Former duo to return for Under-21 match

DARREN Bent and Darren Ambrose return to Portman Road on Tuesday with England Under-21s when they entertain Moldova.Although Bent was overlooked for the World Cup by Sven-Goran Eriksson, new full England boss Steve McClaren insists the former Blues star has a future under his stewardship.

By Derek Davis

DARREN Bent and Darren Ambrose return to Portman Road on Tuesday with England Under-21s when they entertain Moldova.

Although Bent was overlooked for the World Cup by Sven-Goran Eriksson, new full England boss Steve McClaren insists the former Blues star has a future under his stewardship.

The 22-year-old Charlton striker badly cut himself while making a sandwich and has trained with a heavily strapped hand, which interrupted his pre-season.


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Along with Liverpool keeper Scott Carson and Arsenal teenager Theo Walcott, Bent is being used in Peter Taylor's European championship qualifier rather than the senior international friendly against Greece next Wednesday.

Bent will be looking for his 10th goal for England at Under-21 level in what will be his 15th appearance, while Ambrose would make his 10th appearance if he plays on Tuesday. He has scored twice for the Under-21s.

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Should Bent do enough to win a call-up from McClaren for their European Championship qualifier against Andorra in September it would net Ipswich £200,000 as part of the transfer deal that took him to Charlton. Town will get a further £200,000 when Bent plays his second competitive match for England.

While Bent will de disappointed to not be involved in the senior set-up, while West Ham striker Dean Ashton gets his chance to shine, Taylor is delighted to have the prolific finisher available to him in what could be his last game in charge of the Under-21s.

Taylor said: “For Darren in particular it will be a return to familiar territory in Ipswich.

“Portman Road has been a fantastic venue for England matches at various levels in the past and I'm sure we will get great backing from the local fans.”

England face Moldova and Switzerland in their qualifying group and have announced a 23-man squad for Tuesday's game, which kicks off at 8pm.

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