Bent ready for Spain 'audition'
Darren Bent is determined to capitalise on the absence of Wayne Rooney and stake a claim for a place in Fabio Capello's Euro plans.
Last Updated: 09/11/11 11:04am
Darren Bent is determined to capitalise on the absence of Wayne Rooney and stake a claim for a place in Fabio Capello's Euro 2012 plans against Spain.
Capello will be looking for a striker to fill Rooney's boots in the group stages of next summer's tournament after the Manchester United ace was handed a three-match ban by Uefa.
Aston Villa frontman Bent has never featured at a World Cup or European Championship but the striker is determined he can cut it on the biggest stage.
And the 27-year-old, who has scored four goals in his last five internationals, believes Saturday's friendly against world and European champions Spain will be a perfect chance to prove himself after Rooney was not included in the squad.
"It's a big blow for England Wayne Rooney not being there because you need your World Class players at the big tournaments," he told The Sun.
"It's unfortunate he won't be there but if I'm selected I'll do everything I can to help.
"I'm not sure how England fans perceive me. They clearly see Wayne Rooney as the number one but after that it's a free for all. There's one of four players who can do his job.
"I've never been at the World Cup and we didn't qualify for Euro 2008 but this is a big chance to show everyone what I'm about and I'm looking forward to it.
"It's like an audition to prove you can play against the tougher teams. It doesn't make me nervous, you just have to think of it as another game."
Bent is enjoying a productive season so far, having scored six goals in domestic action for Villa, and the hit-man is hoping he can continue that form at Wembley, where he is yet to find the back of the net.
"I've never scored at Wembley and would be delighted to break that duck," he added.
"It's a massive week for me. I'm up there with the best periods in my career just as we're playing Spain, the best team on the planet.
"I kind of knew this was going to be a big season for me. The year before big competitions it seems to have gone well for me but then it hasn't paid off. Hopefully it'll be different this time."