Pearce loses out in Welbeck battle

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has blocked Stuart Pearce's plans to recall Danny Welbeck to the England Under-21 squad.

Pearce is down to one fit striker after Nathan Delfouneso and Martyn Waghorn picked up injuries in Thursday's European Championship qualifier in Iceland - and pondered turning to Welbeck for Monday's match in Norway. However, Pearce revealed a chat with Ferguson ended those plans.

The England Under-21 manager told Sky Sports News: "I spoke to Sir Alex straight after the (Iceland) game. He had concerns about Danny travelling back from Montenegro (with England's senior side) and then getting on a plane to Oslo. I quite understood that but I had to make the call because I've only got one striker in the squad."

Pearce's side are top of Group Eight after two games and travel to Norway to play their second match in five days on the back of the 3-0 win in Iceland, secured thanks to an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hat-trick.

The manager revealed Tottenham's Kyle Walker will also not be considered.

"His girlfriend's due to have a baby in the next week or so and he had concerns about being away," Pearce added.

England U21s last played Norway in a friendly prior to Euro 2011, winning 2-0 at Southampton in June, but Pearce insists there is no comparison with the side they will face on Monday.

"This isn't the Norway side of the last time we came here and it's not even the Norway side we played prior to the Championship," Pearce told "They have some very good players and it'll be a tough test for us.

"They've won both of their games on the road so far in the group so arguably they can say they are the best in the group. But we know that if we can get a good result here it'll put us in a strong position.

"It's very unforgiving, this group, and they are on home soil and will want to win it to back up two victories on the road. It's a tough game for us."