Aston Villa defender Jores Okore sees benefits to Christian Benteke's benching

Jores Okore believes Christian Benteke could benefit from his spell on the sidelines given the pressure he has been under in recent weeks.

Aston Villa centre-back Jores Okore has told the Birmingham Mail that Christian Benteke might benefit from an extended rest following his benching for the weekend’s Chelsea clash.

Benteke has averaged a disappointing 594 minutes per Premier League goal this season, having netted just twice in 15 games since returning in October from a ruptured Achilles which left him sidelined for six months.

The Belgian striker’s poor form saw manager Paul Lambert leave him out of the line-up for the 2-1 defeat to the league leaders, with Okore ending their 11-hour goal drought in the 48th-minute with a far-post header from Carles Gil’s cross.

He came on for the final 22 minutes at Villa Park, but Lambert has admitted that is still undecided over whether to bring him back into the starting XI for tonight’s game at Hull.

Okore, though, believes his teammate has been putting too much pressure on himself amid his recent struggles, and thinks some time out of the spot light could help him recapture the form which saw him net 34 goals in 67 total appearances during his first two seasons at the club.

“Christian is a good player and a good professional - he can bounce back from it,” Okore said. “Sometimes the manager makes decisions and maybe it will give him a little bit more fire to go out there and push it that bit more when we are in a game.

“I think he has been putting pressure on himself,” he continued. “You do that when you are a good player and know people are counting on you then you do that.

“Christian shows us every day in training that he is a good player. Maybe he needed a little bit of a break but he will bounce back from that.”

Nevertheless, with Villa sitting just two points outside the relegation zone in 16th after nine games without a win, the trip to 18th-placed Hull would be the ideal time for Benteke to rediscover his scoring boots.

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