Simpson backing for Nugent
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Paul Simpson is confident David Nugent could handle the step up to the England team.
Paul Simpson is confident David Nugent could handle the step up to the England senior team.
The Preston North End striker is in contention for a place in Steve McClaren's squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers with Israel and Andorra later this month.
Doubts about Darren Bent's fitness, with Michael Owen and Peter Crouch already absent, have led to Nugent being under consideration.
England coach McClaren has already admitted that he would have 'no hesitation' in promoting the promising hit-man from the Under 21s.
And his club boss Simpson has backed Nugent to deliver the goods, if he is called up to face Israel and Andorra.
"He can handle it because he has done it that many times," Simpson told Sky Sports News.
"I have been delighted with him. He has shown a real level of maturity considering all the speculation this season, linked with moves all the time, and we are really happy with him.
"It's easy to get distracted and so far he hasn't allowed that to happen.
"He is showing more maturity and he is taking it all in his stride."