Duo back in for Under-21s
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Darren Bent and Kieran Richardson are back in the England Under-21 squad.Darren Bent and Kieran Richardson are back in the England Under-21 squad for the play-off against France.
The duo have been involved in the senior squad this season but are at Peter Taylor's disposal for the European Under-21 Championship double-header.
Charlton striker Bent and Manchester United midfielder Richardson, therefore, will not feature in England's friendly against Argentina next weekend.
Taylor was buoyed by the availability of Bent and Richardson for the games, with the first leg at White Hart Lane next Friday and the return in Nancy on November 15.
"I'm delighted to have Darren and Kieran back in the squad," said Taylor.
"Both of them played an important part in getting us to the play-offs and players of their quality will certainly add to the squad.
"They have done extremely well to get into the senior squad but Sven and I both felt that it was important for them to be part of the Under-21s setup for what will be two very testing matches.
"All the Under-21s players will be encouraged by the fact that if they perform well Sven is a manager who will give young players a chance."
England coach Sven Goran Eriksson feels the Under-21 side will benefit from the inclusion of Bent and Richardson, and insists the decision is no reflection on their prospects with the senior team.
The Swede said: "These play-off matches are big occasions and it was important for Darren and Kieran's international experience to play against one of the best young teams in Europe.
"They are both still very much part of my plans for the senior squad but I know they will be looking forward to showing what they can do in competitive games against top-class opposition."
Squad: Camp (Derby), Carson (Liverpool), Steele (Manchester United); Baines, R Taylor (Wigan), Davies (West Brom), Ferdinand (West Ham), Hoyte (Sunderland), Onuoha (Manchester City), S Taylor (Newcastle); Whittingham, Milner (Aston Villa), Ambrose, Thomas (Charlton), Huddlestone (Wolves), Lennon (Tottenham), O'Neil (Portsmouth), Reo-Coker (West Ham), Richardson (Manchester United), Welsh (Hull); Ashton (Norwich), Bent (Charlton), Cole (Chelsea), Jerome (Cardiff), Moore (Aston Villa).