Curbishley praises Bent despite misses

Charlton manager Alan Curbishley admitted the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa was a “frustration for everybody” but insisted England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson should not let it cloud his judgement of Darren Bent.

The £3m striker missed three chances to add to his 17-goal tally for the season as the Addicks were held at home to Villa.

But Curbishley said: “My understanding is that Sven will give him a game of some sort next Wednesday against Uruguay.

“That is the point of these friendlies. We all know what Rooney and Defoe can do but he (Eriksson) wants to have a look at Darren and more of Peter Crouch.

“We’re hopeful we will have another one in Luke Young not hurting his chances for the World Cup with England. I thought he had a good day today as well.

“They know him well enough in the England camp and know he can play left-back as well. That versatility should help him.

“But I had a problem today in wanting to make changes and couldn’t. Alexei Smertin tweaked his knee, Jerome Thomas has a slight niggle still and Chris Powell came in with a touch of flu. So none of them could be slotted in.

“We’ve had a lot of football lately and I felt we needed to freshen things up from the goalless draw at Newcastle on Wednesday.”

Charlton suffered another setback when Marcus Bent, Darren’s namesake strike partner, had to go off with a tight hamstring but Curbishley admitted: “We’ve had a lot of football lately and Villa probably just edged it second half.

“Darren has been playing all the time but he will impress Sven with his finishing and was unlucky not to get at least one today.”

Villa manager David O’Leary saw his side stretch their unbeaten away record in the Premiership to eight games and said: “We did well in the second half when I thought we just had the edge.

“But it was largely a not very exciting and scrappy game. We are happy with a point because we’ve had a few injuries and disruptions and the fact that both clubs have similar budgetary restrictions I think came through in the game.

“Alan and I both tried to spark up the game with second-half substitutions but we both have a lack of numbers.”


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