Spain game like audition – Bent

Capello will be looking for a striker to fill Rooney’s boots in the

group stages of next summer’s Euro 2012 tournament after the

Manchester United ace was handed a three-match ban by UEFA. Aston

Villa frontman Bent has never featured at a World Cup or European

Championships before, but the striker is determined he can cut it

on the biggest stage. And the 27-year-old, who has scored four

goals in his last five internationals, believes Saturday’s friendly

against world and European champions Spain will be a perfect chance

to prove himself after Rooney was not included in the squad. “It’s

a big blow for England, Wayne Rooney not being there, because you

need your world-class players at the big tournaments,” he told The

Sun. “It’s unfortunate he won’t be there but if I’m selected, I’ll

do everything I can to help. “I’m not sure how England fans

perceive me. They clearly see Wayne Rooney as the number one but

after that, it’s a free for all. There’s one of four players who

can do his job. “I’ve never been at the World Cup and we didn’t

qualify for Euro 2008 but this is a big chance to show everyone

what I’m about and I’m looking forward to it. “It’s like an

audition to prove you can play against the tougher teams. It

doesn’t make me nervous, you just have to think of it as another

game.” Bent is enjoying a productive season so far, having scored

six goals in domestic action for Villa, and the hit-man is hoping

he can continue that form at Wembley, where he is yet to find the

back of the net. “I’ve never scored at Wembley and would be

delighted to break that duck,” he added. “It’s a massive week for

me. I’m up there with the best periods in my career just as we’re

playing Spain, the best team on the planet. “I kind of knew this

was going to be a big season for me. The year before big

competitions it seems to have gone well for me but then it hasn’t

paid off. Hopefully it’ll be different this time.”