Darren Bent admits he is alarmed by Steve Bruce’s admission that Andy Carroll is only training twice a week at Newcastle United.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Tottenham and England striker says that the Magpies are in desperate need of his goals up front and that they do not have the time to wait for him to get back to his best.

Carroll rejoined his boyhood side on a free transfer this summer but is yet to get back up to full fitness, Bruce admitting he is not taking part in first-team training every day of the week.

Bent says that former Spurs defender Ledley King is proof that a lack of training does not a player cannot perform at their best but says that Carroll is a long way off his old teammate’s quality.

Bent told Football Insider: “If he was fully fit and they signed him, I would say great signing, bring him back home, get a lot out of him.

“I played with Ledley King, the best centre-half I ever played with in my life. When I first joined, he trained once a week and by the time I left, he wasn’t even training once a week. Andy Carroll’s not in the same ballpark as Ledley King.

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“That’s an anomaly, that shouldn’t happen that he doesn’t train and plays as well as he did. With Andy Carroll at the minute, he’s training twice a week – they must be having to wrap him up in cotton wool a lot. Unfortunately as a centre forward, you don’t have that luxury, you don’t have that time.

“Newcastle at the minute need goals and points now. They don’t have time to go over the next couple of months, let’s ease him in. They need him now. You think ‘When is it going to get better?'”

Carroll, who has a total of 94 appearances for the Magpies since coming through the youth ranks on Tyneside, has played a total of just 89 minutes in his four appearances from the bench this season.

He will be missing for the club’s home clash against Wolves on Sunday with a minor injury problem, the Magpies looking to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea last weekend.

In other Newcastle United news, Bent admits he is delighted by an official update from St James’ Park.