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Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen reckons Darren Bent has put his troubles behind him and can play a part in Fulham’s survival bid.

The 29-year-old striker endured a nightmare spell at Aston Villa last season before his summer loan switch to Craven Cottage.

However, Bent has failed to command a regular starting spot and managed just four goals in 18 games.

But manager Meulensteen hopes the former Sunderland frontman has turned the corner following his strike in last weekend’s FA Cup draw with Norwich.

He said: “I thought Darren did extremely well and I’m sure that goal will give him confidence. He worked hard and kept going and getting in behind. The goal he took was excellent. He did ever so well.

“He came from a bad period at Villa. [Paul] Lambert was quite clear and injected the team with energy and youthfulness. [Christian] Benteke came in, who was a different type of striker.

“Darren hasn’t started many games but there are no issues with fitness levels. I don’t see any signs of that in training and I don’t get any signals from the medical department. He’s a bright lad and trains with a smile on his face.”