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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 16, 2007

Bentley is right for England, insists Hughes

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes insists there is no need for David Bentley to say sorry for turning his back on the under-21s and that the winger is good enough to stake a claim for England.

Steve McClaren names his squad to face Germany in a friendly on Friday and Bentley is a man in form, according to his manager.

The England boss is refusing to reveal whether the 22-year-old is in his plans but intends to phone him.

However, questions are still being asked about the player's attitude.

Bentley withdrew from the England Under-21 squad with Blackburn's blessing on the eve of the European Championships this summer, claiming he was exhausted.

Hughes remains convinced it was the right decision and he could not resist a swipe at Stuart Pearce, who was in charge of the squad.

He said: 'I do not think there is anything to forgive. Why David was not at the Under-21 championships has been well documented.

'Perhaps it could have been handled a bit better by the England management team.

'We were fully supportive of the Under-21s last season - Matt Derbyshire was involved.

'But we felt David was in desperate need of a rest and I am convinced it was the right decision.

'We should be looking at David vying for a place in the senior squad rather than focussing on last year.'

McClaren will not get drawn into the debate.

Speaking at the sponsoredbyyou.com event hosted by England sponsors Nationwide, he said: 'You look at every individual player and his character.

'You look at whether they have the character to play for England and wear the shirt. Everyone is assessed by that.'

David Beckham is expected to be named By McClaren with Shaun Wright-Phillips the only other alternative on the right wing at the moment.

Bentley was outstanding in the B international against Albania at Turf Moor and McClaren appreciated his contribution that night.

McClaren said: 'David Bentley did very well as did quite a few other players who were brought in.

'We had a good look at these players. The squad is picked. I have it in my mind.

'Who is included? You will find out on Friday.'

Hughes claims Bentley has much to offer.

'He is one of the most outstanding players in English football, ' said the Blackburn boss.

'Everyone knows my feelings about David and his ability.

'He should be given a chance. If he was he would not let anyone down.

'He is a player of great talent. I would have thought England would want to bring him on and test him at senior level.

'But I am not privy to who is going to be picked or who is not.'