Alex McLeish backs Darren Bent to return stronger

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has stated that he understands Darren Bent’s frustration at picking up an injury late in the season, but has backed the striker to return in time for Euro 2012.

The England international suffered ankle ligament damage at the weekend, pulled out of the squad to face Netherlands and will now miss the bulk of the remainder of the campaign.

However McLeish has stated that Bent will return stronger, and in time for the tournament in Ukraine and Poland.

“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,” he told Sky Sports.

“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,” the manager concluded.

By Gareth McKnight