PRE IPSWICH

Telegraph-sport

DARREN Bent is a player of calibre and quality who has proved himself in the Premier League. He has scored goals wherever he has been. I played against him a few times earlier in his career when he was at Ipswich Town. He scored in a 3-1 win at Rotherham in April 2004 when Ipswich came from one down. A year later, he hit a double when we lost 4-3 at Portman Road. I also faced him in a League Cup tie at Tottenham in 2007 when I was at Blackpool. He is good in the air, and has the ability to hang and flick balls on and likes to run into the channels. It is a nightmare for any central defender when a player looks to run in behind you. Plus, you do not score the amount of goals he has scored unless you are sharp in and around the box. He has all the attributes to make an impact in his loan spell with us but he’ll know it will also be tough for him to break into the team because the lads are doing so well. Chris Martin has made the striking role his own in our formation and is doing exceptionally well again this season. He scored 25 goals last season and has 17 already this campaign. In the wide areas, Johnny Russell is in outstanding form and Jordon Ibe has been extremely bright in the last few games. Jamie Ward is fit again and we know what he is capable of producing, as we do with Simon Dawkins. The squad is looking extremely strong and Darren will add to the quality and the competition for places in the second half of the season. He has come in from Aston Villa and Leon Best has returned to Blackburn Rovers after spending the first half of the season on loan with us. Bestie found it it hard to get into the team due to Chrissy’s fine form. Most of his appearances came as a substitute and it can be difficult to make an impact when you are getting 10 or so minutes here and there. All players want to start, that is natural, and I’m sure he would have been frustrated not to get as many games as he would have liked. Loan moves for players are usually about playing games and stepping up match fitness and sharpness. It was a shame for Bestie but I am sure he understood the situation and we wish him well for the rest of the season.

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