Bent aiming to roll Swiss over

It was Bent’s first England goal, in the autumn Euro 2012 qualifier
with the Swiss in Basle, that lifted a big weight off his shoulders
and he has not looked back. Aston Villa’s £18million record
signing followed that up by netting against Denmark in February and
then Wales the following month in addition to nine goals in 16
games at club level. Bent said: “I’m at a period now where I feel
more confident than ever before in my career in terms of England.
“I don’t think I have even been in so many squads consecutively and
got on the pitch so often as well. “I feel I am playing really well
at the moment, things are going in the right direction and long may
it continue.” Bent admitted: “The goal in Switzerland early on in
the season really lifted a weight off my shoulders. “Playing for
England is the top, top level and people questioned whether I could
score goals for England before that. “That goal was massive for me
and I have grown in confidence since then. “I like to think I’ve
changed a few perceptions of me over the past few months. Hopefully
I can keep doing that.” Bent’s current upbeat emotions are in stark
contrast to 12 months ago when he was left out of England’s World
Cup squad for South Africa after being part of the provisional 30
strong party. “It was disappointing not to go to the World Cup and
in the friendlies beforehand it was difficult as half the squad
knew they were on the plane and the other were fighting to go. “In
my own mind, I knew I hadn’t done enough to get picked but you
always hope. “At the same time I tried to take the positives, move
on this season and tried to do well for club and country.”
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is the only injury
casualty after being forced to withdraw from the squad with a hip
problem.