Bent will battle on after squad blow

Published Jun. 3, 2010 2:11 a.m. ET

Sunderland's Darren Bent has vowed to pick himself up and start again after suffering World Cup heartbreak for the second time in four years.

The 26-year-old had a feeling of 'deja vu' on Tuesday as he became one of seven players culled by England manager Fabio Capello as he trimmed his squad for South Africa from 30 to 23.

But he has promised to "move on, kick on, work doubly hard", adding: "I've always used disappointment to fire me up."

The former Tottenham man told The Times: "There's no point throwing myself to the ground and whining about life, because that's no good to anyone. I'll pick myself up and start again.

"My priority is Sunderland - and I love playing for them - but people say that if you do well for your club, the rewards will follow. It doesn't feel like that's happened."

Recalling the moment he was told he would miss out again, waiting for a phone call at his mother's house in Cambridgeshire, he said: "I didn't really want to be on my own when I found out and I knew my mum would want to know straight away. So I came here, sat and waited.

"When the phone rang, Mum was standing by the door, going, 'Answer it, answer it!' Mr Capello just told me that I wasn't going to South Africa, that I had to keep working and that was it. It was short, brief, no explanation."


Bent was perhaps the best placed of the seven to take the call, having suffered a similar fate at the hands of Sven-Goran Eriksson for the last tournament in Germany,

He added: "So many people had said to me then, 'You'll definitely be going' and the shock was like being hit with a hammer.

"Yes, I can deal with it better now because I've gone through it before, but knowing that I'm going to miss another tournament is hard to take."

Bent scored 24 goals for Sunderland in the Premier League last season - six more than Jermain Defoe, 16 more than Peter Crouch and 21 more than Emile Heskey, all of whom made the squad.

Despite his second successive World Cup disappointment, Bent has no plans to turn his back on England.

"I'm still only 26 and potentially I've got at least two big international tournaments ahead of me," he said.

"It'll be difficult, because there'll be even more competition, but I want to do it. All I can do now is wish the boys luck and look to do better."