Darren Bent has hit out at the management style of Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert after ending his miserable stint at the midlands club.
Bent cost Villa £18m when they signed him from Sunderland in January 2011, but he fell out of favour once Lambert took over as Villa Park manager last summer and was forced to train with the club’s juniors in recent weeks.
Now with Fulham after sealing a season-long move to London, Bent said he was glad to escape Villa’s ‘horrible’ environment which had made him fell ‘alienated’ from the rest of the squad.
“It was really difficult at Villa because we weren’t allowed to play in any matches, a few of us were kind of alienated to train with the kids,” stated Bent in the several newspapers.
“There were times when I was thinking: ‘Do I really deserve this?’ It’s all well and good not being part of the squad, but to be treated like we have is bad.
“It was horrible. It wasn’t so much the injuries, although they certainly didn’t help, it was just the uncertainty. There were times I was in the squad and times I wasn’t and there was just no explanation why.
“I understand that not every player can be every manager’s cup of tea, but to be alienated like that, to be kicked out of the first-team dressing-room, when I’ve played a long time, when I’m an international, just felt a bit disappointing.
“It’s been a long, long summer. There’s been a lot of speculation about where I was going to go and where I was going to play my football, but it was Fulham who did the most work in getting me to the club and that’s why I’m their player.”
Bent is eager to kick start his career in the Premier League, describing himself as “not just hungry but absolutely starving” as he targets a revival of his flagging England career in World Cup year.
“I’ve missed out on a couple of major competitions with England, but I just hope this is my year,” he added. “I need to get back to playing regularly, scoring goals for Fulham. That’s what I do best. There’s still so much to come from me, I can promise you that.
“I’m happy to be a Fulham player and I’m looking forward to kicking on from here. I’m not just hungry to play football again, I’m absolutely starving.”