Bruce hopes for Bent silver lining

Steve Bruce believes Darren Bent's World Cup snub will prove to be England's loss and Sunderland's gain.

The 26-year-old striker was one of seven players cut by England coach Fabio Capello from a provisional 30-strong provisional squad for South Africa earlier this week.

Bent had a strong case for inclusion after scoring 24 Premier League goals in his first season at the Stadium of Light following a £10million transfer from Tottenham last summer.

The disappointed striker has now vowed to return next season in ever sharper form for the Black Cats and Bruce believes a summer of rest and recuperation will ultimately help his club form.

"As his manager, you want Darren to go to the World Cup for his own sake," he explained.

"The way the lad played over the course of the season, I think he couldn't have made much of a stronger case for himself. But from a selfish point of view, England's loss would be Sunderland's gain.

"Darren not going would mean that he gets a proper summer's rest and he will hopefully come back to us physically and mentally refreshed.

"If you don't go to the World Cup after scoring that many goals and after scoring that many more than some of your rivals, well, I suppose you might feel you have to point to prove.

"What better incentive can you have for next season?"

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