Danny Welbeck England U21 call blocked by Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson is concerned about Welbeck's travel time

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

U21s manager Pearce is down to one fit striker for Monday's trip to Norway.

Welbeck came off the bench for the senior side in Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro.

"[Sir Alex] had concerns about Danny travelling from Montenegro and then getting on a plane to Oslo," said Pearce.

Former Manchester City boss Pearce, who has lost forwards Nathan Delfouneso and Martyn Waghorn to injury, told Sky Sports: "I quite understood that [Ferguson's stance] but I had to make the call because I've only got one striker in the squad.

"I had a decent chat with him and moved on from there. I quite understand his position."

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 on Thursday. Norway also have six points from two matches.

Tottenham's Kyle Walker, who also travelled with the senior side to Montenegro, was not considered for the fixture.

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

England Under-21s last played Norway in a friendly prior to Euro 2011, winning 2-0 at Southampton in June, but Pearce insisted there is no comparison with the side they will face this time around.

"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," he told thefa.comexternal-link.

"They have some very good players and it will 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."

It will be the first time Pearce's side have played a competitive match on a 4G artificial pitch.

For the latest updates and reaction to this story read Sportsday Live. Have your say on Twitter via the hashtag #bbcsportsday.