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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 17, 2007

Bentley believes he still has England future

David Bentley has vowed to battle for a place in the England squad after paying the price for his decision to pull out of the Under-21 party earlier this summer. Bentley has been left out of Steve McClaren's selection to face Germany in a friendly next week and the England manager has made it clear to Blackburn that the midfielder's decision not to go to the European Under-21 championships was the reason behind his omission. Bentley, 22, said: 'It's disappointing but you have to respect the decision of the England boss. 'I knew there would be consequences to my decision in the summer but I'm looking long-term and hopefully that decision will further my England career and not shorten it. 'I do not regret it at all, it was the right decision for me even if it was the wrong one for the team and although I did not want to let anyone down I had to think about my career. 'Perceptions in football are funny things and people may thing you are arrogant or are saying `I'm too good for that', but that was not the case at all. 'I'm an honest lad and I wanted to give myself every opportunity to play well this season and hopefully I will prove that. 'I now have to keep playing as well as I can, keep being honest and hopefully my chance will come again.' Bentley insisted playing for England means everything to him. He added: 'It's great to play for England - at every level that I have played I have done well and there's nothing better than stepping out onto to the pitch to play for England. 'If I can get the full cap then it will be the best day of my life.' Blackburn manager Mark Hughes said McClaren had spoken both to himself and Bentley about the reasons why the midfielder had not been selected. Hughes said: 'Steve McClaren said there was a price to pay and he said David has paid it this time. 'We are not going to make any apologies for the decision made by ourselves and David because we are convinced it was the right decision. 'David has just got to concentrate on what he does here and if he plays well I am sure he will get opportunities at senior level and Steve McClaren has said that himself to me. 'David is a young man that wants to be as successful as he can and to play at the highest level and he is at a club that will help him to do that. 'But, on the international scene, he is at the mercy of other people who have to pick him and to see the qualities that he has.'

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