England Under-21s boss delighted to be at Carrow Road
AHEAD of tonight’s vital Euro 2013 play-off first leg against Serbia, England Under-21s manager Stuart Pearce has heaped praise on his Carrow Road hosts for the hospitality he and his side have received in the build-up.
The Young Lions stand on the brink of qualification for a fourth successive European U-21s Championship Finals when they face a tough Serbian side in Friday’s 6pm kick-off at Carrow Road, with City stars Declan Rudd and Ryan Bennett both involved in the squad.
The U-21s boss, who also guided Team GB’s men’s football team through the London Olympics revealed that Norwich was always likely to be the venue for such a crucial match.
He told Canaries Player: “Over a year ago when we were asked if we got to the play-offs where we’d want to go, this name came out straight away.
“I said ‘look we want to come back to Norwich’. Why do we want to come back here? Well the two times previous to this we’ve had a sell-out.
“We’re going head-to-head with the senior team this time so it will be a little bit difficult for us, but still at this stage we’ve sold many thousands of tickets and the result we got here against Romania two years ago was fantastic, the playing surface is great - it doesn’t come any better than this at Under-21 level.
“From Colney to the hotel we stay at, they’re bending over backwards to help us in any way they can.
“Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood we know very well, and Neil Adams supplied an Under-18s team for us to play against on Tuesday just to help our training.
“The players’ desire to want to help and want to please has been fantastic I must say, and that’s something I’ll compliment Norwich about – their young players and their attitude towards training, which is brilliant.
“The facilities here are fantastic – as good as you get anywhere in the country, as well as the standard of pitch.”
“This is a big game for us at U-21 level, make no mistake. The two times we’ve been here before the crowd have created a fantastic atmosphere in the stadium for the players.
“Some of these players are used to playing in front of big crowds and some of them who are taking the field for us are not.
“I think we need to create a good environment, and we need everyone to get behind us and give us that push that I know Serbia will have back in their home land.”
Tickets for tonight’s 6pm kick off at Carrow Road are still available,click here for details.