Darren Bent scored with his third touch after coming off the bench to give Aston Villa a 1-1 tie with West Bromwich Albion Saturday, and afterward Manager Paul Lambert denied rumors of a rift between him and the striker.
Bent, 28, scored his 150th league goal and said of a rather difficult season, which included his demotion from team captain, "Obviously it would have been nice to play from the start but I managed to score the goal to get a point. The start of the season's been up and down. Today we showed signs we are heading in the right direction and we've all got faith in the manager."
Lambert says there are no problems between him and the England international. "I don't think Darren Bent has got anything to prove to me or the outside world, everybody knows he's a proven goalscorer," said Lambert. "I just thought for this given game this was the right team. I need everybody, the whole 26 lads, to perform."
Villa has won just one of six matches and is 15th in the 20-team Premier League heading into a match Sunday at Tottenham.