BENT `STRONG` AHEAD OF WORLD CUP

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BENT `STRONG` AHEAD OF WORLD CUP

Post  IceQueen on Sat 23 Jan - 8:35

Sunderland hot-shot Darren Bent insists he will be able to cope if he does not get the World Cup nod for England this year.

The 25-year-old admits 'if felt like a bus had just hit me' when he failed to make Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad back in 2006.

But he feels that experience - as well as the knocks he took during his difficult two-year stay at Spurs - have left him better prepared if Fabio Capello also decides he is surplus to requirements for this summer's finals in South Africa.

The striker, who made his England debut in 2006 and has five caps to his name, told The Sun: "I feel more ready if the same thing happens this time. I know you can never count your chickens, no matter how many goals you score.

"This time I will be able to cope. Last time it felt like a bus had just hit me. All I can do is keep on scoring.

"I remember going to my mum's and you know that the World Cup squad is going to be announced. I was sitting there all morning, couldn't relax, couldn't concentrate.

"My dad was telling me to relax but I couldn't. He couldn't see me not being picked. But then the call came from Sven telling me I wasn't going to the World Cup.

"I just said "Oh, okay then" and put the phone down. My mum and dad weren't best pleased and then I started thinking 'why didn't I ask him why'.

"But I was so shocked that I was unable to go into all that stuff. I was just like 'woah'."

Bent, who has been rejuvenated by his £10million move to Wearside, added: "I think I am a much better player than four years ago.

"Mentally I am much stronger, especially after the last two years at Spurs. When I first went there I was getting a lot of criticism and it was hard to take.

"It really affected me. I was playing it safe in games, doing things a bit differently, passing it because it was the safe option. I guess confidence was a problem."
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