Two-goal Bent pays tribute to Bruce
SUNDERLAND frontman Darren Bent revealed the reason for his explosive start to life at the Stadium of Light is all down to manager Steve Bruce. The former Tottenham strikers brace against Hull on Saturday took his tally to four Premier League goals in just five outings. And if the Sunderland goal machine continues this sort of form throughout the season it would be tough for Fabio Capello to leave him out of his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup campaign in South Africa. Yet dreams of a place in the Three Lions line-up looked unlikely while he remained at Spurs. Bent made it known that his confidence reached its lowest ebb while in North London, not helped by some cutting comments from his former manager Harry Redknapp, who once said of a Bent miss that my wife could have scored it. But since he made the switch from White Hart Lane to the Stadium of Light in the summer his confidence has gone through the roof. And the 25-year-old confessed the reason for the change of form and confidence is all down to the comforting arm of Bruce. Some managers rate some players, some dont, reflected Bent. It is just the case that Harry Redknapp did not fancy me. But I want to show what a good player I am and the new boss has always had every confidence in me. He believes in me. He was behind me 100 per cent during the transfer negotiations and kept ringing me saying we are going to get it done. I think in certain areas as a team we can definitely improve. Without a doubt, we can improve the final ball and even though we scored four (on Saturday), I think we can get better in that area as well. I think we can be a real force this year if we get that right. The strikers new found belief was no better demonstrated when Anton Ferdinands long pass put him through one on one with the goalkeeper after the break. I think in the last couple of seasons I might have tried to pass the ball for my second goal, he admitted. But confidence is high and since I have been here, its been fantastic. Four (goals) out of five (games) is a great record which I want to keep going. The south London-born forward also had a few praiseworthy words for his new teammates too. And the £10m striker admits he is relieved to be finally playing on the same side as new £6m man Michael Turner as opposed to facing him. I remember playing against Hull last season and Turner was really strong, said Bent. We have got ourselves a fantastic player there. He is a defender who is not scared of reputations. I have played against him a few times but I remember last season when Spurs beat them (Hull) 2-1 and he was good. I definitely remember that one. Bent was partnered by Fraizer Campbell in place of fans favourite Kenwyne Jones against The Tigers. The Sunderland manager explained his reasoning behind the decision was a simple one the Trinidad and Tobago striker was away on international duty and the travelling had taken its toll, while Campbell was due a start. Bruce admitted: You can not be in any condition after travelling for that length of time on a plane, 12 or 14 hours. It was an easy (decision) one for me. We can leave Kenwyne on the bench if hes not physically right and there is a threat to his place. Fraizers a good player. He is only 20-year-old the kid and he can only do one thing improve. The two were a handful. Fraizer and Bent caused them problems all game. In todays modern game, what with internationals and the rest of it, it is all about a squad. I think our squad has improved, maybe not in the numbers but certainly with the personnel weve been able to bring through the door. Theyve been very good and hit the ground running.
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