Henderson: We have to match Serbia

PA Sport
Jack Rodwell will be a notable absence due to a hamstring injury
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Jack Rodwell will be a notable absence due to a hamstring injury

England Under-21 captain Jordan Henderson knows his team-mates must rise to the challenge of facing a tough opponent in a difficult atmosphere to reach Euro 2013.

England can book their place in the finals of a European Championship for a fourth time in succession by holding on to their aggregate lead in the second leg of their play-off with Serbia in Krusevac.

Stuart Pearce's youngsters won the first leg of the encounter 1-0 at Carrow Road last Friday but Henderson is well aware the job is far from complete. He told TheFA.com: "Serbia were a decent side and have some good players, they made it hard for us at home. We know it'll be another tough game."

He added: "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."

England will be forced to make one change with Jack Rodwell not travelling to Serbia due to a hamstring injury. The Manchester City midfielder has now returned to his club, but Henderson said: "We've got enough depth in the squad to manage and cope with the injuries.

"When Lowey (Jason Lowe) came on at Norwich, he did really well in the middle. Everybody can play their part, we're just looking forward to the game now."

Pearce is happy with the make-up of his squad as he looks to close out a place in the finals in Israel.

Pearce said: "There are no problems to report, having got here. Everyone is fine and we are pleased with that. We lost one or two over the period before and Jack being missing from the game is a bit of a blow for us, but that is the nature of it. I am quite happy with what we have travelled with, squad-wise."

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