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Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Monday, 20 September 2010 13:18 UK

England goal lifted me - Sunderland striker Darren Bent

Darren Bent
Bent scored a 95th minute equaliser to snatch a point for Sunderland against Arsenal in the Premier League

Sunderland striker Darren Bent has said breaking his England goal drought has been a key factor in his recent impressive club form.

The 26-year-old, who took his tally to six for the season in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal, admitted his strike against Switzerland was a vital boost.

"It was like a weight taken off my shoulders," Bent told BBC Newcastle.

"I didn't want to be a player remembered for playing for their country but not getting a goal."

We definitely deserved a point, especially after our first-half performance - we didn't sit back like a lot of teams do against the big boys

Darren Bent

Bent added: "I'm getting better season by season, I've become more experienced than when I first came into this league and it's given me confidence."

His injury-time equaliser against Arsenal on Saturday helped extend Sunderland's unbeaten home record against the Gunners to three games, and Bent said that the side's attacking attitude deserved to be rewarded.

"We played really well and made some good chances.

"The one that springs to mind was the opportunity that fell to Cristian Riveros, which he headed when he should have volleyed.

"But late goals happen, and we definitely deserved it, especially down to our first half performance. We didn't sit back like a lot of teams do against the big boys.

"We went and had a go, and we got our rewards in the end."

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