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By ESPN Staff

Contrite Bentley relishing England chance

David Bentley has urged England fans to judge him on his performances and not on his controversial withdrawal from the Under-21 squad.

The Blackburn midfielder pulled out of this summer's UEFA Under-21 Championships in Holland, citing fatigue.

The 23-year-old was heavily criticised for the decision, especially as it was made so late that England were unable to call upon a replacement.

As punishment for his withdrawal, Bentley was denied the opportunity to make his senior debut against Germany last month but is now in the squad for the crucial European Championship qualifiers against Israel and Russia.

He said in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph: 'It's a great feeling to be called up and I'm looking forward to it.

'I'm going to go there, work as hard as I can and give 100%, and hopefully it will all work out for me.

'The Under-21 thing is all behind me and it's up to me now.

'Hopefully, I will just be judged on what I do on the football pitch and nothing else.

'I will go there and try my hardest and be honest. I'll give it everything I've got and hopefully that will be good enough for everyone.

'If I get the chance to play, I will grab it with both hands, and I will play as if it's my last game.'