Bent logs off and switches on for Bruce

Sunderland striker puts an end to his tweeting to focus on Premier League survival
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The Independent Online

Sunderland striker Darren Bent has revealed he has quit Twitter to focus on the club's battle to beat the drop. Bent regularly used the social-networking site to post comments on his private life, which included an F-word rant at Tottenham regarding delays over his move to Sunderland last summer.

The 26-year-old also used Twitter to vent his anger after his mother was racially abused before the 1-0 defeat at Wigan at the end of November. But Sunderland's £10m record signing has decided to stop tweeting and instead concentrate on helping the club end a three-month wait for a win which threatens their Premier League status.

"I had a good chat with the manager recently and I just thought with the run we're on at the moment, I needed to get rid of the distractions," Bent said. "I have to solely focus on getting Sunderland out of the relegation battle and I have shut the Twitter down. I don't even go on it any more to look at what other people are posting.

"My friends are still on there and they keep me up to date, but I felt for me, it's run its course and I should get out of it. I've not stepped back because anything that's been said on Twitter to me or about me. People were writing stories in the papers about me from what I put on Twitter. There was a lot made of it. It became a distraction I didn't need."

Manager Steve Bruce is delighted with Bent and said: "It's the right decision by Darren. When things aren't going too well for your team especially, it's a good thing to be seen to be focusing entirely on your football."

Midfielder Andy Reid, meanwhile, faces another month-long spell on the sidelines with a fresh hamstring injury. Reid, who was out for four weeks after Christmas with a similar problem, suffered the latest blow in the 1-1 draw at Portsmouth eight days ago. "Unfortunately Andy has suffered a new hamstring injury," confirmed club physician Dr Glen Rae. "He is working with the medical team, but is likely to be missing for around four weeks."

Reid could potentially miss Sunderland's next five Premier League games, starting at Arsenal on Saturday, as well as matches with Fulham, Aston Villa, Bolton and Manchester City.

Striker Kenwyne Jones believes no one can doubt his commitment to the club following what he called a "disturbing" January. Jones found himself continually linked with a move away from the Stadium of Light, most notably to Liverpool who were apparently looking to sign the Trinidad & Tobago star on loan.

Jones is adamant he was not behind the stories, and was reassured to hear Bruce's comforting words. "I didn't have any part to play in that whole situation," said Jones. "There were stories going back and forth that were disturbing. There is no possible way you can avoid reading anything in the papers, but you try and lock yourself away from it as much as possible.

"I never came out and gave any indication I wanted to leave, that I was unhappy or anything like that. For me, that assumption is a bit far-fetched."

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