Bruce slams Capello claim
Steve Bruce has hit back at suggestions that Darren Bent's move to Villa has strengthened his England cause.
Last Updated: 11/02/11 12:17pm
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has hit back at suggestions made by Fabio Capello that Darren Bent's move to Aston Villa has strengthened his England chances.
The striker, who moved to Villa Park in a £24million switch last month, was on target with his second international goal in Wednesday night's 2-1 friendly win in Denmark.
The 27-year-old later revealed Three Lions boss Capello had told him the transfer had aided his England cause.
That claim has not gone down well with Bruce, who paid an initial £10million to take the forward to the Stadium of Light from Tottenham during the summer of 2009.
The Black Cats boss said: "That's a frustration for us all and it is hugely disrespectful if he has said those sort of things.
"Darren Bent scored 24 [Barclays Premier League] goals for us and played an unbelievable season, and yet didn't go to the World Cup, so I find that a harsh statement.
"The big problem with all of that is the geography of where we are. It's very difficult to come and watch any people at Sunderland, especially on their own patch.
"It doesn't happen very often. Usually managers of international teams are watching us away from home, and sometimes that's a bit difficult for the players as much as anything else."
Speaking ahead of the Denmark game, Capello claimed Bent had improved as a player in the three weeks he had spent at Villa.
"I overlooked him (Bent) for the World Cup because he was not as good as he is at this moment," said the Italian.
"I have been twice to see Aston Villa. They are playing completely differently from Sunderland.
"For Sunderland, it was important for them to go straight for the goal.
"Before Bent was only playing for the box. Now, he is a player who can play for the team.
"This is important. When I choose the player, I choose him for the team."
He added: "When I speak with different managers about their players they know something more.
"All the managers told me Bent is a fantastic player in the box, but not outside.
"I told him that he had to change. He had to work a lot, press a lot."