Darren Bent admits he's had a tough couple of weeks at Aston Villa.

Bent stepped off the bench to cancel out Shane Long's opener for yesterday's 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion.

He told Sky Sports: "Obviously it would have been nice to play from the start but I managed to score the goal to get a point.

"It's obviously been a difficult couple of weeks, losing the captaincy first off then finding out I wasn't playing today. But we battled all the way through and we got the point.

"The start of the season's been up and down, obviously we had a good result against Swansea but then we got beaten 4-1 by Southampton before getting a great result against Manchester City.

"Today we showed signs that we are heading in the right direction and we've all got faith in the manager.

"All I can do is keep playing well for Villa and keep scoring the goals, then hopefully I'll be in the squad."