It is a standout result in Derby County’s season to date, but Darren Bent says the manner and circumstances in which the Rams defeated West Bromwich Albion made it even sweeter.Fighting back from a goal down after Matt Phillips opened the scoring in the first half, the Rams sealed a 2-1 victory over the Baggies in their own back yard to claim a place in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Bent himself got Steve McClaren’s men back on level terms in the West Midlands with a sublime strike from 20-yards out just after half-time, before Tom Ince stunned the hosts by curling a free kick into the back of the net just three minutes later.
The first – Bent’s strike – matched the goal he scored against another West Midlands-based outfit, Wolves, back in November and when you combine his goal, the fight back and the result together, it made for a perfect afternoon for the 32-year-old.
Speaking to RamsTV, he said: “It was the only option I had at that time. I thought Abdoul Camara had a fantastic game today, he gave me the assist and I just looked to hit the target, but thankfully it went straight into the top corner.
“It’s always nice to get goals. People that have watched me over the years associate me with tap ins and I’ll take on kind of goal, but the FA Cup is a special competition and for us to advance into the next round by beating a Premier League side, it doesn’t get much better than that.” The biggest thing to come from the victory over Tony Pulis’ high-flying outfit, in Bent’s opinion, is the manner in which Derby competed with a Premier League side.
Labelling the win a ‘fantastic result’ for the club, the frontman highlighted the squad’s determination to get a result against the odds as a defining factor on the contest.
Bent added: “When you are playing these Premier League sides you have to show them respect and we had to be cautious because they have some quality players.
“We were disappointed to go in a goal down. In the second half, we didn’t have anything to lose and we went out to have a right go.
“When you look at the chances that we created compared to them, I think we deserved it.
“It’s a fantastic result. I thought we played really well in the first half, but we showed that we could compete with a Premier League side.
“We came out in the second half with our sleeves rolled up and were determined to get a result. The gaffer said that we needed to get back in it as quickly as possible.
“We managed to do that and then Incey (Tom Ince) scored a great free kick. From there, we managed to hold on.”
Bent also reserved a word for the 5,351 travelling supporters that packed out the away end at the Hawthorns.
He added: “They were fantastic. Away from home, they always seem to pack out the away end are in good voice.
“When they are behind us like that they are like an extra player. They lifted the lads and when they are like that we can turn in those sort of performances, one that for me is up there with some of our very best.”
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