Darren Bent's confidence undimmed despite bit-part role at Spurs
DARREN Bent this week showed his confidence remains undimmed, despite being a bit-part player for Spurs. The England striker played a pivotal role in the 2-0 league defeat over Portsmouth at the Lane on Saturday (see page 39). Bent, who has started just
DARREN Bent this week showed his confidence remains undimmed, despite being a bit-part player for Spurs.
The England striker played a pivotal role in the 2-0 league defeat over Portsmouth at the Lane on Saturday (see page 39).
Bent, who has started just nine league games for the Lilywhites this season because of the splendid form of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane, came off the bench as part of Juande Ramos's inspired double substitution.
He had barely been on the pitch for 10 minutes when he headed home Berbatov's scuffed shot to pave the way for Spurs' vital win. Then, two minutes later, the former Charlton star teed up fellow sub Jamie O'Hara, who calmly slotted home the second goal.
But Bent, who was transferred for a club record £16.5million last June, knows just what is needed to claim a regular place in Spurs starting line-up.
"It's been frustrating," Bent told Wood&Vale Sport. "But I knew that was going to happen when I came here and the main thing is I haven't let it affect me. I've kept going and I try to make an impact every time I come on.
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"I'm used to playing week in week out and I prefer that. But sometimes it doesn't work out like that so I'll keep working hard."
However, Bent, who has netted seven times this campaign, believes the prolonged spells on the bench has not dented his enthusiasm. "I [still] find it exciting whenever I go on the pitch, whether we are winning or losing," he said. "So the main thing is that we keep winning games now and stay strong until the end of the season.
"We have already won one cup this year and even though there's nothing more to play for, we want to win as many games as we can and finish as high as we can."
Yet, Bent is aware that his situation is not unique. "I think Jermain [Defoe] went through it for a lot longer than I want to, that's for sure," he said.
"If things continue we'll see what happens. But I'm happy at Spurs and I like playing for this club whether its 25 minutes or 90 I'm just happy to be on the pitch.
"I just have to take everything as it comes. I mean the gaffer might bring in another striker in the summer which means I might be pushed further down the pecking order and I don't really want that."