Brucie backing Bent for England
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is backing striker Darren Bent to hit the international goal trail after finally opening his account. The 26-year-old scored for England for the first time in last month's 3-1 win over Switzerland and with injuries having moved him up the pecking order, could have further chances to increase his tally over the coming months. Bent, who has seven goals for the Black Cats so far this season, is in the squad for next Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro, and Bruce is confident he can reproduce that form on the bigger stage. He told the Sunderland Echo: "I'm delighted for Darren that his England career is up and running again, he totally deserves it. "He's a top quality professional, but more importantly than that, he's also a proven and prolific goalscorer in the league I regard as the toughest in the world. "How many Englishmen can claim that? Not many. "It was great to see him back in the squad the other month and great to see him on the scoresheet. "Now that he's done that, his next target is to be an England regular, and I think that's something that is in his grasp - the sheer number of goals he has scored over the years has to count in his favour. "He's scored an awful lot of important goals for Sunderland already and you wouldn't bet against him doing exactly the same for England now that it looks like he's going to get a run."
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