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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 24, 2008

Lennon hopes to get another England chance

Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon has been given encouragement from within Fabio Capello's backroom staff that a return to the England fold is a possibility.

Lennon, 21, was taken to the 2006 World Cup and came off the bench three times in Germany but the last of his nine caps was 18 months ago for the win against Andorra that saw England fans turn on their own team.

The former Leeds player has since been in the under-21s under the guidance of Stuart Pearce, who is part of Capello's coaching staff and has provided the England boss with the likes of Theo Walcott this season.

"I have been back with the under-21s this season and the coach, Stuart Pearce, tells me that I have to keep playing my own game, and that my chance will come,'' Lennon said.

"It has not been nice to be out of the England squad. Having a taste of it in the 2006 World Cup was great, so my aim is definitely to get involved again.''

Steve McClaren, Capello's predecessor, highlighted Lennon's pace as a key element to his reign when he took over from Sven-Goran Eriksson - but the youngster struggled to live up to his billing as David Beckham's natural successor on the right.

As McClaren's grip on his job loosened, Beckham was brought out of exile and Lennon then also slipped behind Shaun Wright-Phillips,David Bentley and this season Walcott.

"I was happy to see Theo doing well, but [his emergence] was another step back for me, and there are still quite a few players in front of me in the set-up,'' Lennon admitted.

After helping defeat Blackburn on Sunday, Rovers boss Paul Ince admitted Lennon's pace would trouble any full-back - he had just seen Martin Olsson sent off for two fouls on the winger.

It has always been Lennon's final ball or 'end product' that the youngster has struggled with but the appointment of Harry Redknapp as Spurs boss has made a difference.

Redknapp has worked on Lennon delivering crosses earlier, and the Blackburn win was the first Premier League start for the winger under the new boss.

"It's something we have to work on with him,'' said Redknapp. "I've worked with him on that this week - getting the balls into the space quicker. If he carries it another yard everyone gets back and there is not space. Maybe if he gets by he has to play the ball that split second earlier.

"He's learning. If he's intelligent he'll take it in and put it in his game. It will improve his crossing.''

Meanwhile, Redknapp has assured Kevin-Prince Boateng he has a future at White Hart Lane.

"I think he has got a big future,'' Redknapp said. "I've been impressed with him. He's a Germany Under-21 international and voted the best young German player a couple of years ago.

"He's 6ft 1in and you have to get the best out of him. If we don't, there is something wrong with us. The coaches won't be doing their jobs if they don't make a player out of him.''

Boateng was out of favour under previous boss Juande Ramos and was not registered for the UEFA Cup, so he will not make the trip to face Nijmegen this week.

Ledley King is also set to stay at home to rest his knee in preparation for Sunday's clash against Everton.

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