Bent admits he could leave Blues
DAZZLING Darren Bent last night revealed he will look at leaving Ipswich Town this summer if they fail to win promotion, writes Derek Davis.The Blues leading scorer wants to leave the Championship behind and that would mean ending his 10-year association with the Blues to achieve his Premiership dream.
DAZZLING Darren Bent last night revealed he will look at leaving Ipswich Town this summer if they fail to win promotion, writes Derek Davis.
The Blues leading scorer wants to leave the Championship behind and that would mean ending his 10-year association with the Blues to achieve his Premiership dream.
With 19 goals already under his belt, Bent is hoping to fire the Blues into the top flight, starting with a must-win trip to Leeds United tomorrow, but admits he doesn't want to be playing at this level come August.
Bent said: “I really hope this is my last Championship season for a long while.
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“Everyone wants to play in the Premiership, it is where all the big boys are. Darren Ambrose and Titus Bramble have moved up and they have gone there and done reasonably well, so I'm just hoping that next season will be my chance.”
A number of Premiership clubs have been tracking Bent all season, and his tally of eight international goals in 11 England Under-21 appearances have furthered his reputation.
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Charlton made a £2m bid last August which Town turned down and the 21-year-old has gone on to show he can comfortably cut it at Championship level and is now ready to prove himself in the top flight.
While Bent is optimistic that Town will go up automatically, or at worst via the play-offs, he admits that if they did fail he would have to leave the club he first started playing for at 10 years of age.
He said: “There is a possibility that Ipswich don't go up and if that happens then I have to sit down and work out what is best for Darren Bent.
“At the moment, though, I'm not thinking about that, and I'm hoping Ipswich do go up and I will be here next season playing for them in the Premiership.”
After reaching his initial target of 15 goals, Bent has now moved to 19, and hopes to achieve his next target at the weekend.
He said: “One more goal for 20 and that is a milestone. It is tantalisingly close and it would be fantastic to reach that.
“Even so, if I scored 19 and we go up that would do for me.”
It is highly likely he will have an extra strike partner, with Pablo Counago looking for his first start in six months and, while he feels having the Spaniard in the side can be a good thing, it could limit his own game.
Bent said: “If Pablo plays, then that means he will be in the middle and I will be wide right. I don't mind that but as a striker you want to be at centre-forward, where I have been most of the year, and it has been my highest-scoring season so it has paid off.”
Shefki Kuqi would then play wide left as Town go all out for three points against a Leeds side that has nothing left to play for.
With Wigan taking on injury-ravaged QPR and Sunderland at Leicester, this is a crucial game.
Bent said: “We have to go there looking to win rather than just not to lose. A draw will not be good enough, especially if Wigan and Sunderland win.
“It will be all guns blazing when we go there and go for the result we need.
“When you get to this stage of the season all games become important but this one is massive.
“Our away form has not been too hot recently, so hopefully we can put that right against Leeds. They are a tough side, as we saw down here. They are hard to handle.
“We deserved to beat them 1-0 but Leeds made it difficult but, if we can play as we did against Sunderland, then I'm sure we can win at Elland Road.”
Bent scored the winner in that game last November, and also scored in the only game he, Counago and Kuqi have started together this season - the 2-2 draw with Wolves when Town were leading 2-0 before the Spaniard was withdrawn.