Bent insists his World Cup bid is still alive
DARREN Bent insists his form over the next few months for Sunderland will determine if he can stake a claim to be part of the England squad heading for the 2010 World Cup. Bent made his first international start for more than three and a half years in Saturday's friendly with fivetimes world champions in Brazil. The former Tottenham striker did not have much chance to make an impact as Brazil dominated possession for long periods in energy-sapping conditions in Doha. But Bent is determined to take the positives from the game and maintain his sparkling form for Steve Bruce's side in the hope it will persuade Fabio Capello to take him to South Africa. He said: You are not going to be judged on one game and there are so many Premier League games between now and the end of the season. The main thing is to take the positives from this game, keep my Sunderland form going and, if I keep doing that, I know I'll be there or thereabouts for selection. Sunderland is more important than anything at the moment. If I am not doing a job there I am not going to get a chance for England. I will go back there, keep working hard and see what happens. Every game I play is like a learning curve and Brazil are a top side and made it difficult for us. The main thing is to learn from it.'' Bent admitted: I was surprised to get the start. It has been a while, nearly four years, something like that. I was delighted the manager gave me the chance. There are not many internationals left before the World Cup. That is why this game was so vital, especially for me. There are so many strikers battling for a spot. I must have a chance. The main thing is to keep my head down and keep scoring goals for Sunderland.'' Bent believes England can take heart from their performance despite the setback of Nilmar's goal after 90 seconds of the second period. He said: We would have loved to have got something out of the game but, at the same time, it was enjoyable to play in such a spectacle of a game. They are a top-quality side and we gave a good account of ourselves. We defended well in the first half and had a couple of chances ourselves but the goal killed us.''
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