Sunderland striker Darren Bent has revealed he has become a stronger person after recent knockdowns.
The 25-year-old forward moved to the Stadium of Light for £10million from Spurs during the summer, after unleashing a rant on social networking site Twitter begging to be sold.
Last season he missed a glorious chance at Tottenham, which manager Harry Redknapp said his wife would have buried, but Bent says he feels loved in his new surroundings and hopes to banish the disappointment of falling down the pecking order at White Hart Lane.
"I have definitely become a stronger person and a stronger player in the last few years," he told The Mirror.
"I have been talking to my mum and dad about that. 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."
The former Charlton and Ipswich striker is still holding hopes of making Fabio Capello's England squad for next year's World Cup in South Africa.
Bent was snubbed by Sven Goran Eriksson in 2006, the Swede preferring to take youngster Theo Walcott, and the Black Cats frontman is using that memory to spur him on this season.
"It was one of my worst experiences being left out of the World Cup after doing so well that season," he added.
"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?"