Ince: Young Lions failed to turn up

09 June 2013 09:19

England Under-21s simply failed to turn up at the European Championships, according to Thomas Ince.

The Young Lions came into the tournament on a run of nine successive wins without conceding, but on Saturday night they saw their fate secured with a game to spare. Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Italy was followed up by an embarrassing 3-1 loss to Norway, meaning Stuart Pearce's side face hosts Israel knowing they cannot make it out of Group A.

"We were unbeaten in nine games, had gone on the road and beaten Norway and were prepared for this," Blackpool winger Ince said.

"But we didn't turn up, we were disappointing again and we have to look at the mistakes we made.

"It hurts massively, not just for me but every one of these players, we wanted to get through and play on the big stage but it wasn't to be."

Ince missed the opener in Tel Aviv through suspension and was one of few England players to come out of the defeat to Norway with any credit.

"I thought we dominated in the first half but you can't afford to give away silly goals at this level," he added.

"We found ourselves 3-0 down and it is so difficult. We didn't create enough chances and it is a major disappointment.

"We tried to impose our style of play, we had worked hard on Norway but our performance wasn't good enough."

Source: PA