Darren’s all set to break new ground

FORMER Ipswich Town star Darren Bent is confident he can make giant strides on the international stage now the uncertainty over his place in Fabio Capello’s England plans has been brought to an end.

Few Three Lions players are selected quite as inconsistently as Bent has been since he first received a call-up from Sven-Goran Eriksson for the defeat by Denmark in Copenhagen five years ago.

The 26-year-old’s presence in Capello’s squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro tomorrow represents only the third time Bent has appeared on three successive occasions.

Should he win his eighth cap – and make his first competitive start – at Wembley this week, it would break new ground as Bent would be appearing in back-to-back England matches for the first time.

Considering Bent has scored 78 Premier League goals since that initial call, it seems a rather difficult statistic to understand.


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However, after claiming earlier this week Bent is “one of the important players for the future”, Capello has put the striker’s mind at ease.

And, after getting his first England goal in Switzerland last month, the Sunderland marksman is eager to grab a few more. “It is hard when you are in and out of the squad,” he said.

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“For 90% of the players, they know they are going to be in it before it is announced, so they can prepare. I can’t really do too much. I have been in limbo really.”

Capello’s previous selections have given the impression he is not much of a Bent fan.

Certainly there has been nothing to suggest this week’s enhancement of the Londoner’s position was coming, having dumped the forward from his provisional World Cup squad after an ineffective performance against Japan in May.

Bent’s instant reaction was to take himself off to the United States, where he was spotted at an NBA game.

A rather more measured approach has brought further improvement.

“I’ve had the best year of my life to put myself in this position and I started well this season,” he said.

“It does seem that I need to be scoring a lot of goals to be selected but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It is nice to have something driving you. If I have to keep scoring goals that is fine.”

sport@eadt.co.uk

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