VIDEO: Bent ready to step up
By Nicholas Veevers
Saturday, 09 October, 2010
Striker feels he’s ready to start after first goal for England.
Click here to watch video footage of the Darren Bent press conference.
England striker Darren Bent is hoping that after waiting until his seventh appearance for the Three Lions before getting his first goal, the floodgates will now open at international level.
The Sunderland ace netted a victory clinching third goal for Fabio Capello’s team against Switzerland in Basel last month and is now eyeing up more goals, starting against Montenegro at Wembley on Tuesday evening.
The Three Lions are looking to make it three wins out of three in their qualifying group and with Bent now cutting a confident figure at this level, he is looking to add to his tally.
“It’s a weight lifted off my shoulders to be honest,” admitted Bent, relating to that elusive first goal he scored last time out.
“It probably gave me more confidence in the Premier League in my performances for Sunderland too, so I was just delighted to get the first one.
“There is still a lot of hard work to be done, but hopefully I can play a part in the game on Tuesday and maybe get another goal and a good performance under my belt.”
With Jermain Defoe absent from the squad through injury, Bent has staked his claim for a place in Capello’s starting line-up so far this season with his performances for Sunderland and now that he’s off and running for the national team, he’s confident that he can do a job as England look to extend their impressive start to qualifying for the European Championships.
“It’d be nice to start, but I’m under no illusions that it’s going to be hard,” he added.
“Peter Crouch is back in the squad and he has a fantastic record for England and Kevin Davies is looking to get his first cap, so if I do get to start, I’ll be over the moon.
“I’ve been playing up front on my own for Sunderland all year, so I can do that role.
“I think I can do a really good job to be honest, if I can have a run of games, because that goal has given me the confidence and perhaps I can build on that.
“I’m a striker, and I love to score goals and perform well, so as long as I’m doing that, I’m sure I’ll be involved more.”
After missing out on the World Cup squad and the subsequent disappointment which the trip to South Africa brought to everyone involved, the former Ipswich, Charlton and Spurs man is delighted to have been involved in the games since.
And with confidence flowing throughout the squad again, the 26-year-old can’t wait to get back into action.
“It gave everyone a lift,” he said. “The first friendly after the World Cup was difficult, but I think we’ve been magnificent in the qualifiers.
“To win the first two games has been a good start to our European campaign and to play as well and as convincingly as we did has given everyone a lift.
“We just want to keep that going next Tuesday and hopefully, we will.”
To buy tickets for the England v Montenegro Euro 2012 Qualifier next Tuesday night at Wembley, click here