Bent repays manager's faith

DARREN Bent was delighted that manager Joe Royle stuck by him and that he was able to win the penalty that set Town on the way to victory, writes Derek Davis.

DARREN Bent was delighted that manager Joe Royle stuck by him and that he was able to win the penalty that set Town on the way to victory, writes Derek Davis.

Bent was convinced that he was going to lose his starting position to Dean Bowdicth and was as surprised as anyone when he was named in the starting line-up.

The England Under-21 striker said: “I was preparing myself to be on the bench and I could understand if the manager did that.

“I have played a lot of games and we are not robots but I have felt tired.

“Then he said he was playing me I was delighted. It was brilliant that he showed faith in me once again by starting me and I hope I have repaid him by getting a penalty.”

Bent went down under French keeper Romain Larrieu's dive after being set free by Jim Magilton and has no doubt's it was a spot-kick, despite the home side's protestations. He said: “The Plymouth fans can say it wasn't a penalty but it definitely was. I could have gone on and scored so there is no way I was going down.

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“The keeper made a brilliant save to stop me in the first half but in the second one I have nicked it around him and he has brought me down.

“I don't know if it was a red card or not, but it was a penalty and that is that.”

Bent is also confident that he can get back to beating the keeper in one-on-ones and scoring after losing out recently. He said: “In training, I never miss them. I will keep going and stay positive. It may be a mis-hit, or whatever, but I will score from one and that will start the run of scoring again. The main thing was the team won, we got three points and are still top.”

A tired but elated Bent is now readying himself for Saturday's FA Cup tie at home to Bolton.

He said: “We have a few days now before the Bolton game and I will get my rest, eat and drink the right things and be ready.”

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