Strachan impresses new boy
MARCUS BENT has worked with many managers during his 14-year career and the loan striker feels excited and energised by working under his latest boss, Gordon Strachan. Bent was Strachan's first signing two weeks ago when he arrived from Birmingham City, as he attempts to work his way back to full match fitness and sharpness. His arrival coincided with a frustrating start under the former Celtic boss, with Boro losing both of his first matches in charge, 1-0 to Plymouth and Crystal Palace. However, with the need great for Middlesbrough to return to winning ways quickly, Bent has been encouraged by the Strachan approach since his arrival from St Andrew's. Most would expect the fiery Scotsman to be a volatile character on the training pitch during such times, but Bent has revealed there has been instant warmth shown towards the new man from the playing staff. He is witty, funny and an incredible coach. To come to a club and work under him at this stage of my career is great for me, said Bent. All in all he seems like he can put confidence into all of the players and make everyone enjoy playing football. The players have shown instant respect towards him because they have heard these rumours just like everyone else has. But seriously, the players do have respect for him because he played at the highest level of the game, he needs to be respected for that and then his managerial record has been fantastic. He is someone to look up to. It's the same at any club when a new manager comes in, there's a lot of running to be done while you work the manager out and vice-versa. He is very up front and that's what the boys are finding. At Palace a week ago Bent provided the different option which Strachan and his predecessor Gareth Southgate had been looking to bring to the Boro forward line. While he might have caused nuisance to the Eagles defence and created plenty of chances, neither he nor his strike partner Leroy Lita were able to score the first goal of the Strachan era. However Bent, whose partnership with Kevin Phillips last season helped secure promotion for Birmingham City, is confident that he will soon be able to strike up a lethal understanding with Lita. Leroy is young, fresh and quick, said Bent, looking to start alongside Lita against Nottingham Forest at the Riverside in seven days. We need more strikers, definitely, because we have injuries, so the manager will be looking to bring in more. But I hope me and Leroy can build up a good partnership, like I did with Kevin. I have felt there has been a bit of a connection in the first two matches. There was definitely something there.
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