sport

Bent: I'm ready to play

Darren Bent claims he is fit and ready to aid Fulham's survival bid and admits to growing increasingly frustrated at life on the sidelines.

Cottagers boss Felix Magath left the England international on the bench for a 3-1 defeat to Everton on Sunday, citing Bent's failure to come through training on Thursday for his lack of involvement.

Bent, who is on a season-long loan from Aston Villa, concedes that he limped out of the session in question, but insists he was raring to go ahead of the Toffees clash.

The 30-year-old frontman now admits that he is facing up to an uncertain future - long and short term - with it difficult to see how will get much action before a disappointing campaign, which could see Fulham relegated, comes to a close.

Bent said in The Guardian: "I trained on Saturday. I'd taken a knock and limped off quite early in training on Thursday but I've trained since and felt fine on Sunday.

"It is just disappointing. I was fine to play. I am disappointed not to feature, especially in games like the Everton match where you feel that you can definitely affect the game, when your team needs a goal. Over the years I've managed to produce quite a few of those.

"When the team got back to 1-1 you are thinking: 'You can make a difference here'. But once again it was not to be. That part is disappointing.

"When you are a substitute in any game it is disappointing. All you can do is stay positive and keep working.

"It is getting difficult to see how I can contribute now as I can't play next week against Villa, because of the loan.

"I am here, up for selection and more than willing to play. That is what I do, that is what I love to do. That will never change. At this stage of the season you need goals. You need firepower. If I am called upon, I am ready to go. If I start up front, I am ready to go."

Defeat to Everton at Craven Cottage has left Fulham rooted to the foot of the Premier League table, five points from safety with six games to play.

Bent added: "It is going to be hard to stay up but we have still got to keep believing and keep working hard.

"I thought we played well against Everton. There's no reason why we can't win four matches. Fulham have escaped over the years when they've been written off but people will have to step up."