Paul Ince questions England passion

Former Three Lions skipper blasts the current squad's commitment but believes that they should be aiming for at least a spot in the semi-finals in Ukraine and Poland
Former England international Paul Ince has raised questions over the passion and hunger of Roy Hodgson's Three Lions squad.

The former Manchester United and Liverpool midfielder is concerned that many of the current side lack the desire to play for their country.

Ince, who was capped 53 times for England and also appeared several times as captain, believes his generation had a togetherness that is sorely lacking in the current team.

"Does it mean a lot of play for England? It did when I played. Whether it does now, I am not too sure. That is the problem Roy has," he told TalkSport.

"For me the biggest thing is togetherness and spirit. In 1996, we had a spirit and we were like players at a club. We could not wait to see each other.

"We need to regain that. Sometimes it is hard. You get some players who do not turn up [or] they retire at a young age - I've never understood that. Why would you want to retire from the pinnacle of your career?"

The former Blackburn Rovers manager also praised Hodgson, a boss he worked under during his time with Inter, suggesting the former Liverpool chief will get the best out of his players.

He added, "I had some great times with Roy at Inter. He will be good for the players. At the same time, when he feels he has to, he can lose it with players as well.

"All the signs were going to Harry. I don't understand why Harry didn't get the job, but Roy is in there and he is a top manager and a great bloke. He is a fantastic coach and he is methodical in the way he puts his team out."

On the topic of English prospects this summer, Ince insisted that Hodgson's side have the capability to give a good account of themselves in Ukraine and Poland, and should be aiming higher than the quarter-finals.

He continued: "We are good enough to have a good tournament. We are good enough to win a tournament.

"This time, though, the squad has no expectation and the players will go there relaxed. We could be a surprise package.

"The amount of times I hear people say we have done well if we can get to the quarter-finals frustrates me. That is not good enough for England."