Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has again insisted there's no rift with Darren Bent after defeat at Fulham.

Lambert has denied rumours of a rift and he insisted Bent is not up for sale - but he was far more effusive in his praise of Christian Benteke, despite his glaring miss.

"It never has been an issue. I just try and pick a team that I think can win. I don't have a problem with any of the players," Lambert said.

"Chris had two hard games with the national team. Darren was fresh. I thought he (Bent) did really fine. I thought him and Gabby (Agbonlahor) worked well and worked hard together.

"From where I was standing I don't know how far away (Benteke's chance) was and how close the shot was. I don't know if it was a chance.

"He will be a big player for this club. He is in one hell of a national side at the minute and performing really well. He will be fine

"He is a handful. He changes the dynamics of a game at certain times. He will be a big player for us. He has got years to go in his career."