( AFP ) - Steve McClaren believes David Beckham is on a mission to win over 100 caps for England and prove his critics wrong.
England's head coach insists he has no regrets about sending Beckham into international exile after the 2006 World Cup, before recalling him last season.
LA Galaxy star Beckham, 32, is back in the squad for Friday's friendly in Austria and the crucial Euro 2008 qualifier with Croatia at Wembley five days later.
Beckham is chasing 100 caps and is currently three short of his goal.
And McClaren, who checked on Beckham's fitness on a recent visit to the United States, said: "If you know Becks well, he likes proving people wrong - and I think he still has a lot to prove.
"He always has a lot to prove and he has a lot to prove over there. I read a couple of things about him not enjoying the experience over there and I couldn't have found that further from the truth.
"He loves it, he's settled and his kids go to great schools and have a great lifestyle. He's got a quieter lifestyle to before.
"He was disappointed to be injured in his first season there, but also having come back into the England squad and the impact he made in the summer, he was looking forward to capitalising on that.
"He's itching to prove these injuries are behind him and he's fit. I've said to him, 'You're in the squad and we'll see how you are.' That doesn't mean he'll play.
"But I have no regrets about what I did. I wouldn't say he's proved me wrong. I know David Beckham well and I knew what his reaction would be, and he showed that in the summer.
"It wasn't difficult to leave him out. I thought it was for the benefit of the team and players could come in and take over that mantle on the right, but I found that wasn't the case.
"And with the way he responded and the way he was playing at the time for Real Madrid, there was no hesitation in bringing him back. You pick the best players you can and he's in that group.
"David was always on the right and I believe there are three or four for the future - Shaun Wright-Phillips, Aaron Lennon, who's been injured, and David Bentley, who I think is going to be a very good player.
"But we're in a situation where we're coming to big games - and David is a big-game player."
McClaren added: "I've heard a lot of criticism of him going out to LA. One thing I build my management on is my relationship with the players - it has to be close - and going to see David out there was not just a short-term thing, but a long-term thing.
"I was looking at the lifestyle and how he was training, what the future is and will he be fit enough? It gave me a day with his people to get an insight into his motivation, not just short-term, but long-term and he wants to continue.
"When I brought him back the first time, I had a meeting with him - we had one in secret - and after five or ten minutes you knew he had the motivation to play and do well for England."