Westlake hopes Darren Bent doesn’t keep up his knack of scoring on his debut

Ex-Ipswich Town striker Darren Bent with Derby County manager Steve McClaren

Ex-Ipswich Town striker Darren Bent with Derby County manager Steve McClaren - Credit: © derby county/twitter

Ian Westlake hopes his former Ipswich Town team-mate Darren Bent doesn’t continue his knack of scoring on his debut when Derby County visit Portman Road on Saturday.

The second versus third Championship clash will be televised (12.15pm ko) and it’s clear what the story will be in the build-up.

Bent signed for the Rams on loan from Aston Villa last week and, returning to Portman Road for the first time as an opposition player, the ex-Charlton, Tottenham and Sunderland striker – also recently on loan at Brighton – will be looking to keep up a record that has seen him score debut goals for five of his seven clubs.

“People say he’s moved around and this and that, but he’s played virtually his whole career in the Premier League,” said Westlake, who now combines playing non-league football at Needham Market with running his own lettings agency.

“He’s made several multi-million pound moves and scored 20 goals in multiple Premier League seasons. You have to be a hell of a player to do those sort of things.

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“He’s still only 30. He’s still a top finisher and, while he might not be as quick as he once was, I guarantee he’s still quicker than most.

“I mentioned to someone a few weeks back, when it looked like he might be available, that it would be great to see him back here.

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“He’ll be a big threat on Saturday, no doubt. I don’t usually say this about friends and former team-mates, but I hope he doesn’t play well because I’m desperate to see Ipswich promoted back to the Premier League.”

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