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By ESPN Staff
Nov 10, 2006

Bolton skipper Nolan makes England pledge

Bolton captain Kevin Nolan has pledged his international future to England despite looking set to miss out on Steve McClaren's latest squad announced tomorrow.

Nolan has been approached by Steve Staunton over switching his allegiance to the Republic of Ireland but he remains convinced he can force his way into McClaren's England plans.

Nolan said: 'I want to play for England and hopefully that time will come but I have got to be on the pitch doing the business first. Hopefully I will do that and the call-up will come.'

Nolan's chances seemed all but scuppered after an untimely three-match ban which will end for his club's difficult trip to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United on Saturday.

But Nolan is only intent on ending the Trotters' run of three successive defeats, adding: 'It is not something I have worried about. It would be weird to get a call-up now without playing.'

Bolton assistant boss Sammy Lee insists the importance of Nolan's return to the team cannot be understated after last week's dismal loss to Wigan had boos ringing around the Reebok Stadium.

Lee said: 'The mere fact that Kevin has not been there for three games and we have lost all three of them certainly suggests that he has been missed.

'Obviously nobody, least of all Kevin, would like to say he is the only reason why we have lost those games, but he remains a very, very influential part of our set-up.

'In any game you need a leader and Kevin is certainly one of those. He is aggressive in both his encouragement and his participation and it is great to have him back.'

Bolton have no new injury concerns for the trip to Yorkshire, with El-Hadji Diouf set to keep his place despite personal problems this week, and Ricardo Gardner still some weeks from full fitness.