Darren's double delight

DARREN Bent celebrated his call-up to the England Under-21 squad with a man-of-the-match performance against Bradford City, writes Derek Davis.The home-grown talent scored once and assisted in the goals by Shefki Kuqi and Ian Westlake, as Ipswich Town moved back up to fourth in Division One, with a 3-1 win over the basement Bantams.

DARREN Bent celebrated his call-up to the England Under-21 squad with a man-of-the-match performance against Bradford City, writes Derek Davis.

The home-grown talent scored once and assisted in the goals by Shefki Kuqi and Ian Westlake, as Ipswich Town moved back up to fourth in Division One, with a 3-1 win over the basement Bantams.

Bent is hoping to add to his collection of England caps when David Platt's side entertain Holland in front of a sell-out 25,000 crowd, at Hull City's Kingston Communications Stadium, tomorrow night.

The ground has already been a happy hunting ground for Bent who scored the last-minute winner for England at the KC Stadium last June, when they beat Serbia & Montenegro 3-2.


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Newcastle United winger, and former Ipswich team-mate and close friend, Darren Ambrose is also in the squad while recent Blackburn Rovers signing Jon Stead wins his first call-up after leaving Huddersfield Town.

Blues youngster Dean Bowditch is with the England Under-19 squad who take on the Dutch, in Holland, tomorrow.

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While Bent will relish another international honour he is still focused on helping the Blues win promotion, continuing with another three points at Turf Moor on Saturday.

He said: "It was an enjoyable goal for me but the most important thing was the three points after last week which was a poor performance.

"We now have a list of winnable games and that is what we have to look at. We have got off to a good start now so we need to work hard in training this week and look to doing well at Burnley.

"We have moved from seventh to fourth which shows how tight this league is but it is now up to us to cement ourselves in the top group so people can relax a little more."

Bent scored with a delightful curling shot to round off the win for Town after flicking on to set up Kuqi and pulling the ball back for Westlake to hit Town's second as he enjoyed a good rapport with both.

Bent said: "Shefki is good to play alongside because he is big and strong and puts himself about.

"He holds off the big defenders and, like me, gets the flick-ons. He can also run. I was as happy for him to score just as I was for getting my own.

"He took it really well, he absolutely smashed it in."

Bent admitted his heart sank when Kuqi missed an open goal but is sure the big Finland international will soon put that behind him.

He said: "As a striker I felt for him when he missed but really people should just talk about his goal which was brilliant."

And the 20-year-old revealed the secret to his latest success was a good Chinese meal.

He said: "We normally have pasta the night before a game but on Friday I nipped out for a Chinese take away. It paid off so I may do it again."

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