Bentley ready to deliver
Blackburn midfielder David Bentley insists he will 'definitely be ready' to take his chance if selected for England on Friday.
By Robin Hackett
Last Updated: 14/11/07 9:38am
Blackburn midfielder David Bentley insists he will 'definitely be ready' to take his chance if selected for England in the friendly against Austria on Friday night, live on Sky Sports 1.
England are desperately hoping Israel can get a result against Russia the following day so that qualification will be back in their own hands for the final game against Croatia on Wednesday.
With the players knowing that three points against Croatia is a must, Bentley believes the pressure will be on against Austria.
But the 23-year-old feels he has the mental strength to cope and show what he can do on the international stage.
"As a manager, you are bound to worry about how younger players can handle the pressure and big occasions," he told the Daily Mirror.
"There's so much riding on the next few days - so much hype and pressure - because when it comes to England games there are no friendlies or low-key games.
"But I believe my head is strong enough and come Friday I will handle it. I'm so up for this it's not true.
"If I get the opportunity then I will definitely be ready to take it. I'm just hoping to get the chance to show what I can do.
"I feel I'm in the best form of my career, but I don't feel I've reached my peak yet. I can improve a lot as a player.
"Playing for England and being involved in the squads has definitely helped me - it gives you extra belief."
McClaren backingBentley also gave his backing to under-fire boss Steve McClaren.
"I like the way he is as a manager. Everyone enjoys what he has to say and everyone is behind him.
"He's given me my chance in the squad and now, for me, it's like a progression.
"It's almost like being back in the youth team working my way up."