Bent will bounce back - Bruce

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Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has been delighted with Darren Bent's contribution in recent weeks - but knows the striker has not.

Bent is one of the Barclays Premier League's leading goalscorers this term with eight but has not found the net in his last three club outings.

Bruce expects that will rankle with the 25-year-old, and said: "A goalscorer like Darren is never happy unless he scores a goal. Other centre forwards are happy to contribute and take a big pride in making goals for other people. Darren Bent is single-minded and wants to score a goal."

He added: "I believe he will score because he keeps getting chances. He always has done in his career, so he's not going to stop now.

"He gives you a terrific work ethic, he is a real team player. If he doesn't score he contributes to the team.

"West Ham, for instance, I thought was arguably his best performance for us. He didn't score but did everything but."

Bent's scoreless sequence has actually coincided with a general team drought and a run of just one point from three games. Yet Bruce was still pleased with the performances in defeat to Spurs and the draw with West Ham.

The results have seen Sunderland slip to eighth after a superb start to the campaign but Bruce is confident the goals and points will soon pick up.

"We have not taken our chances," he said. "If I am being critical, that is the area where we need to improve.

"As a manager you always try to be positive. I don't think I have ever been involved in a team that has gone to White Hart Lane and taken them on like that, played them the way we did. Any other game, we would come away with a victory."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Darren Bent

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