Seasiders starlet is on a high

Thomas Ince admits dad Paul will be his biggest critic if he makes his England U-21 debut in Thursday's Euro 2013 qualifier in Azerbaijan.

Last Updated: 05/09/12 at 20:27   

Ince: Impressed for Seasdiers so far this season

Ince: Impressed for Seasdiers so far this season

Blackpool winger Ince looks set to follow in his famous father's footsteps by playing for the Young Lions and is already eyeing doing so again at senior level.

Ince junior earned his maiden call up to the under-21 squad for this month's double-header, which includes Monday's potential Group Eight decider against Norway.

And he admitted he could have no better mentor than his father, who was the first black player to captain England and earned 53 caps.

"Of course not," the 20-year-old told FATV.

"I have my critics, of course. He'll be my main one. It something that I've got double-guidance in everything I've done. He can help me off the pitch.

"I've got [Blackpool manager] Ian Holloway on the pitch and I've also got Stuart Pearce, the gaffer here, who's currently with me now.

"So I've got help from all angles and that can only benefit me in the long run."

Ince, who was previously capped at under-17 and under-19 level, was "elated" with his latest international call-up.

"I've been through a couple of the youth set-ups with England, but the under-21s is something special," he said.

"It's one step away from the first team, so to get that call was fantastic.

"It was a great achievement for me and I've enjoyed every minute since I got here.

"There are some big-name players who play at big teams. Just to be involved in this environment is fantastic.

"It's been high-tempo training and you can see the quality in this squad."

Ince's debut hopes have been boosted by injuries to Jack Rodwell and Henri Lansbury ahead of England's penultimate qualifier for next summer's finals.

The former Liverpool trainee has smashed in four goals in four games for npower Championship leaders Blackpool.

"It's been a good start for me and has shown that the gaffer has seen that in me to bring me into the 21s," Ince said.

"I've just got to keep performing like I have been for Blackpool on the international stage, and when I return to my club I keep doing the same performances."

Ince proved he was the man for the big occasion when he scored in last season's play-off final defeat to West Ham.

He added: "At the back end of last season, I had to be patient and I got my chance at Blackpool.

"I had a good run into the play-off final and a nice goal but, unfortunately, we didn't go through.

"I was proud of my performances last season and it was vital for me that I took it into this season."

England currently lie two points clear of Norway at the top of Group Eight and two wins would guarantee a play-off spot for next summer's finals.

Norwich striker Harry Kane, meanwhile, has been called up to the squad for the match against Norway.

The on-loan Tottenham player has represented his country at under-17 and

under-19 level and will join up with the rest of the squad at Chesterfield on

Monday.

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Fixtures

Monday, 19 May 2014
19:30
Wales U21 v England U21  
Friday, 30 May 2014
16:00
Andorra U21 v Slovenia U21  

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