England Under-21s striker pays tribute to his father's influence after international bow
admits making his England debut in San Marino was a ‘dream come true’ for him – and dedicated his first cap to his father.
The Burnley striker puts his career success so far down to his dad, after years of practising on the football pitches of his hometown Southampton.
And after taking his first steps on the international ladder with Gareth Southgate’s Under-21s
this week, Ings paid his own tribute.
“It’s a dream come true to be honest,” he revealed after his substitute appearance in the 4-0 win on Thursday
“When I was little, I’d work hard every day with my dad on the field and I never thought that I’d end up here.
“Any chance we got to play football, we’d head out, get our boots on and play football. He used to teach me everything and was a great mentor.
“So it does show that hard work pays off.”
The 21-year-old has been in hot form with the Championship leaders this season, netting 11 goals for the Clarets so far.
And he says joining up with the Three Lions squad has been a smooth transition, thanks to his new squad-mates and Head Coach Southgate.
“I feel like I’ve just settled in,” he revealed.
“The lads have been brilliant on the pitch and off the pitch they’ve been fantastic as well. The training's been sharp and I feel I've done well.
“The gaffer’s been fantastic and made me feel at home and really comfortable.
“When I arrived, we had a nice chat and that settled me really well.”
The former AFC Bournemouth player, who says a loan spell with non-League Dorchester Town three years ago helped him ‘mature and become a man’ is also glad to be representing the Football League.
Southgate has said that he wants to see his players enjoying first team football and highlighted the Championship as an ideal platform in which to learn their trade.
And it was Ings’ eye-catching form at Turf Moor which caught Southgate’s eye and led to his first international call-up.
He said: “It’s always a positive for players in the Championship like me, coming through, that the gaffer is coming to watch.
“Obviously, you’re always going to look in the Premier League at first because it’s the top, top league of players and the elite league.
“I’ve had a couple of years struck with injuries, but now I’ve worked hard, turned that around and I’m feeling the benefit for it.”
England face Lithuania at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road on Tuesday and you can see the Three Lions in action by clicking here
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