Jimmy urges McClaren to go for Bent

August 6, 2006

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has urged his former boss Steve McClaren to give Charlton team-mate Darren Bent a run in the England side.

Hasselbaink, who played under the new England manager at Middlesbrough, has also praised McClaren's decision to appoint Terry Venables to his backroom staff with the former England boss expected to be unveiled at the end of the week.

McClaren is expected to select Dean Ashton in his first England squad next week but Hasselbaink told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme Bent should not be overlooked.

'If he has the same kind of season as last season I don't think that Steve McClaren can not pick him,' said Hasselbaink.

'You definitely have to give him an opportunity but not an opportunity of one game - you have to give him the opportunity of five games at least, and then you can have your say about if he's done well or not.

'You can't play him for 45 minutes with players he's never played with. He needs to get comfortable first and get the confidence, then you will see he is able to do what you want him to do.'

McClaren's first major move since taking over from Sven-Goran Eriksson last week was to bring in former national team manager Venables, a move former Holland striker Hasselbaink described as 'smart'.

'He's a very good coach and I think he'll do alright.

'He is quite smart, and making Terry Venables his second man is very intelligent because Terry has got experience and has been there and I think he will need that. That's a very smart choice.

'Steve is not quiet. He likes a joke and to have his say.

'I don't think he will be afraid to put youth into the team and try things out. It will be an interesting time.'