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Pearce ready for penalties

England Under-21s manager Stuart Pearce says his team are prepared for penalties should their crucial second leg of the Euro 2013 qualifying playoff against Serbia on Tuesday need a shootout to settle the tie.

• Rodwell out of Under-21 clash

England take a 1-0 lead to Serbia after a Craig Dawson penalty at Carrow Road on Friday gifted them an important advantage.

Should Serbia pull off a 1-0 result on Tuesday then penalties will be needed to decide which team will reach the finals in Israel next summer.

But the former England international, who missed a penalty at the 1990 World Cup before scoring one at Euro 96, believes his side's preparation for penalties should put them in good stead.

"We're all ready for penalties as we normally are," Pearce told the Football Association's official website. "We practice them after every training session.

And Dawson, top scorer for the Under-21s with five goals during qualifying, will be first on Pearce's list.

"If he [Craig] is playing he'll be our penalty taker," Pearce said. "No doubt some people were squirming around when a defender went up to take the penalty on Friday.

"But when you've seen Craig Dawson take penalties for the best part of a year and a half, and you've got all the stats on the board, the penalty order speaks for itself."

Meanwhile, Under-21s captain Jordan Henderson is well aware of the threat Serbia will pose, especially in front of a packed home support.

A similar turnout is expected in Serbia to the 17,000-strong crowd that turned up for the first leg at Carrow Road on Friday.

"Serbia were a decent side and have some good players, they made it hard for us at home," Henderson said.

"We know it'll be another tough game, they are at home, playing in front of a big crowd, so they'll be up for it and we have to make sure we match them and that we're up for it.

"Serbia defended quite well but Raheem [Sterling] Incey [Tom Ince], Wilf [Zaha] and Sords [Marvin Sordell] caused them a bit of havoc at times, taking them on and creating some chances.

"Unfortunately we didn't manage to put them away, but hopefully Tuesday will be a different story.

"If we play the way we know we can we're confident we can get the result we need."


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