Boss: Bent adds bite to strikeforce
Bent could be in Wolves' squad for this weekend's Premier League match at Fulham after making his debut in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Burton Albion on Wednesday. The on-loan Birmingham marksman failed to find the net after playing just over an hour in the 3-0 win but demonstrated all the trademark qualities that have made him a tricky customer for defenders over the years. McCarthy has a plethora of attacking talent at his disposal for Saturday's trip to Craven Cottage, with Kevin Doyle, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Steven Fletcher all pushing for a starting berth. And the Wanderers tactician insists Bent's arrival means no one's place up front is assured. "Nobody is a 'shoe-in' any more are they?" McCarthy told The Express and Star. "Everyone anticipated it would be Fletcher and Doyle as first choice, but Sylvan scored his couple of goals and has played out of his skin. "Now we've got Marcus in as well who will give us more competition for places. He will add something. "He's big, quick and powerful and I remember when he played against us here with Cameron Jerome against Michael Mancienne and Richard Stearman he didn't 'half rough us up.' "He caused us problems by his presence - all the qualities he has are what defenders don't like playing against. "He's quick, good in the air, he backs into people and he's got a goal in him. He's only 32 and had a real tough time with his hamstring last year. "But whenever he's played against any of my teams he's been a real handful." Eyebrows among fans were raised at the deadline day signing of the much-travelled Bent. But, despite a lack of action last season, McCarthy insists the former Everton, Charlton and Ipswich frontman is in pristine physical condition. "I'm delighted we've brought him in," added the Wolves boss. "He's done well in training and did all the fitness testing before he came and had a good medical - he's in good shape. "He did really well at Everton but everywhere he has been he's made an impact. He's hungry to do it as well which is great. "The instant I asked if he wanted to come he said 'yes, fantastic' and that was good enough for me."