McClaren swayed Tigers new boy
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink has revealed Steve McClaren played a key role in his decision to join Hull City. The Holland international left Celtic at the end of last season before pitching up at FC Twente, where McClaren is manager, to keep up his fitness. Vennegoor of Hesselink, 30, started his career at Twente and used his time at his former club to quiz McClaren - a one-time Tigers player himself - on Hull's ambition. Having received a favourable report he decided to put pen to paper at the KC Stadium. "I still had an ambition to play abroad but it was a gentleman's agreement I could train there," he said. "Everyone knows me there, I am homegrown there and played in the first team for six years. It was a nice experience and it kept me fit. "I spoke with Mr McClaren because he was also a player here and he liked it here very much. He said good things about the club." Vennegoor of Hesselink, who is hoping to win a Holland recall in time for next summer's World Cup, could make his first start at the weekend against Birmingham. "I wanted to have a challenge and still had an ambition to prove myself," he said. "I waited long enough and a great thing came along. "I wanted to prove myself at the highest level and I can do that at this club. "Fitness-wise there is nothing wrong with me and I am ready to go. It has been long enough since I played an official game. "With the result last week, this is an important game." Meanwhile, Hull boss Phil Brown admits he is frustrated by the absence of former England international Anthony Gardner, who had an injury-plagued first season with the club. The 28-year-old made only eight appearances after his £2.5million move from Tottenham last year and has not featured since the defeat of Bolton four weeks ago. Brown said: "Where Anthony is concerned people are still levelling criticism about the fact he hasn't played 38 games in a season for a long time. "He is going to have that doubt hanging over him until he can dispel that. "I was hoping this season was going to be the season, but he has been very unfortunate again. "Once he gets past that we have got to make sure when he is capable of playing first-team football again it is for a number of games and not just one or two."
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