Christian Benteke: "I don't feel as strong"

Christian Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring a goal to level the scores at 1-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on August 21, 2013
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Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke admits that he has struggled to return to fitness following his hip injury earlier this season.

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has revealed that his hip injury is still affecting his form on the field.

The Belgium international sustained the injury against Norwich City in September and has struggled to find his form since returning to action, as he missed a penalty against Everton two weeks ago.

"I don't feel as strong as last season, as I had this injury in the hip," he told Het Nieuwsblad.

"Injuries like that always take more time to heal. I try to compensate it by working harder, but I'm not on my level yet. Don't forget I didn't play for one month.

"I missed a penalty against Everton. I don't look for excuses. I chose a corner, the keeper saved it."

Villa are currently 14th in the Premier League table.

Libor Kozak #27 of Aston Villa celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal past goalkeeper David Marshall of Cardiff during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Cardiff City at Villa Park on November 9, 2013
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