England boss hails super-sub Bent

ENGLAND boss Peter Taylor heaped praise on Darren Bent after another goalscoring international display by the Ipswich starlet.Super-sub Bent enhanced his growing reputation by extending his sensational goalscoring record after coming off the bench for Taylor's England Under-21 side.

ENGLAND boss Peter Taylor heaped praise on Darren Bent after another goalscoring international display by the Ipswich starlet.

Super-sub Bent enhanced his growing reputation by extending his sensational goalscoring record after coming off the bench for Taylor's England Under-21 side.

He netted his seventh goal in nine international appearances - all of the goals after coming on as a substitute - as England beat Wales 2-0 at Ewood Park last night to take a step nearer the Euro 2006 finals.

And the 73rd minute header enabled Bent to get one over on Wales keeper and Portman Road team-mate Lewis Price.

Taylor said: “Darren did very well. He chases absolutely everything and he is so quick. I am sure he would have enjoyed scoring against his team-mate at Ipswich (Price) so I am delighted for him.”

Bent was a first-half replacement for the injured Carlton Cole. And he is now set to start alongside Jonathan Stead in Azerbaijan on Tuesday as Cole is ruled out with a recurring ankle problem.

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“Darren's goal record is amazing,” added Taylor. “Carlton won't play on Tuesday and at the moment we have only got two other strikers in the squad so I might think about calling someone up.

“But I won't call them up to play in front of Darren or Jon Stead. They will be the starting two on Tuesday.

“I am sure Darren didn't like me when I named the team for the Wales game because the way he has played, he has looked a goal threat.

“But he is such a cracking lad that he just smiles all day and gets on with it and he is just pleased to be here. I am pleased he is here as well.”

Taylor also hailed James Milner after the Newcastle United player was given licence to thrill in an attacking midfield role.

The 18-year-old made the crucial breakthrough inside the opening 60 seconds of the second period in which England produced a performance of greater assurance and quality than the first 45 minutes.

Taylor said: “Milner is a very exciting talent. He had a very good second half after, for him, not such a good first half when a few things got away from him.

“He scored a very important goal for us. He seems older than he is but he is a tremendous talent.

Bent said: “It was amazing to score again and I'm delighted we won and are top of the group.

“Lewis and I have been going at each other non-stop but we have seen who the winner is. We are good friends and will stay that way.

“I felt for him a bit because he played really well and did nothing wrong. He kept them in the game for long periods but we knew we had to get the breakthrough eventually.”

A glum Price said: “I'm gutted that Darren scored and we lost. When he came on and I managed to turn one round the corner I was hoping it was going to be my night and I would be able to keep him out.

“He has an amazing goalscoring record and is a really tricky player. He is a good in the air and there was nothing I could with the goal.

“Still there is always next time. He played well and this won't split our friendship. I just know I won't hear the end of it when we get back.”

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