Southampton's Andrew Surman expects a warm welcome for England at St Mary's on Tuesday.
2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
7.45pm, Tuesday 5 February 2008
St.Mary's Stadium, Southampton FC
Live on Sky Sports
Drew Surman is expecting a warm Southampton welcome from his club's home fans when he and his England team-mates take on the Republic of Ireland at St Mary's on Tuesday.
Stuart Pearce's side need three points to all but secure a place in the European Championship play-offs, and in front of a sell-out Southampton crowd Surman believes England will have enough to do it.
The Saints midfielder, who has played twice for the Under-21s this season, is hoping to play some part in the game, but admits that his experience so far with England has put him in dreamland.
"We'll be playing in the stadium that I play in every week, but in terms of the actual match it'll be completely different," he told TheFA.com after visiting Orchard Primary School near Southampton with Luke Moore and Pearce on Monday.
"In international fooball you've got to treat it differently and prepare differently. But it will be nice being in my home surroundings.
"The fans are like the 12th man, it's always a good atmosphere. I think the last home game we had about 25,000 fans here, so there's always great support."
He continued: "It's going to be a tough game, no two games are the same. We're going to go out and do our best and if we play our best I'm sure we'll win the game, but we can't take anything for granted and be complacent.
"Whether I start, I'm on the bench or even if I'm in the stands, it's just great to be in the squad, but I'd obviously love to play some part in the game."
After impressing Pearce with a string of commanding performances in the Championship, the 21-year-old was given his first England call-up.
Born in South Africa, there was a possibility he could have chosen them, but admits that when England came calling, there was only one choice. It was justified when made his debut in the September Qualifier away in Montenegro.
Coming off the bench in the second half, Surman latched on to Dexter Blackstock's knock-down in the final minuite to round off a three-nil win.
"That was amazing. I'd had a run of about ten games in the team and I knew there was a qualifier coming up, and I'd also had a bit of interest from South Africa," he said.
"When England 'phoned I was very excited. It was a great honour to be called up. I know it's a cliche but I'm living the dream.
"I've lived in England for 13 years and consider myself English. It wasn't a really tough decision. I did have to think about it because playing for South Africa would also have been a big opportunity.
"But I guess that's when I knew I'd made the right choice. I managed to get on [in Montenegro] and capped it off with a goal."
He added: "It was a great experience for me and even if I don't play again, it'll still be great to look back on and say I scored on my debut for England.
To watch the full video of Andrew Surman's interview with TheFA.com, click on the link above..