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By ESPN Staff

Bentley thanks Rovers for England call-up

David Bentley has pinpointed rekindling his enthusiasm for playing football with Blackburn as a key reason for him breaking into the full England squad.

Bentley admitted he had 'personal problems' earlier in his career and lost his enjoyment for the game during his time at Arsenal and the early days at Ewood Park.

But a heart to heart talk with his family and a realisation of what he had to achieve to fulfil his ambitions in the game was the catalyst for Bentley's upturn in fortunes.

A successful season with Rovers led to Bentley being picked for the England `B' international with Albania at Turf Moor and he was named the official man of the match.

Now he can look forward to being involved with the senior side for the showpiece clash with Brazil at Wembley on June 1 plus the vital Euro qualifier in Estonia five days later.

Bentley told PA Sport: 'I had a few problems early in my career. I didn't enjoy it. I didn't want to play football. Now I really enjoy playing football.

'It was hard at times. There were a lot of things in my personal life that didn't really go well and at times I didn't want to play football.

'It was in the Arsenal days and in the early days at Blackburn. But I got the cobwebs off me and I knew I had to get my head down and apply myself right every day in training and I am reaping the benefits now.

'Why did I change? I just sat down with the family and had a talk, looked at myself and realised I needed to perform to a higher level.

'I wanted to go to the highest possible level and I needed to put in the hard work. That's what I have done and things are going well.

'Everytime you step out onto a pitch, you've got to want to play football and that's what I've done every week this season. I've found a good place where I am happy playing football.

'I didn't have things the easy way. I had to do it the hard way and I've done that - and I'm the one who is coming out on top now.'

Bentley is determined to make the most of his England call-up after demonstrating his pace and skill against the Albanians on Friday evening.

He said: 'I went out there knowing I had to step up the ladder again and I had to perform. Everytime I go out onto a football pitch I have to prove people wrong and show that I am good player and that I can handle it at this level.

'Hopefully I can make the next step up. Why not? Everytime I step out onto a football pitch I aim to put on a good performance and not to let people down.

'When you put on an England shirt, you need to perform well and that's what Steve McClaren expects. He expects nothing less and a lot of passion and quality. That's what he wants and anything less is not good enough.

'When I put on an England shirt, I look to put on a good performance for anyone who is watching, those sat in the pub or at home or in the stands. That's what I play for.

'It is a dream of mine to be in the full squad and I will grab it with both hands if I am given the opportunity to play against Brazil or Estonia.

'There are some world class players in the squad and to be part of it is great but I will keep trying to prove myself. I've just got to carry on performing. I've got to get better as a player and that's what I keep on doing.'