Bent should go to finals - Klug

BRYAN Klug today delivered his verdict on Darren Bent's England debut and insisted his former protégé had done his World Cup chances a power of good.The Ipswich academy director watched Bent earn his first cap in last night's 2-1 friendly win over Uruguay at Anfield and said: “Darren must have a good chance of going to Germany after that.

By Mel Henderson

BRYAN Klug today delivered his verdict on Darren Bent's England debut and insisted his former protégé had done his World Cup chances a power of good.

The Ipswich academy director watched Bent earn his first cap in last night's 2-1 friendly win over Uruguay at Anfield and said: “Darren must have a good chance of going to Germany after that.”

The Charlton striker, who left Portman Road in a £2.5 million deal last summer, was only replaced nine minutes from the end by Spurs ace Jermain Defoe.

Bent, 22, worked hard throughout and Klug added: “He made some intelligent and threatening runs. Considering the step-up to a higher level and the way the game panned out, which made life that bit more difficult for him, he did well.

“After Uruguay scored in the first half they sat deep with a lot of people behind the ball to protect their lead and that restricted Darren. His game is running in behind defenders but space was tight.

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“There were plenty of encouraging signs, the more he plays with the England players the more they will appreciate what he's about.”

Klug first started working on the training ground with Bent when he was 12 and he has seen him progress.

He said: “I remember seeing him play for England at under-15 level and I've now seen him go through all the age groups.

“Darren has certain attributes and he has always had the right attitude - one of the first out on the training ground and usually last in. I hear from the Charlton people that he's still the same.

“It's not just going to be about what Darren did last night. Look at his goalscoring record this season - that has to have some value.”

Bent has scored 13 Premiership goals and a further four in cup competitions for the Addicks and it is the way he instantly settled in the top flight that captured the attention of Sven Goran Eriksson.

It will soon be make-your-mind-up time for the England boss, with the Uruguay clash being the last game before he has to name his 23-strong squad in May.

Klug added: “Darren now has to go away and keep on scoring goals as he has done consistently.

“Sven may be considering whether to take four or five forwards and the first three places are likely to go to Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, provided he's fit, and Peter Crouch.

“If he decides to take four it will be between Darren and Jermain Defoe, who is also a fabulous player. In that situation it will be a tough decision for him.

“If Sven goes to Germany with five strikers I think Darren will be one of them, particularly if he can continue the form he has shown for Charlton this season.

“I am biased and I want him to go.

“I know how much it would mean to him and looking at what he has done so far I think he's almost there. He deserves his chance.”

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