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Bent stays on penalties

29 Sep 2009 09:17:43

Bent stays on penalties

DARREN Bent has defended his controversial decision to hand over penalty-taking duties to Kenwyne Jones, but admitted he will not be repeating it in a hurry. Having won his second penalty of the match during Sunday’s 5-2 win over Wolves, Bent opted to hand the ball to Jones rather than step up to the spot for a second time himself. Black Cats boss Steve Bruce was quick to criticise the decision, claiming it represented the kind of laid-back mentality he is trying to change at the Stadium of Light. Bent now accepts he should have taken the spot-kick himself, but Sunderland’s record signing claims his act of selflessness was proof of a strong team spirit. “It can only be good for the club that we have so many players who are capable of scoring goals and are in good form,” said Bent, who is claiming Sunderland’s fifth goal as his own, despite it being officially credited as a Michael Mancienne own goal. “That was why I gave Kenwyne the penalty. “I thought he’d been playing really well without getting the goal he deserved. “He said he fancied it and I’d already had one, so I said ‘Have it’. I think if he hadn’t scored his first from the spot, he might not have scored his second, which was really important. “I was delighted to get two, and happy Kenwyne got two as well. “If he hadn’t scored, I suppose the gaffer wouldn’t have been happy. Kenwyne being Kenwyne, though, I knew he was going to score. “In my defence, it shows that team spirit is great here. It’s about building bridges with your new team-mates, and hopefully I’m doing that. We’ve done well so far this season, and we want to get better.” Nevertheless, Bent has promised to be more ruthless in the future, and if Sunderland are awarded a penalty at Old Trafford this weekend, there will be no doubt about who will be stepping up to take it. “The gaffer has had a go at me, and when I was thinking about it, maybe I shouldn’t have done it,” he said. “There’s no way I would do it again because I don’t want to get the rap from Steve Bruce again!” If Bent is allowed to keep Sunday’s 90th-minute strike, he will have scored seven goals in seven games since making a £10m move from Tottenham. The striker has certainly hit the ground running since his summer switch from White Hart Lane, bolstering his hopes of a recall to the England squad. Bent’s last international appearance came in last November’s 2-1 friendly win in Germany, and while the likes of Jermain Defoe and Carlton Cole have leapt above him in the pecking order in recent months, the 25-year-old is currently the leading Englishman in the Premier League goalscoring charts. “I can’t do much more than I’m doing at the moment,” he said. “Hopefully, the England manager is watching, but if he’s not, I won’t let my head drop, I’ll keep knocking them in for Sunderland. “I definitely still believe I’m an England player. I’ve not had the best of luck with England. The last time I played against Germany, I went round the keeper and slipped over – things like that define your England career. “If that goes in, I could be in the next four or five squads – but it wasn’t meant to be. You can’t really be judged on 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there. “If I get a regular run in the team and play some games in the run-up to the World Cup, I’d back myself every day of the week to score goals for my country and play well. The moment I stop scoring goals is the moment people start saying I don’t deserve to be there.”


Northern_Echo

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