Sunderland striker Darren Bent says his first goal for England has given him a tremendous boost ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Montenegro.
The 26-year old netted late in the 3-1 win over Switzerland early last month after coming on as a substitute for Jermain Defoe and he admits that it has given him plenty of confidence as he begins to stake his claim as a starter under Fabio Capello.
“When you’re younger you do feel like you’re on trial a bit. It is difficult but it is the way football at the highest level is. You get such a limited amount of time to make an impression - 20 minutes here, or 20 minutes there, and then maybe you’re not in the squad the next time,” he said.
“But the goal has given me a massive boost and hopefully the manager has now seen proof that I can score goals at the highest level.
“Next time I get on the pitch for England, hopefully on Tuesday I’ll feel more confident, like I’m going to get a goal or contribute something positive. It’s just amazing what a goal can do for you, as a striker.
“The first England goal has lifted a burden off me, most definitely. When you meet up with England , you can feel tense and think to yourself: “Where’s that goal going to come from?” You don’t want to be in that bracket where you’ve played a certain amount of games and no goals have gone in, so now that it’s happened, I can relax a little bit.”