Hodgson assures Euro 2012 absentee Bent that he has an England future

Ross Jackson
Hodgson assures Euro 2012 absentee Bent that he has an England future

Aston Villa forward Darren Bent has revealed that Roy Hodgson has assured him that his England career is not over, despite his omission from this summer’s Euro 2012 squad.

The Villa forward hasn’t played for his club since sustaining an ankle injury in his side’s 0-0 draw at Wigan back in February.

Despite his lack of domestic football, Bent had hoped to be fit in time for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine but Andy Carroll, Danny Welbeck and former Spurs teammate Jermain Defoe were all chosen ahead of him.

However, Bent says the new Three Lions boss informed him that he could still play for England in the future and is targeting a recall after the European Championships.

"Roy rang me and told me he couldn't pick me for the Euros because I hadn't played any games and so he couldn't take the chance of taking me to a tournament,” he told reporters.

He added, "I've had three phone calls now to tell me I wouldn't be going to various tournaments but Roy's was the best and he was understanding and really good with me on the phone.

"He said to me that I would be part of the qualifiers [for the World Cup]. My aim now is to perform well for Villa next season and then hopefully I will be picked by England as well."

Despite the 64-year-old's assurances, Bent admits the news of his omission has affected him, though he is determined to bounce back and be ready for the start of next season.

"Training the next day after I found out was hard. The fitness guy at Villa even told me I looked a bit demotivated," Bent revealed.

"It was hard to take initially but now it's about bouncing back and moving on."