Pearce applauds ‘brave’ Dawson

West Brom defender Dawson played more than half of Monday night’s

2-1 European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group Eight win in

Norway with a Terry Butcher-style bandage after a clash of heads

left him bloodied and needing seven stitches. Head coach Pearce –

who was in the senior England side 22 years ago when Butcher

famously played on against Sweden despite bleeding profusely – said

on “I never cut my head open, don’t worry about

that. “I always made sure I had my elbows up in the air and

protecting my face. “That’s why I’m still very, very pretty.” He

added of Dawson: “He’s got great courage, he’s a man, is Dawson.

The rest of the boys love him to bits.” Dawson was forced off the

field for almost 10 minutes in Drammen. “My head’s a bit sore, but

the result was worth it,” the 21-year-old said. “I had seven

stitches. I went up for the header and I think I caught his boot on

the way down, and it split quite easy. “It’s my first war wound for

England. It was bleeding quite heavily. “I was always going to come

back on, definitely. The doc just wanted to stitch it up and get me

back on the field.” Dawson also used his head to put England ahead,

nodding home in what is fast becoming trademark fashion from Henri

Lansbury’s corner. The defender said of what was his third goal in

three qualifiers: “I managed to get a free run, Henri got a great

ball in there and I just had to go and attack it well. “It was a

great performance from the lads and a great result in the end.

“It’s been a great start to the campaign and we have just got to

keep on going and keep pushing forward.” Captain Jordan Henderson

slotted home England’s second goal after seven minutes and the

visitors held on after Valon Berisha pulled a goal back, with

Norway missing more than once chance to snatch a draw. Henderson

said: “We defended well at times and we scored some good goals, so

overall we are pleased with the three points. “I think the overall

performance was good by the lads and we showed what we were about

defensively. “They are a very good side. We knew that as we had

done a lot of work on them and we knew what they were about. They

showed again how good they were tonight. “I think we deserved to

win, because of the way we defended and went about the game, and

the character we showed.” The win gave England nine points from

nine ahead of next month’s double-header against Iceland and

Belgium, with Norway staying second in Group Eight on six points.