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England's Pearce banking on Carrow Road support

Published: Wednesday 10 October 2012, 14.49CET
England manager Stuart Pearce hopes his side can continue their fine recent record at Carrow Road in front of a passionate crowd as they prepare to host Serbia in Friday's play-off first leg.
England's Pearce banking on Carrow Road support
Stuart Pearce is looking forward to a passionate Carrow Road atmosphere ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 10 October 2012, 14.49CET

England's Pearce banking on Carrow Road support

England manager Stuart Pearce hopes his side can continue their fine recent record at Carrow Road in front of a passionate crowd as they prepare to host Serbia in Friday's play-off first leg.

Norwich City FC's Carrow Road has been a happy hunting ground for England in recent years and coach Stuart Pearce expects another uplifting atmosphere as his side look to make home advantage count in Friday's UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off first leg against Serbia.

After successfully negotiating their way through the qualifying round as Group 8 winners, England will need to be at their best to overcome a Serbia team that topped Group 4 and boast an impressive pedigree, having reached the final in 2007.

The choice of venue should help, according to Pearce. "It's a passionate area for football, they love their team and they also love England, so they always give us great support. We have always been welcomed by the club and the fans in this neck of the woods," said Pearce, whose side have given the Carrow Road crowd two consecutive victories to cheer, edging out Romania 2-1 at this juncture two years ago, after condemning Slovakia to a 5-1 defeat en route to the 2007 finals. "We hope that successful run continues on Friday," added the 50-year-old.

Pearce also has fond memories of visiting Norwich as a player with Nottingham Forest FC and other clubs. "Norwich City always had a good football ethic and an exceptional playing surface," said the former England full-back, whose league career spanned three decades. "It was a pretty passionate place to come and play, but never hostile. The fans come to support their team and make a great atmosphere.

"This is somewhere the Under-21 side have always enjoyed playing and I'm delighted we're going back," he said. Among Pearce's fresh-faced ranks are Liverpool FC defender Jack Robinson, 19, who could make his U21 debut alongside team-mate Raheem Sterling, two years his junior. Jonjo Shelvey misses out, though, after being summoned to the senior squad for their FIFA World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

England squad
Ben Amos (Hull City AFC, on loan from Manchester United FC), Jack Butland (Birmingham City FC), Declan Rudd (Norwich City FC), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough FC).

Ryan Bennett (Norwich City FC), Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton FC), Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion FC), Tom Lees (Leeds United AFC), Jack Rodwell (Manchester City FC), Danny Rose (Sunderland AFC, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur FC), Adam Smith (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool FC).

Jordan Henderson (Liverpool FC), Tom Ince (Blackpool FC), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest FC), Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers FC), Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough FC, on loan from Chelsea FC), Nick Powell (Manchester United FC), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool FC), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool FC), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace FC).

Nathan Delfouneso (Blackpool FC, on loan from Aston Villa FC), Marvin Sordell (Bolton Wanderers FC), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Connor Wickham (Sunderland AFC).

Serbia squad
Branimir Aleksić (FK Spartak Zlatibor voda), Aleksandar Kirovski (FK Crvena zvezda), Marko Dmitrović (FK Crvena zvezda).

Nemanja Gudelj (NAC Breda), Marko Petković (OFK Beograd), Slobodan Medojević (VfL Wolfsburg), Aleksandar Pantić (FK Crvena zvezda), Miloš Kosanović (MKS Cracovia Kraków), Filip Mladenović (FK Crvena zvezda), Milan Rodić (OFK Beograd).

Vuk Mitošević (FK Vojvodina), Miloš Jojić (FK Partizan), Saša Marković (FK Partizan), Nenad Krstičić (UC Sampdoria), Filip Malbašić (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Luka Milivojević (FK Crvena zvezda), Nikola Ninković (FK Partizan), Darko Lazović (FK Crvena zvezda), Goran Čaušić (FK Rad).

Nemanja Kojić (FK Rad), Djordje Despotović (FK Spartak Zlatibor voda), Luka Milunović (FK Crvena zvezda), Ognjen Mudrinski (FK Crvena zvezda).

Last updated: 11/10/12 13.03CET

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