Striker’s World Cup desire


Darren Bent is hoping his move to Sunderland can help him force his way into Fabio Capello's England squad at next year's World Cup.

Bent is convinced he has come back a stronger person and a better player since joining the Black Cats for £10m in the summer after a tough few years with Spurs.

The former Charlton and Ipswich striker missed out on the last tournament in Germany when Sven Goran Eriksson opted for youngster Theo Walcott instead – despite his impressive record at the time as the top scoring Englishman in the Premier League.

Bent said: “It was one of my worst experiences being left out of the World Cup after doing so well that season.

“At the same time I have used it as ammunition and hopefully I can be there this time. I watched the England matches. I definitely believe I have something to offer.

“It will be difficult to get back in there. He (Capello) seems to have his four or five strikers set. But if I can score enough goals and upset the system a bit, then why not?”

The 25-year-old initially struggled to deliver the same sort of form he showed at Charlton after moving to White Hart Lane in 2007 although his record did improve last season after Harry Redknapp’s arrival.

However, relations soured before his departure when he unleashed a rant on social networking site Twitter begging to be sold.

Bent told the Mirror: “With plenty of the experiences I have had, I have had to become stronger.

“After the first season at Spurs a lot of people would have crumbled. Yes, I have had to grow up. It has been a hard couple of years, there’s no denying that.”

Bent scored on his Sunderland debut in a 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers and his 100th career league goal came soon after in the game against Chelsea.