Darren Bent warming to England role

 

Darren Bent now feels more relaxed when playing for England after making another important contribution to the shock win over Spain at Wembley on Saturday.

Bent went into the game with a record of four goals in his previous five internationals and had few opportunities against the World Cup holders who dominated possession.

But the Aston Villa striker made the most of his one chance, heading against the inside of a post before Frank Lampard converted the rebound from almost on the goal-line to give England a 1-0 win.

Bent said: "I feel under less pressure in the sense that when you are not in the side so often, you feel every game is a trial.

"To some extent it is still the same now - but I am definitely more relaxed now.

"I've played more games consistently. Every time I've been fit since the World Cup, the manager has played me and it's gone really well."

Not that Bent is taking for granted he will be part of Fabio Capello's squad for the Euro 2012 finals.

He said: "There is a long way to the Euros. All I can do is keep trying to do well for England when I am picked and doing well for my club.

"I missed out on the 2006 and 2010 World Cups so I am taking nothing for granted but it would mean a lot to me to play in my first tournament."

Bent added: "When you play against Spain, who keep the ball for 80% of the time, it is always going to be difficult.

"But you've just got to wait for your chance and try and take it when it comes.

"It was a great ball in, I've managed to get my head to it and Lamps does what he does best, sniffing around and getting a goal."

Bent knows it is crucial that England do not get carried away with their shock success.

He said: "To beat the world champions is a great achievement. The football they play is sublime at times and it was good to get the win.

"It will be massive for team confidence but we know we can't get carried away.

"The key thing is we don't get over confident because we have beaten the world champions."

PA

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