Platt seeks noisy backing

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The Independent Online

David Platt has urged England fans to give his Under-21 side their most enthusiastic support in his first competitive home game in charge next month.

Platt's young team take on Albania in a European Under-21 Championship qualifier at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium on 4 September, the day before the two senior sides meet in a World Cup qualifier at St James' Park, Newcastle.

The Football Association yesterday announced that tickets will cost just £5 for adults and £1 for under-16s and concessions, in an attempt to encourage a large attendance.

"This will be a massive game for both me and the team, and these great value tickets should hopefully attract a big crowd to give us that extra boost," said Platt. "With three games to go, we still have everything to play for in terms of qualifying for next year's championship.

"A win against Albania will be vital to our chances and we need to make the most of home advantage.

"The North-East is one of England's most traditional and passionate football regions and I'm confident the local fans will turn out in force and create a great atmosphere at the Riverside."

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