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Bent eyes England starting spot
Published : 07 Oct 2010 09:08:00
Striker Darren Bent is hoping to land his first competitive start for England in Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro. The Sunderland man, who scored his first goal for the Three Lions in their last qualifier against Switzerland, has been included in Fabio Capello's 23-man squad for the Wembley clash. With Jermain Defoe injured, Bent could be named up front alongside Wayne Rooney or Peter Crouch, but the 26-year-old knows nothing is guaranteed until the manager reveals his team-sheet on Tuesday. "Naturally I'd love to start, but it's not for me to guess what Mr Capello is going to do," Bent said in The Guardian. "He has his own ideas, so who knows? He can surprise people. "Knowing what I know already about the way the England manager works, my immediate goal is not starting the game but showing up well in training, because that is what he looks for." Bent was overlooked for Capello's World Cup squad in the summer and admits his omission came as a blow having scored 25 goals in 40 games in his first season for the Black Cats. "Obviously it was really disappointing this summer, though I am sure it was even more disappointing for the guys who were actually out there playing," he said. "For me personally it was more a sense of frustration, but you either get the chance to play or you don't, and if the chance doesn't come along there's not much you can do about it. "Just as with goalscoring chances, you have to put the misses behind you and be ready for the next one. The World Cup is the biggest football tournament on the planet, all the best players are there and you want to be there too, especially when you have worked so hard to try and make it. "Missing out was hard, but it's all part and parcel of a footballer's life. You accept it and move on, and now it's nice to be back in the squad again. Representing your country is the best thing about being a footballer." Bent already has one eye on representing England at Euro 2012, but accepts he has a long road ahead of him, adding: "I just want a chance to play. "The next World Cup is too far ahead to have as a target, so I'm looking to cement my place in the England set-up, maybe get a few more goals, and generally give myself the chance of reaching the Euros [in 2012]. "I'd love to go to a tournament with England, but it's probably best not to look too far into the future. Just try to do well in the next game and take it from there."