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Fletcher Gets Call Up
Steven Fletcher is included in the Scotland squad for two forthcoming World Cup 2014 qualifiers.
The striker has been named in a 28-man group by coach Gordon Strachan, whose side host Wales at Hampden Park on Friday 22nd March (KO 8pm).
Scotland then travel to Novi Sad to face Serbia the following Tuesday (March 26, KO 8.30pm local).
Scotland are bottom of Group A and have drawn two and lost two of their four games so far.
They are eight points off joint leaders Belgium and Croatia.
SUNDERLAND FIXTURES March 2013 Sat 09 15:00 A Queens Park Rangers Sun 17 13:30 H Norwich City Sat 30 12:45 H Manchester United
April 2013 Sat 06 15:00 A Chelsea Sat 13 13:30 A Newcastle United Sat 20 15:00 H Everton Sat 27 15:00 A Aston Villa
May 2013 Sat 04 15:00 H Stoke City Sun 12 15:00 H Southampton Sun 19 16:00 A Tottenham HotspurAway Travel - LOFTUS ROAD
How To Get There By Car And Where To Park
From The North/West: At the end of the M40, take the A40 towards Central London. At the point where the A40 becomes the A40(M), turn off onto the A40 towards White City/Shepherds Bush and turn right into Wood Lane, turn right into South Africa Road for the ground.
There is not much in the way of parking near to the ground. Matt Garside from Southampton suggests; 'It's probably easiest to just park on the road in this area as it costs £6.60 for three hours parking'. Some of these areas are free after 5pm. However, there are a number of restricted parking zones around the stadium so be careful where you park.
Andreas Iona adds; 'South Africa Road running past the stadium, closes to traffic one hour before kick-off on all matchdays. The Police enforce the road closure which remains in place until approximately 15 minutes after kick-off. At the end of the game a similar closure is implemented 15 minutes before the end of the game and lasts for approximately one hour. Supporters are advised to avoid parking in the few pay and display bays available in Dorando Close as they face a long wait to get out at the end of the game due to the above closure'.
How To Get There By Train/Tube
The nearest London Underground station is White City on the Central Line, which is about a five minute walk away. Also nearby (a little further along Wood Lane opposite the BBC Television Centre) is the recently opened Wood Lane Station, which is on the Hammersmith & City line. It is around a seven minute walk away from Loftus Road.
Otherwise there are two other tube stations close by; Shepherds Bush Market on the Hammersmith & City line and Shepherds Bush on the Central Line. The former is about a ten minute walk away from the ground, whilst the other is about 15 minutes. Personally I tend to use Shepherds Bush Market tube station, simply because there seems to be more pubs around this area, especially around Shepherds Bush Green. Leaving both Shepherds Bush tube stations; turn right and the ground will come into view further down on the right. Please note that Queens Park tube station is nowhere near the ground!
The nearest train station is Shepherds Bush, which is adjacent to the tube station. However, it is not directly served by any of the major London mainline stations. However trains from Watford Junction and Clapham Junction both stop there. Remember if travelling by train then you can save on the cost of fares by booking in advance. Visit the thetrainline website to see how much you can save.
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Away fans are situated in the upper tier of the School End, where around 1,800 fans can be accommodated. If demand requires it then the lower tier can also be allocated, increasing the number of places available to about 2,500. If the away club only takes the upper tier allocation, then the lower tier is allocated to home supporters. Alan Griffiths a visiting Barnsley fan informs me; 'the entrance for away fans to the School End upper tier is now longer in South Africa Road, but on the opposite side of the ground in Ellerslie Road (turnstile block 2).'
I must say that on my three visits, I have found the stadium lacking a little in atmosphere. Also the leg room between rows of seats was a little tight. There is normally quite a large police and steward presence, and you should expect to be searched before you enter the away end. However on the plus side I have never experienced any problems there, as it is generally relaxed and friendly. Dan Markham a QPR fan disagrees with me; 'It is virtually impossible to have such a small compact enclosed stadium, and not have a tremendous atmosphere. You are close to the pitch, close to the visiting fans and most importantly close to the action'. Another plus point was that the food that was served within the ground was quite good and the service prompt. Entrance to the stadium is gained by inserting your ticket into a bar code reader. Where To Eat & Drink?
There are no pubs for away fans in the immediate vicinity around the stadium. Most away fans head over to nearby Shepherds Bush Green where the Walkabout and O'Neills are both popular with away supporters. The Walkabout has the benefit of Sky Sports & ESPN, serves food and is the Police designated away pub. To find Shepherds Bush Green; exit Shepherds Bush Market Underground Station (the Hammersmith & City line station), turn left out of the station and the green is a short way down the road on the right. Diagonally across Shepherds Bush Green opposite the Central line entrance to Shepherds Bush Underground Station, is a retail complex called Vue, which upstairs includes a Wetherspoons outlet. Otherwise alcohol is available in the away end.
On the eating front David Frodsham adds; 'On my travels to many football grounds, I have yet to find a wider selection of food available than on the Uxbridge Road. The cosmopolitan inner city nature means that you can almost eat your way around the world. From the normal range of cafes, burger bars, fried chicken outlets and chippies, there are Indian, Chinese, Thai & Jamaican outlets. There are Lebanese and Indian kebab shops, the latter selling "doner" kebabs made with Indian spices!Inside the ground the food available includes; Hot Dogs (£3.50), Pukka Pies (Beef & Onion, Chicken Balti, all £2.90), Cheese & Onion Slice (£2.90) and Sausage Rolls (£2.90). Alcohol is available in the form of Carlsberg, Blackthorn Cider (both £3.80 a pint) & Tetleys (440ml Can £3.80) plus red or white wine (187ml Bottle £3.80). FIXTURES THIS WEEKEND
Saturday 9 March 2013
15:00 Norwich v Southampton 15:00 QPR v Sunderland 15:00 Reading v Aston Villa 15:00 West Brom v Swansea
FA CUP 12:45 Everton v Wigan Athletic 17:30 Manchester City v Barnsley Sunday 10 March 2013
15:00 Newcastle v Stoke 16:00 Liverpool v Tottenham
FA CUP 14:00 Millwall v Blackburn Rovers 16:30 Man Utd v Chelsea
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