Bruce - Bent is England class

21 August 2009 08:53
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Sunderland boss Steve Bruce believes Darren Bent is capable of breaking into the England fold again.

The 25-year-old striker does have four international caps to his name, but has struggled to hold down a place in Fabio Capello's plans of late.

A bright start to the 2009/10 campaign will have brought him back to the Italian's attention, though, with Bent having notched in each of Sunderland's opening two games.

Competition for places in the England squad is fierce, with even Michael Owen unable to get a look-in, but Black Cats chief Bruce feels his man is capable of becoming a Three Lions regular.

He said: "He has had a wonderful start and he is English - and let's be fair now, there are not many English forwards now plying their trade in the Premier League.

"Where are they? There are about four or five - there are probably more than that - realistic ones, so if he keeps scoring a goal.

"And it is not just scoring a goal he has done well with, but his contribution to the team. He has been very influential.

"He works extremely hard and he is playing with a smile on his face, which is there for everybody to see, so I am obviously delighted about that."

RidiculousMeanwhile, Bruce has joined the ongoing debate regarding fixture scheduling, with Sunderland currently in the midst of a run which has brought four games in 10 days.

He said: "Ten months we play and we have got to play 38 games - surely to goodness we can restructure so we do not have to play three Premier League games in a week having played an international before you play three games in a week, and then play a cup-tie on a Monday night?

"That doesn't make sense, does it? It's totally ridiculous to ask a footballer who is just starting the season - and we wonder why we have got knocks and bumps and bruises and strains.

"They just haven't got time to recover. That's my gripe about it, that there are other teams, like Blackburn, who have not played in midweek.

"How can that be right?"

Source: SKY_Sports