Aston Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov has leapt to the defence of striker Gabriel Agbonlahor and insisted he is not suffering from a crisis of confidence after his recent lack of goals.

Agbonlahor is Villa's leading scorer during the current campaign with nine goals but has managed only one in the last nine matches - the winner at Manchester United five weeks ago. And the England player failed to convert a hat-trick of decent opportunities during Sunday's frustrating goalless draw with struggling West Ham at Villa Park.

"Is Agbonlahor suffering from a lack of confidence? No - and in fact, he is playing very well," said Petrov.

"Please also remember that in footballing terms, he is still a young boy. He is still learning.

"He has already got nine or 10 goals under his belt this season. He is doing really great and everyone has got faith in him.

"It is a fact that sometimes forwards miss chances but we have complete belief in him."

But Petrov also conceded after his side's third successive goal blank in the Barclays Premier League: "Probably we need to be more concentrated in front of goal and try to kill off these games.

"Even last season we had games like the one against West Ham when we were dominating the opposition, were on top of them but couldn't score.

"We know we have the boys in the team who can score goals.

"They like to score goals and they get really frustrated when they come off and haven't put the ball in the net."

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Topics:
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Football
Stiliyan Petrov
Premier League
Aston Villa