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By ESPN Staff

Rested Bent raring to go, Curbs warns Boro

Charlton boss Alan Curbishley has warned Middlesbrough that striker Darren Bent is fired up after being left on the bench against Everton.

Bent was rested for the goalless draw with David Moyes' side on Saturday to guarantee his availability for Wednesday night's FA Cup quarter-final replay at Middlesbrough.

And while Curbishley feels it was a necessary step as Marcus Bent is cup-tied, he knows it was not a popular decision with the prolific 22-year-old marksman.

'Darren wasn't happy at being on the bench because he wanted to play. He's like the other young players we've got here - they want to play every week,' he said.

'But with Luke Young injured I couldn't afford to have my two England players unavailable for Boro. As much as he wanted to play, Marcus Bent is not available.

'If something happened to Darren, then both strikers would have been out for tonight. I couldn't allow that to happen. Darren is fully fit and raring to go.

'He is up there with the best strikers because he doesn't need too many chances to score. If he gets presented with one, we'd like to think he'd take it.'

Whereas Charlton rely too heavily on Darren Bent for goals, Boro boss Steve McClaren is blessed with options up front in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Aiyegbeni Yakubu and Mark Viduka.

'Steve is a very lucky man to have three strikers like that. Our club couldn't afford that strike force. There are three top players there,' said Curbishley.

'He's managed to keep them all fresh in recent months. Because of their results, the rotation system has been acceptable to the strikers.

'They were rotated again last weekend and will probably change for us.'

A semi-final appointment against West Ham awaits the winners at the Riverside, with Curbishley describing tonight's clash as one of the biggest since he was appointed Charlton's player-coach in 1990.

'We all know what's at stake. It's a big, big game for everybody. It's certainly up there as one of the biggest games I've been involved in at the club,' he said.

'It's a couple of games away from the final and we haven't been here for a long, long while. We went to Chelsea and got a result in the League Cup so we can go to the Riverside and get a result.

'We're expected to take 5,000 fans to the game. That's tremendous and shows how much we think about it.

'Every year we attack the FA Cup in the same way, we don't take any liberties with it in terms of team selection and try to do our best.

'But it has evaded us for whatever reason and this year we have managed to stay in it. Boro is a great opportunity to keep our season alive and to get into a final.

'Clubs like ourselves appreciate the FA Cup is an opportunity to be successful. We're a Premiership side so we have to have a chance of winning it.'