Bent promises Villa fans plenty more goals in 2012 as he targets England Euros spot
Darren Bent has revealed his determination to increase his goals per game ratio for Aston Villa as heset his sights on being part of England”s Euro 2012 squad next summer.
Bent has resumed training after missing the last two games with a thigh problem and is expected to return to action in Monday”s Barclays Premier League clash at Stoke.
He angered some fans by going shopping during the latter stages of the Liverpool game on Sunday.
Eyes on the prize: Darren Bent has vowed to improve on his goals per game ratio
But the striker has since apologised for upsetting any supporters and now has his thoughts on boosting his goal tally.
The 27-year-old scored nine goals in 16 games last season after his 18million move from Sunderland – an average of one every 1.77 matches.
But he has been on target five times in 14 appearances during the current campaign – a ratio of one every 2.8 games.
Bent said: “Throughout my career, I”ve always maintained a one-in-two ratio and at the moment it”s virtually one every three games this season.
“I could easily be in double figures and had numerous chances this season but for some reason it just hasn”t been happening. But all it takes is a goal here and there and things will kick back into place.
International ambitions: The Aston Villa striker wants a Euro 2012 spot
“As long as the chances keep coming, I”m confident I can score regularly.”
Bent missed out on selection for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups while England did not qualify for Euro 2008.
He has become a regular part of the side during 2012 after a run of four goals in five internationals but istaking nothing for granted.
Bent said: “I”d love to be part of a major tournament with England but I never take anything for granted or count my chickens. I suppose I”m like that because a lot has happened tome with England squads.
“I missed out on the 2006 and 2010 World Cups after being in contention beforehand. But I just hope I do myself justice, play well for Villa, and keep hold of the shirt and staypart of the squad.”
Villa boss Alex McLeish confirmed he expects Bent to be available for the trip to the Britannia Stadium.
He said: “Darren looked sharp in training and I don”t see any reason why he won”t be involved on Monday.”
McLeish is aware of the lift a win atStoke would have on his players who produced a vastly-improved performance when beaten 2-1 at home by Arsenal in midweek.
He said: “It is a big challenge and atough place to go but if it”s one we can win, then the confidence wouldsoar through the roof.
“The good thing was our approach against Arsenal. I felt in a couple of the recent games against the elite clubs, the players were a wee bit intimidated. Against Arsenal, they let the shackles off. It”s a lot to do with the mentality.”
In addition to Bent, striker Emile Heskey (Achilles) and central defender James Collins (knee) are also expected to be fit to face the Potters.