Darren Bent netted Sunderland's first goal from the penalty spot in their eventual 2-2 draw with Birmingham at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. The striker was delighted to get his season underway on a positive note after being overlooked by England boss Fabio Capello for this summer's World Cup.
"After the whole World Cup and everything, I was desperate to come back, it's always nice to score in the first game of the season," he told The Journal.
"My dad always says the hardest one to get is number one. That's out of the way now. I can look to my next target."
Bent was named in Capello's new-look squad for last week's friendly against Hungary, but, much to his disappointment, he was forced to withdraw due to a back spasm.
"It was frustrating to miss England. Even at 60 or 70 per cent I would have given it a go," he added.
"I was at 10% and my back was killing me. It was a good chance to try to become a regular but it wasn't meant to be."
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