Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bent Knows the Score If He Is to Regain England Place

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bent Knows the Score If He Is to Regain England Place

Article excerpt

Byline: TOM COLLOMOSSE

TOTTENHAM 1 NEWCASTLE 0

DARREN BENT fears his England career will be damaged by the intense competition for striking places at Tottenham.

Bent's 24th-minute goal was enough to earn Spurs a 1-0 win over relegationthreatened Newcastle yesterday and took his tally to 11 goals from 20 Premier League starts this season.

Had it not been for a knee injury, Bent would probably have played for England in the 2-1 win over Ukraine earlier this month, and national coach Fabio Capello was at White Hart Lane to see his winner against Newcastle.

Yet with Jermain Defoe now available -- the striker came on for the final 12 minutes after 11 weeks out with a foot injury -- along with Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko, Bent knows his starting spot is under threat.

The 25-year-old said: "If you don't play for your club regularly, you won't play for England. As long as I can keep working hard and scoring goals, hopefully I'll be in there.

"No-one likes to sit on the bench. I'll have to see what happens and take it from there. My season has been up and down. I would have liked to have played more games and scored more goals.

"The manager has got decisions to make. He's got fantastic strikers and you have to bide your time. The end of the season is coming and we'll have to see what happens after that." Bent is clearly in Capello's thoughts for the lone striker's role, for which Emile Heskey, Carlton Cole and Peter Crouch are also in contention.

Capello is keen to build his attacking strategy around Wayne Rooney, and Bent admitted: "Rooney is obviously the No1, and there is always a fight for the other spot. As long as I can keep scoring goals and playing well when he's watching me, it's all I can ask for.

"Fabio is the best England manager we've had for a long time. He's told me on a personal level what he wants from me. He tells you face to face what he wants, which is what you need as a player. …

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