England U21s winger hails team mates after 4-0 win over Sweden in Walsall
England 4-0 Sweden
An Under-21 International
Banks’s Stadium, Walsall FC
7.30pm, Tuesday 5 February 2013
Tom Ince was pleased to get off the mark for England's Under-21s after firing a brace in a slick 4-0 victory over Sweden.
Ince netted twice in the first half, sandwiching a strike from Jonjo Shelvey, to set Stuart Pearce's men on the way to a record seventh consecutive win.
Connor Wickham put the icing on the cake heading home number four as England began an important year in style.
"I've been unfortunate in front of goal in the last few appearances I've made," Ince told TheFA.com shortly after the match - his sixth cap for the side.
"It's nice to get off the mark, not tap-ins but two close-range ones.
"I was pleased with my performance but overall it was about the team tonight setting our mark down for the summer.
"I think first half we were exceptional, second half was tough as the pitch started to take it's toll on the team, but I think overall we thoroughly deserved the win."
The Blackpool winger added: "It's always diffcult going into the second half when you're 3-0 up trying to score more goals, but it was a fantastic perfromance and I'm sure the manager is happy.
"These boys made it look easy out there, we passed the ball really well. We didn't play to the weather we played the way we normally play."
England have not experienced defeat since a 2-1 reversal against Belgium in November 2011. That was also the last time they conceded a goal as they went on to qualify for the Euro 2013 Finals.
And Ince believes that if the young Lions can continue in this vein of form when they arrive in Israel, then anything is possible.
"Our back four has been absolutely exceptional. If you think last year and six clean sheets, and again another one tonight, that's a fantastic acheivement.
"It's great having all the goalscorers in the team and looking well attacking, but defensively if you can be as sound as that going into the summer then there's every hope for us.
"We can now come back next month, with two tough friendly games, and we're looking forward to try and get some wins together so when we do go in the summer we are there and ready.
Ince also paid tribute to his parents who were in the stands to watch him open his England account.
"I get some tremendous support from them, especially my mum, she won't miss a home or away game.
"My dad [former England midfielder Paul], I'm sure I'll still get critised for part of my performance.
"But I'm very grateful and very appreciative for them driving down in this weather, they've really supported me so it means a lot to me."