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Ings hails quality of Under-21s

20 Nov 2013 17:01:52

Ings hails quality of Under-21s

Danny Ings hailed the "astonishing" ability of his England Under-21s team-mates after netting a brace on a dream full debut.

A month on from making his first appearance for the Young Lions in San Marino, the forward again faced the minnows and marked his first start with a goal either side of half-time in a record-breaking 9-0 win.

Ings shone in place of in-form frontman Saido Berahino at a sold-out Greenhous Meadow, not only finding the net but also linking up the play as Gareth Southgate's side ran amok.

The thrashing leaves England in control of their European Championship qualifying group and Ings confident about the future of the national game.

"It means the world to me," the Burnley striker said. "To come off the pitch having scored a brace in a game like that and break records is fantastic.

"I completely appreciate the chance to be part of that select group of players.

"They are fantastic and you can see in training every day that the Premier League players are a level above. For me to be involved in that is a dream come true.

"The fact that there are so many good young players coming through is promising for the country.

"There were some great strikes. A mixture of goals.

"There was some good play and obviously the free-kick [from James-Ward Prowse] was a wonder and that is the sort of thing we have in the country.

"The ability the players have is astonishing and you obviously saw that tonight with the free-kick and the like."

Ward-Prowse's free-kick was one of the goals of the night in Shrewsbury, which also witnessed a superb scooped effort from Raheem Sterling - the Liverpool man's second - and a fine Will Hughes goal.

At the other end of the spectrum, though, came Ings' second of the night.

Having nodded home his first for England in the 15th minute, the 21-year-old had to battle with room-mate Carl Jenkinson to prod home in the second half.

"I made sure I dived to get to it first," Ings said with a laugh. "I sat down, he grabbed my head and we started laughing at each other because it was like a mini race to get to it.

"I got two in the end because I stole Jenks', which he wasn't too happy about it but he got his goal in the end."

Michael Keane and Tom Ince were England's other scorers.

The fact Ings was fighting with an Arsenal player to score for England highlights how far he has risen in a relatively short period of time.

Released by local side Southampton as a schoolboy, the Winchester-born forward came through the ranks at Bournemouth before securing a move to Burnley in 2011.

Ings suffered horrendous luck by picking up serious knee injuries soon after moving to Turf Moor, but has shone this term with 10 goals to help propel Burnley top of the SkyBet Championship.

"I have not had a good couple of years previous to this season," he said. "But this season I am fit, running strongly and scoring goals.

"I can't get complacent. I need to kick on and improve every day and that is what I will do."


PA

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