Bent eyes England starting spot

The Sunderland man, who scored his first goal for the Three Lions

in their last qualifier against Switzerland, has been included in

Fabio Capello’s 23-man squad for the Wembley clash. With Jermain

Defoe injured, Bent could be named up front alongside Wayne Rooney

or Peter Crouch, but the 26-year-old knows nothing is guaranteed

until the manager reveals his team-sheet on Tuesday. “Naturally I’d

love to start, but it’s not for me to guess what Mr Capello is

going to do,” Bent said in The Guardian. “He has his own ideas, so

who knows? He can surprise people. “Knowing what I know already

about the way the England manager works, my immediate goal is not

starting the game but showing up well in training, because that is

what he looks for.” Bent was overlooked for Capello’s World Cup

squad in the summer and admits his omission came as a blow having

scored 25 goals in 40 games in his first season for the Black Cats.

“Obviously it was really disappointing this summer, though I am

sure it was even more disappointing for the guys who were actually

out there playing,” he said. “For me personally it was more a sense

of frustration, but you either get the chance to play or you don’t,

and if the chance doesn’t come along there’s not much you can do

about it. “Just as with goalscoring chances, you have to put the

misses behind you and be ready for the next one. The World Cup is

the biggest football tournament on the planet, all the best players

are there and you want to be there too, especially when you have

worked so hard to try and make it. “Missing out was hard, but it’s

all part and parcel of a footballer’s life. You accept it and move

on, and now it’s nice to be back in the squad again. Representing

your country is the best thing about being a footballer.” Bent

already has one eye on representing England at Euro 2012, but

accepts he has a long road ahead of him, adding: “I just want a

chance to play. “The next World Cup is too far ahead to have as a

target, so I’m looking to cement my place in the England set-up,

maybe get a few more goals, and generally give myself the chance of

reaching the Euros [in 2012]. “I’d love to go to a tournament with

England, but it’s probably best not to look too far into the

future. Just try to do well in the next game and take it from

there.”