sum­mer

BACK­ING: Shay Given

DROUGHT: Bent

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