Bent and U-21s return to Hull
DARREN Bent has the chance to complete a unique hat-trick for the England Under-21s next March.Peter Taylor's side will play their key European Championship qualifier with Germany at his club's ground the KC Stadium, writes Derek Davis.
DARREN Bent has the chance to complete a unique hat-trick for the England Under-21s next March.
Peter Taylor's side will play their key European Championship qualifier with Germany at his club's ground the KC Stadium, writes Derek Davis.
Blues striker Bent has twice come off the bench at the Hull City ground to score last-minute winners, against Serbia & Montenegro and Holland – with both games finishing 3-2.
Bent has also had scoring success against Germany in the past. He scored twice against them at Under-19 level when the bitter rivals met at Portman Road.
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Darren Ambrose, now at Newcastle United, and Matt Bloomfield, who joined Wycombe Wanderers, were Town players at the time and also played in that game
England currently lead their qualifying group, with three wins and a draw from their first four matches.
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But they will be given a severe test by Germany, who have collected seven points from their opening trio of matches.
Taylor said: "The Germans are always difficult opponents, with outstanding individuals, and I would expect this to be a key encounter in deciding the group.
"We may have lost last week's friendly in Spain but we have started our qualifying campaign strongly and have a balanced and talented squad.
"I've lost in friendlies before so I'm used to that. There's no problem with that. It's qualifying games that are the most important thing. I think we can play a lot better than we did in Spain.
"I think it is the first time we haven't played particularly well in the six matches since I've come back but I have every confidence in the squad of players.
"With, hopefully, a big crowd behind us creating a great atmosphere, we will go into the German game with a lot of confidence.
"I know that the Hull public create a very special atmosphere and have provided massive support for the under-21s in the past."
England Under-21s have an unbeaten record in three meetings with Germany since reunification in 1990, winning twice and drawing once.