Darren Bent admits he is starving for first team action at Fulham.
Martin Jol signed his former Tottenham Hotspur charge from Aston Villa last week, in a loan deal for the duration of the season. The England international had been frozen out by Paul Lambert, who had preferred Christian Benteke as his main striker and also signed Danish ace Nicklas Helenius to further push him down the pecking order.
Bent has now hit back at the treatment he received at the Midlands club, who battled against relegation for much of last term before pulling away to safety. Yet the injustice he feels could well benefit the Cottagers in the coming weeks and months, as the 29-year-old is more determined than ever to get back to his best football.
“It was horrible,” he said. “It wasn’t so much the injuries – although they didn’t help – it was just the uncertainty. I understand that not every player can be every manager’s cup of tea. But to be alienated like that, to be kicked out of the first team dressing room when I’ve played a long time and when I’m an international, just felt a bit disappointing.
“There were times when I was thinking, ‘Do I really deserve this?’ to be treated like that was bad. I’m not just hungry to play football again at Fulham, I’m absolutely starving. I’ve missed out on a couple of major competitions with England, so I just hope this is my year.”
Bent was an unused substitute as Fulham began their campaign with a 1-0 win at Sunderland at the weekend, but he will hope to feature when Arsenal visit on Saturday. The Gunners lost their opening match at home to Lambert’s Villa, and the former White Hart Lane striker will be hoping for the chance to inflict more damage on Arsene Wenger’s side.