England manager Roy Hodgson has given Darren Bent a welcome boost by informing him he will be part of his plans for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
The Aston Villa striker was left out of the squad for this summer's Euro 2012 tournament after failing to recover from an ankle injury.
Bent, who was also omitted from the 2006 and 2010 World Cup squads, has been assured by the new England boss he still has a future at international level.
"Roy rang me and told me he couldn't pick me for the Euros because I hadn't played any games and so he couldn't take the chance of taking me to a tournament," said Bent.
"I've had three phone calls now to tell me I wouldn't be going to various tournaments but Roy's was the best and he was understanding and really good with me on the phone.
"He said to me that I would be part of the qualifiers (for the World Cup). My aim now is to perform well for Villa next season and then hopefully I will be picked by England as well."
Villa's record signing now hopes to be in peak condition for the start of the new campaign so that he can underline his goalscoring credentials to Hodgson.
"Training the next day after I found out was hard. The fitness guy at Villa even told me I looked a bit demotivated," Bent added.
"It was hard to take initially but now it's about bouncing back and moving on."