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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
England need Bent, says Holland
By Alistair Magowan

Matt Holland (left) and Darren Bent were team-mates at Ipswich as well
When he was coming up through the ranks there his attitude was first class
Matt Holland
Charlton midfielder Matt Holland has backed team-mate Darren Bent for a place in England's World Cup squad.

Bent, 22, has enjoyed a prolific first season with the Addicks, scoring 20 goals to his name and is pushing for a place in Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad.

"He's the top English goalscorer in the Premiership this season, he's got a terrific attitude, and you pick the men in form," he told BBC Sport.

"I'm not in a position to pick the England squad but I would pick him."

Holland was part of the Republic of Ireland squad that made it to the second round of the World Cup in 2002.

He feels Bent's chances of going to Germany will depend on how many forwards Eriksson decides to take with him.

Holland added: "I think if Sven-Goran Eriksson is going to pick five strikers then Darren will definitely go.

"If he's only going to take four and take eight midfielders then it might be slightly different."

Barring injuries Eriksson's first choice strikers at the finals will be Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Newcastle's Michael Owen, while he has indicated Peter Crouch of Liverpool is likely to travel.

That could leave Bent fighting it out with Tottenham's Jermain Defoe for the final place in the 23-man squad.

Holland knows all about Bent's ability, having seen him emerge as a teenager during his time at Ipswich.

He added: "When he was coming up through the ranks there his attitude was first class.

"He was first on and last off the training field. If he goes through on goal and he misses it he's not the type to let it affect him.

"The next chance he gets he'll hit the target more often than not so I would definitely take him.

"He offers goals, which is what he's done best this season, he's got great pace, he gets in behind defences.

"In a tight game he can come on and use that pace and energy that he's got to England's advantage.

"You know that if you're in trouble you can put the ball over the top of the defence and more often than not he's going to get there first because he is that quick."

Curbishley given Holland backing
06 Apr 06 |  Charlton Athletic


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