Bruce: Sunderland benefiting from Bent World Cup ambitions

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has no doubt they have benefited from Darren Bent's desperation to make England's World Cup squad.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has no doubt they have benefited from Darren Bent's desperation to make England's World Cup squad.

Bent, 26, scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season in Saturday's 3-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Birmingham to further justify his £10million transfer fee.

Twenty of those goals have come in the league - the first time Bent has reached that mark in his career - and with eight games to go - including Wednesday night's trip to Aston Villa - he could significantly add to that tally before Fabio Capello finalises his squad for South Africa.

Bruce said: "It can only be good news for us. His scoring rate has been pretty remarkable when you think of the winter we have had. He has still been able to score goals.

"It's been fantastic to see."

Bruce has repeatedly championed Bent's cause and is keeping everything crossed for a man he believes deserves his chance.

He added: "I hope for the kid that he goes. He's had a wonderful return for us. He's a goalscorer.

"We don't know how many strikers Mr Capello is taking, will it be four or will it be five? But he has got to be in with a chance."

Have your say