U21s relishing Norwich return
Wednesday, 10 October, 2012
Stuart Pearce looking forward to taking Young Lions back to Carrow Road
Stuart Pearce is relishing a return trip to Carrow Road with England Under-21s on Friday and admits it was always in his thoughts.
After successfully negotiating their Euro 2013 qualifying group as winners, the Young Lions have been drawn to face Serbia over two legs for a place in next summer’s Finals.
And, after winning their last play-off in Norwich two years ago, Pearce says he wanted to get back to Norfolk where the fans and club were so welcoming.
England beat Romania 2-1 last time at Carrow Road, which helped secure a place at the 2011 Euros in Denmark. Prior to that, a side lead by Pearce also enjoyed a 5-0 win over Slovakia as they prepared for the 2007 Finals.
“It’s a passionate area for football, they love their team and they also love England, so always give us great support at Carrow Road,” Pearce told TheFA.com.
“In return, we have given them two victories to cheer in recent years. A win against Romania in the play-off two years ago, and a 5-0 victory against Slovakia before we headed out to the Finals in Holland. We hope that successful run continues on Friday.
“This play-off has been pencilled in for Norwich for a long while, simply because of how we have always been welcomed by the club and the fans in this neck of the woods.
“This is somewhere the Under-21s have always enjoyed playing and I’m delighted we’re going back.”
Pearce also recalled his own days as a player coming to Carrow Road with the likes of Manchester City, Nottingham Forest.
"Norwich City always had a good football ethic and an exceptional playing surface," he remembers.
"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.
"I always enjoyed playing there, and always enjoyed bringing the Under-21s to Norwich too."
Tickets for the game are still on sale priced at £5 for children and £10 for adults. To order online, click here