Neil Warnock: Benteke has to play for Aston Villa to be safe

Neil Warnock has suggested that Christian Benteke is the key man who can save Aston Villa's season.

Neil Warnock told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he feels Christian Benteke is the key for Aston Villa saving their season.

Warnock was quizzed on Villa’s current position in the Premier League and said the Belgian needs to be in the team to give Villa’s attack more of a chance of winning games.

“I think for Aston Villa to pull clear, Benteke needs to be in the team doing his job,” said Warnock.

The obvious advantage Benteke creates for Aston Villa is that he gives the team the option of playing direct football.

He’s a target man and has all of the physical attributes needed to bully an opposition defence and hold the ball up effectively to bring other players into the game.

The attack improved against Chelsea last weekend but Lambert preferred a combination of Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor, removing the option of being able to play direct football.

Benteke also gives Aston Villa an obvious threat from set pieces because of his side.

Their match against Hull City could be a difficult one to play slick football during, which increases the importance of set pieces and having players in the team who can take advantage of crosses and good delivery into the box.

Should Benteke get a start later, he has to work hard to make the difference and get on the end of any half chances at a crucial time in Aston Villa’s season.

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