Norwich City players share their Wembley experiences ahead of play-off final

Norwich City's Steven Whiitaker gets to grips with England's Theo Walcott while on duty for Scotland

Norwich City's Steven Whiitaker gets to grips with England's Theo Walcott while on duty for Scotland in a friendly at Wembley in October 2013. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Wembley will not be unfamiliar ground for all of Norwich City's players on Monday.

Several members of the squad retraced their steps at the home of English football when the Canaries took a tour of the 90,000-seater stadium on Monday.

Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker both played the full match for Scotland in a 3-2 friendly defeat to England at Wembley in 2013. City keeper John Ruddy was an unused substitute for England that day.

Alex Tettey was also an unused substitute for Norway in a friendly against England at the start of this season and midfielder Gary O'Neil played in last year's Championship play-off final, helping QPR beat Derby, despite being sent off.

Sebastien Bassong was part of the Tottenham team beaten in the FA Cup semi-finals by Portsmouth in 2010, Cameron Jerome was a late substitute when Birmingham beat Arsenal in the League Cup final in 2011 and Wes Hoolahan was an unused substitute for Republic of Ireland in a friendly with England.


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All of which City boss Alex Neil hopes can only help ahead of Monday's play-off final against Middlesbrough.

'They've spoken about their experiences while they were there,' Neil said of City's tour of the stadium.

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'We were on the pitch and some of the guys were saying 'we played here, against this team' and what have you, so I think it's important they share their experiences and things that they found different playing there than anywhere else and it just tries to get the guys prepared for the occasion come Monday.'

Neil added: 'It was good, it was important, a lot of the players hadn't been there before as well so I think it's important to go down there and know exactly what you're walking into come Monday.'

Another two Canaries players hoping to feature at Wembley are youngsters Harry Toffolo and Louis Thompson, who are both on loan at Swindon, who face Preston in the League One play-off final on Sunday.

'I know they've both had injuries,' Neil said. 'I met Louis the other day, I've spoken to him on a couple of occasions but I had a meeting with him the other day to see how he's getting on, so we wish them all the best and hope they're successful.'

Toffolo also confirmed earlier this week that City had taken up the option of a one-year extension to his contract, with Neil saying of the left-back: 'He'll come back in as part of pre-season and we'll monitor him from there and see where he goes.'

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