Darren Bent backs England to ‘go all the way’ at Euro 2012
Aston Villa striker Darren Bent believes England have a good chance of winning this summer's European championship
Darren Bent believes Roy Hodgson’s England squad has enough quality to win the European championship in Poland and Ukraine this summer.
The 28-year-old ruptured ligaments in his ankle during a challenge with Wigan Athletic defender Antolín Alcaraz in February, and the Aston Villa striker was omitted from Hodgson’s selection for Euro 2012.
Despite his exclusion, Bent, who has scored four goals in 13 appearances for England, backed his international team-mates to go all the way in the tournament.
“It’s a strong group of players,” Bent told Villa’s website.
“We beat Spain a few months ago and we had a good result against Sweden as well. There’s no reason why we can’t go all the way and really compete well for this tournament.
“I will be right behind the lads. I will be supporting them every step of the way, wherever I am in the world. I wish them all the best. I really hope they can win it.”
Bent returned to first-team training in May, and the Ipswich Town youth graduate had hoped to make a late bid for Hodgson’s 23-man travelling party to eastern Europe.
However, the Villa striker revealed the England manager didn’t feel comfortable taking “a chance” on Bent’s fitness for the tournament – a decision which the former Charlton Athletic star has accepted, praising Hodgon’s handling of the situation.
“Roy rang me the day before and outlined the reasons he couldn’t pick me,” he added.
“He told me I hadn’t played any games and he couldn’t take the chance of taking me to a tournament.
“He was understanding and really good with me on the phone.
“He told me I still have a major part to play in international football. It was a good phone call to be fair.
“It was really positive. He was brilliant. As far as phone calls go, I have had three to tell me I haven’t made it to a major tournament. Out of all of them, Roy’s was the best.”