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Sunderland striker Bent admits Spurs treatment acts as motivation

Sunderland ace Darren Bent admits the way he was treated at Tottenham last season is serving as motivation this term.

Next weekend his first return to White Hart Lane beckons. He has no appetite to revisit the barbs he took from Harry Redknapp or dwell on the difficulties he experienced after his £16.5 million move from Charlton Athletic, but the episode hardened him.

"There's an extra drive for me because of the criticism I received and I use it as an incentive to prove people wrong, to show that I'm a good player," Bent told The Times. "People have taken to me so well at Sunderland and that really helps you settle. Even before I arrived at Tottenham, there was talk about the price-tag and it felt like people weren't quite behind me.

"With Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe there, it was like running uphill against Usain Bolt. When Harry came in, I think I got seven goals in his first five games, but I went a couple of matches without scoring and that was it.

"I've had to grow up massively. When people level so much stuff at you, you can curl up and die, but I thought to myself, 'No, I'm going to use this as an incentive.' It's worked. I'm loving life. It's all about football up here and I needed that."



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