New boy Bent is an old hand at Championship game

07 November 2009 09:53
MARCUS BENT has spent much of his career in the Premier League, but he has also experienced what life is like in the Championship. Perhaps tellingly from a Middlesbrough point of view, he knows exactly how to win promotion.

Bent is now with his 12th club, having spent the last 13 years moving around the country having made a name for himself during his younger days at Brentford, Port Vale and, today's opponents, Crystal Palace.

During that time the 6ft 2in striker, expected to start his first game of the season at Selhurst Park, has enjoyed highs and lows, with one of his finest seasons under Eagles boss Neil Warnock.

It was Warnock who had the foresight to sign Bent at the turn of the millennium after he was released by Port Vale, before selling him on to Blackburn after scoring 20 goals in 48 appearances for a huge £2m profit.

He was loopy, but I have an abundance of respect for him because he is another manager who will put his arm around you when you need it, said Bent. I think I got 19 goals one year under him at Sheffield United and he got the best out of me.

Despite forming part of a strong Blades team, it was not until Graeme Souness took him to Blackburn in November 2000 that he celebrated promotion to the Premier League for the first time.

Then, after spells with Ipswich, Leicester, Everton, Charlton and Wigan, he experienced his second promotion push last season with Birmingham, which has left in no doubt about what is required to achieve that goal again this season with Middlesbrough.

He has only arrived on a two-month loan, but if successful his stay could become longer and, provided he hits the form expected, he has the type of experience Strachan has been looking for.

I'm young myself, I'm 21 again, said the 31-year-old, who played the second half of Boro's 1-0 defeat to Plymouth last weekend. I'm assuming I have been brought in because of my experience. I can see that the manager will view me as someone who knows how to get out of the Championship.

Middlesbrough players will sport an embroidered poppy on their shirts today to mark Remembrance weekend and supporters can bid for David Wheater's shirt to raise funds for Help For Heroes.

A set of Boro's cyan blue away shirts has been embroidered with the Royal British Legion's poppy logo in memory of fallen war heroes.

And the club are auctioning skipper Wheater's shirt on Ebay with all the money raised going to Help For Heroes, the Football League's official charity partner that helps soldiers wounded in conflict.

To bid for Wheater's shirt, simply input item number 220506603732 to the search field on Ebay. The shirt comes with all the regulation logos, lettering and numbering, plus autographs as required

Source: Northern_Echo