Premier League

Bent eyes England call-up

Villa striker says supporters are happy with Paul Lambert

Darren Bent: Determined to score goals and force his way back into the England squad

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Aston Villa striker Darren Bent is determined to fight his way into Roy Hodgson's England set-up in the hope of playing in his first major tournament.

The 28-year-old was left out of Hodgson's 23-man squad for the European Championship in the summer after being deemed unfit following a slow recovery from an ankle injury picked up in February.

Bent knows he is running out of chances and is determined to avoid missing out on a fourth successive major competition .

The Villa forward is ready to prove his worth in the Premier League this season as he eyes a trip to Brazil in 2014.


He told The Telegraph: "It's all about trying to get back in there now. There's not much else I can do, so hopefully he (Hodgson) is watching and keeping an eye on me. All you can do really is try to play so well that it's impossible to ignore you.

"It's reassuring to hear Roy Hodgson say he will be keeping track of me but I've always been a firm believer that if you do your stuff and play well for your club side, the England thing will hopefully follow.

"I wasn't picked for both World Cups, we didn't qualify for Euro 2008 and I was injured for this year so it's certainly been a bit of bad luck for me.

"The timing this year in particular was terrible. I'd played virtually all the qualifiers, started and scored in quite a few of them so to then get injured was a nightmare scenario for me.

"I've just got to keep playing well for Villa and go from there."


Bent also admits he is happy with the progress Villa are now making under new manager Paul Lambert.

"We're playing a way which is designed to be more attacking so we will take it from there and see how things go," he said. "Hopefully we will be creating chances and hopefully I can take them.

"I think he (Lambert) is what we needed - 100 per cent. The club needed stability and the supporters have been behind him right from the start.

"The previous manager did the best he could, but it was always going to be difficult. The fans weren't happy about him getting the job from day one.

"Paul Lambert was the man they wanted, they were singing his name in the match at Norwich and now they've got him."