Belfast Telegraph

Fired-up Darren Bent still driven on by World Cup snub

By John Curtis

Darren Bent says the heartache of missing out on the World Cup last summer spurred him in to greater things.

The £18m Aston Villa man's goals at club level have helped him become a first choice striker for England and he will be looking to score for the fourth successive international on Saturday against Switzerland at Wembley.

Bent may be at the forefront of Capello's current plans but a year ago to the day he suffered heartbreak when being left out of the World Cup squad for South Africa.

He said: "I was really disappointed when the squad was announced. I remember sitting by the phone all morning and it was a really disappointing day for me.

"I tried to put it out of my mind and get on with it. Obviously it took a lot longer than I thought it was going to take.

"But at the same time, you just want to keep playing well and hopefully not miss another major tournament.

"I went away to America on holiday and watched all the games over there as a fan and wanted them to do well. Since the World Cup, and when Fabio didn't pick me, he has played me virtually everytime I've been fit.

"I've managed to reward him with goals and hopefully there will be a few more for me.

"The goal against Switzerland gave me massive confidence.

"It felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders because as a striker and a goalscorer you always want to score goals."

Bent is determined England qualify for the Euro 2012 finals after being part of the squad which lost to Croatia at Wembley and failed to go through to the 2008 tournament.

He said: "That was international-wise the lowest point. The atmosphere wasn't good at all and the conditions were horrible and raining. I didn't get much of the game (the last 10 minutes as a substitute) but it was really disappointing."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph