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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Bent is getting back to his best

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

GOAL-hungry Marcus Bent is beginning to show the sort of scoring form which makes him one of the most feared strikers in the league and such an attraction to Premiership scouts, writes Derek Davis.

GOAL-hungry Marcus Bent is beginning to show the sort of scoring form which makes him one of the most feared strikers in the league and such an attraction to Premiership scouts, writes Derek Davis.

The 24-year-old is being closely monitored by Spurs and Fulham, as well as a clutch of other top-flight clubs.

They will have been impressed by his opening goal in Ipswich Town's 3-0 win over Preston which extends their unbeaten run to nine and pushed them up a place to 11th in the table, just two points off sixth-placed Coventry.

Modest Bent played down his superb leap to net the opening goal on 30 minutes when he out-jumped debut-making keeper Jonathan Gould to meet a Jim Magilton free-kick.

It was his second goal in four games, his third since coming back after a groin operation. That takes his tally to six for the season and will help boost his confidence.

He said: "I closed my eyes, jumped, it hit the crossbar and went in.

"It is hard coming by goals at the moment so I'm trying to work as hard as I can and get as many goals as I can and that one was a bonus.

"I got through the full 90 minutes and even though my body felt as if it was falling apart at the end I feel all the more fitter for playing the whole game so hopefully I will go into the game at Sheffield United feeling even fitter."

Bent admitted it was not one of Town's better performances, but whereas earlier in the season they may not have secured all three points, the spirit at Portman Road these days is immense.

He added: "It shows how we have turned the corner. We scored in the first half and that meant they had to come at us and that opened the game up for us.

"It was good to get the second goal and they were never going to come back from that.

"They had a lot of players out and we didn't play our best but we came away with the three points which was important.

"We have played better and lost so maybe we will play bad every game now and win and get into the play-offs."

Darren Bent took his goal tally for the season to 10 with two goals, and helped boost Ipswich's goal difference to 10. With the top sides so tightly bunched goal difference could become a factor come May.

Andy Marshall will be delighted to keep his ninth clean sheet of the season, although he was barely troubled by Preston who had five first-team players suspended and another four out injured.

The Blues now face Sheffield United in the FA Cup on Saturday and one unbeaten record has to go soon. Neil Warnock's men have gone 15 matches without loss, while Joe Royle has led his side to nine straight. While a draw is possible on Saturday, someone would have to be a loser in the replay.

Town will give a number of senior players a run-out in the reserves on Wednesday when Leicester City are the visitors.

Alun Armstrong, Martijn Reuser, Richard Naylor and Finidi George are all expected to line-up, while Justin Miller will be looking to impress Royle, who has yet to see him play.

Mark Venus may be involved if he has no further reaction to a troublesome knee.

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