Bent aware of dangers

DARREN Bent will wake up in the Spanish sunshine today content in the knowledge Ipswich Town are still top but also aware of the danger posed by Sunderland and Wigan.

DARREN Bent will wake up in the Spanish sunshine today content in the knowledge Ipswich Town are still top but also aware of the danger posed by Sunderland and Wigan.

The Blues' squad are taking a well-deserved break in Tenerife, but Bent vows there will be no letting up in their quest to finish in the automatic top two places.

He is well aware that a Marcus Stewart inspired Sunderland beat Town's next opponents Sheffield United to move within three points of the Championship leaders.

Bent said: “Sunderland are coming strong and when we played up there they battered us.

“It will go down to the wire but it is down to us. We are two points ahead so it is in our own hands. If we keep winning then no one can take that away from us.”

The last time Town went to Tenerife it was on the back of a 4-2 defeat at Burnley, but they came back to beat Preston at Portman Road.

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Bent said: “We are going in a much better mood this time although we are still gutted that we didn't take all three points.

“We are going away top of the table while our main rivals have cup matches which will hopefully tire them further.”

Bent's third goal in two games was his 50th senior goal for Ipswich when he netted at Reading.

The Blues striker edged top of the Town scoring charts with his 14th goal of the season, but his joy was short-lived as the Royals equalised from the restart.

He said: “It was brilliant to score and I thought we had won it. When we have scored so late after dominating for so long in the second half we expected to take all three points.

“Too many of us thought 'we had done it' and we got caught and were punished. We were a lot better than they were in the second half. Their keeper has made four or five good saves and on another day we would have had three or four.”

Bent was switched to wide right to counter Reading's successful formation but was still able to get free and test the keeper, who made a brilliant reaction save to deny him midway through the second half.

Bent said: “I didn't mind going wide. It is still an attacking position, it just means I have to do more running. I had to stop the left back, Shorey, who is a very good player.

“I was still able to get on goal and the keeper made some great saves, including the one where I got clean through and instead of placing it tried to hit it as hard as I can but he has shot his arm out and it went over the bar.”

Bent admitted the lapses that cost goals are still a cause for concern at Portman Road.

He said: “You don't like conceding goals because that means you have to score two. I would prefer us to win 1-0, even if that was an own goal.

“The main thing is to try and cut out conceding and trying to score more ourselves.”

Bent picked up an ankle injury during the win but is confident of being fit to play at Sheffield United who first meet West Ham in the FA Cup on Saturday.

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