Tom Ince pulls no punches in his assessment of Euro exit
England v Norway
UEFA European Under-21 Championship
Group A Match
5pm, Saturday 8 June 2013
HaMoshava Stadium, Petah Tikva
Tom Ince lamented England Under-21s’ poor defending as they crashed out of the European Championship after a 3-1 defeat to Norway on Saturday.
Stuart Pearce's side started well in the Ha Moshava Stadium but they were undone three times within the first 51 minutes to give themselves a mountain to climb.
Craig Dawson pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, but after a nine-match unbeaten run going into the tournament England's exit was confirmed after just two group games.
And Ince pulled no punches in admitting the defeat was a huge shock, with the Three Lions made to pay for their mistakes.
The Blackpool winger said: “We were unbeaten in nine games, had gone on the road and beaten Norway and were prepared for this.
“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 first game with Italy on Wednesday through suspension and returned to the team as one of five changes made by Head Coach Pearce.
But despite an improved display and territorial dominance, the Three Lions just couldn’t breach a solid Norway defence.
He added: “I thought we dominated in the first half but you can't afford to give away silly goals at this level.
“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 tonight wasn't good enough.”
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