New England chance for Blackburn's Bentley

England boss Steve McClaren is willing to give Blackburn Rovers midfielder David Bentley a second chance.

Bentley sparked huge controversy when he refused to represent England Under 21s in the summer's European Championships in Holland. Coach Stuart Pearce was incensed, insisting that "when your country comes calling you put them first and yourself second".

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However, McClaren said: "I'll have a conversation with him and after that I'll be able to answer the questions I have.

"We look at every individual and his character and whether he has the character to play for England. I kept out of the debate. It was an Under 21 issue. He made his decision and it's in the past. How we move on from it we'll see."

Some would argue that McClaren should have joined the debate after he was brought in as an England coach who would take a much keener interest in the junior representative sides than his predecessor.

But he refused to even answer the question of whether Bentley had been 'forgiven'. He said: "You'll find out when you see what happens," although he did then agree with the sentiment that Bentley had passed up an opportunity most players would very much like to have had.

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