Stuart Pearce hopes his players can treat Wembley as their home and be inspired to perform there.
England v Portugal
UEFA European U21 Championship Group 3 Qualifier
7.45pm, Friday 5 September 2008
Stuart Pearce, the England Under-21s Head Coach, believes that playing at Wembley will help inspire his players to victory over Portugal on Friday night, in the final game of their European Championship qualifying group.
The 46-year-old, who won 78 senior international caps for England, is positive that it is important for the development of his young chargers that they gain experience of playing on the hallowed turf, as for many it will be for the first time.
The former Manchester City manager, who has been in charge of the Under-21s since February last year, said: "It is vital that the players get some experience of Wembley. We spoke at The FA many months ago about bringing the game here. It will be a fantastic experience for them.
"What we really don't want is a group of players, if any of them are lucky enough to break into the seniors, to step out for the seniors and for it to be the first time they have played at Wembley.
"So when they step out on the big stage, maybe for the seniors in months, or maybe weeks, to come it is not new to them; it doesn't daunt them - it is their home. It should be treated as a home ground. I expect my players to come here and raise their game."
Pearce has steered the Under-21s to the top of Group Three and they need only a draw to ensure a play-off game en route to the European Championship finals which will take place in Sweden in May next year. But he insists that his players will be working their socks off to be sure of the full three points against Portugal.
"We have got a nice team spirit and camaraderie in the camp and this is our home pitch and should be treated in that manner," Pearce added.
"The players like each others' company when they get together on a monthly basis.
"Our aim is winning the whole tournament, and we know what that will entail. So there won't be any relaxation from the players on Friday.
"This is another step of the way - our first aim was to get out of the group and it will be good to knock the Portuguese out, if we can, as they are a strong team."
TICKET DETAILS v PORTUGAL
If you haven't already got your ticket, then they can still be purchased from the East ticket booth at Wembley from 12 noon on Friday and payment can be made with either cash or card.
Tickets can also be purchased via a fast track entry into the stadium at turnstile M from 5:45pm. Payment here is by cash only.
All tickets available will be £10 Adult and £5 concession.