England Under-21s manager Stuart Pearce has called on Blackpool winger Tom Ince to replicate his club goal-scoring record at international level.
The 20-year-old has found the net nine times for his club so far this season, already bettering his tally from the last campaign, but has yet to open his account for the Young Lions.
Ince has started each of England Under-21s’ last five matches and, although he has impressed in his overall performances, Pearce feels that the former Liverpool man needs to improve his finishing.
“Tom is just short of a goal for us at the moment,” the youth side’s boss told reporters after a comfortable 2-0 win over Northern Ireland at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday.
“He is a very intelligent player – his movement is clever, running in behind and coming into pockets of space, and he just needs to supplement that by showing us at international level the goalscoring record he has at club level.
“He is a good finisher at club level, and he just needs that ball to sit for him and then he can find the back of the net and off we go from there.
“It is probably the only criticism that Tom will have for himself at the moment – that he has not found the back of the net in the games he has played for us.
“But he has been outstanding for us. He has come on the scene this season and done extremely well.”