Inspired Nugent out to impress Capello

Burnley 3 Sunderland 1
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The Independent Football

During his darkest days at Portsmouth, David Nugent had admitted to staying up late playing computer games out of sheer boredom but Saturday was the best reminder possible that, although he is still just 24, there are plenty of other things to occupy himself with.

A miserable two-year spell at Fratton Park, where he started the first two matches after he was signed for £6m by Harry Redknapp before being left out in the cold, culminated in an altercation with team-mate Marc Wilson that resulted in the pair being fined and sent home from the club's training camp in Portugal.

Although Nugent, who scored for England in the 3-0 win over Andorra in March 2007 during his time with Preston, prefers not to discuss the Wilson incident – "I don't want to talk about that, but I didn't do anything wrong and I was the one that was hit" – his miserable time on the South Coast has a lot to do with the way he is perceived.

Along with his family, the Liverpool-born forward, who joined Burnley on loan until the new year on deadline day, still watches his first club Bury as often as he can, and he also remains popular with staff and fans at Preston, but what Nugent is really driven by is a desire to prove that he is a Premier League player.

That will take longer than the half-hour spell on Saturday in which he scored twice to defeat Sunderland, but Nugent is driven and is refusing to rule out playing for England again one day.

"I've been in the England squad before so I don't see why I can't get there again," he said. "If my goalscoring record keeps on improving for Burnley, I don't see why not. Ever since I got that England cap against Andorra it's been downhill but, hopefully, now I can rekindle my career at Burnley and try to get back into the fold. I want to show Portsmouth fans and the people down there what they've been missing. Maybe they might be a little bit gutted that they let me go."

Darren Bent's fifth goal of the season cancelled out Graham Alexander's penalty before Nugent timed a run perfectly to head Burnley in front and then curled in a fine left-foot finish to seal the victory. Next up in the Premier League is a date with Tottenham and Redknapp.

Burnley (4-5-1-): Jensen; Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Jordan; Fletcher (Eagles, 64), Elliott, Alexander, McCann (Gudjonsson, 28), Blake; Paterson (Nugent, 57). Substitutes not used: Penny (gk), McDonald, Thompson, Guerrero

Sunderland (4-4-2): Gordon; Bardsley, Turner, Ferdinand, McCartney; Malbranque (Jones, 62), Cana, Richardson, Reid; Campbell (Henderson, 76), Bent. Substitutes not used: Carson (gk), Da Silva, Mensah, Nosworthy, Healy.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).

Booked: Sunderland Turner, Richardson, Bardsley

Man of the match: Nugent.

Attendance: 20,196.

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