Bent: I can handle the expectation

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Darren Bent insists he can handle the pressure of being Aston Villa's record signing after completing his £18 million move from Sunderland.

Bent has signed a four-and-a-half year contract and will make his debut in Saturday's home Barclays Premier League clash with title-chasing Manchester City.

It is the third big money move of his career after moving from Charlton to Tottenham for £16.5 million and then an initial £10 million from Spurs to the Black Cats.

Bent has smashed Villa's previous transfer record of £12 million for James Milner (Newcastle) and Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough).

But the 26-year-old believes he is now experienced enough to deal with the expectations and demands on his shoulders.

Bent said: "When I first went to Spurs, and it happened there (moving for a big transfer fee), I was so nervous."

He added: "It did play a massive part in my mind and it probably got me down at times. But I'm older and more wise now.

"I've played a few more seasons in the Premier League and it just comes with the territory now.

"I just have to get on with it, put it to the back of my mind and get on with it, not forget what I do, and try and perform as best as I can."

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