Bent's goal lifts spirits

Darren Bent showed gritty professionalism to fire Ipswich a step close to a Premiership return, writes Derek Davis.The 20-year-old's preparation had been disturbed by an incident with an air gun during the week but he put all that behind him to nod in the winner.

Darren Bent showed gritty professionalism to fire Ipswich a step close to a Premiership return, writes Derek Davis.

The 20-year-old's preparation had been disturbed by an incident with an air gun during the week but he put all that behind him to nod in the winner.

Bent was given the opportunity to pull out of the game if he wanted to but the club's leading scorer refused and insisted on playing.

There were no signs of a lack of concentration and, like those around him, was composed throughout.


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Bent said: "I felt more relaxed for this game than I did against Cardiff. Most of us younger players had not experienced that sort of atmosphere before but we are used to it now and we are not going to let it bother us. We know what it will be like at West Ham but we are looking forward to Tuesday."

Bent was fortunate to be on the pitch to score as manager Joe Royle has Dean Bowditch warmed up and ready to go on.

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He said: "I was about to take Darren off just before he scored. He had not had a good game but the reason why I have left him on before is because he is a 'Johnny on the spot' and he was in the right place at the right time to score again."

The England Under-21 international ignored the movement on the bench to snatch his 16th goal of the season, and net his 36th in 90 Town appearances.

He said: "It was a great move from Jamma and he put Bam Bam in who has hit a cracking shot against a post and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place to be able to nod it in."

Bent will be searching for his 10th goal in 14 games when Town visit Upton Park tomorrow and believes attack is the best form of defence for the Blues.

He said: "If we sit back on the lead we could get punished so it is a case of playing our own game and going forward.

"We just have to play our own game.

"We have a fantastic midfield and once they get hold of the game there is no team in this division that can live with us."

Bent received a rapturous reception when he was eventually replaced by Bowditch and said: "The crowd were fantastic as usual and cheered us to the rafters. Obviously if we lose they batter us but most of the time they are brilliant and again got behind us."

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