Ince delighted to be off the mark for England Under-21s

The Blackpool midfielder broke his international duck with a double, putting in a sparkling performance for Stuart Pearce's side during their victory over Sweden
England Under-21 winger Tom Ince has expressed delight at scoring his first international goals against Sweden, after a resounding 4-0 win on Tuesday evening at the Bescot Stadium.

The 21-year-old struck twice in the first half of what was a one-sided affair, with Jonjo Shelvey and Connor Wickham completing the rout for Stuart Pearce's side.

Ince was full of praise for the contribution of his team-mates on what was a difficult pitch, in particular his partner on the right flank, full-back Adam Smith, also adding that he was glad to finally get off the mark for the team.

"At club level I’ve got a lot of braces this season, I’ve not had a hat-trick yet at a professional level so it’s disappointing," Ince told ESPN.

"I’ve been unlucky in front of goal for England, but like I said it’s just nice to get myself off the mark and I’m happy tonight."

"The lads are fantastic, we haven’t been together for a while but the togetherness we showed both on and off the pitch is fantastic.

"Even though it was a young Sweden side that came here, it was on a difficult pitch and we really did look special."

"In the first half we thoroughly deserved to go in at half-time winning, the second half the game died down a bit and the pitch caused us a bit of problems but overall it was a good win."

"It makes my job a lot easier when you’ve got a full back who’s just as attacking as I am, and fair play to Smudger [Smith], he gets up further than me and that allows me to get myself in the box and get some more goals.

"He’s been fantastic when he’s been playing, he’s helped me a lot down that right hand side."

Tottenham full-back Smith, who is currently on loan at Championship side Millwall, returned the favour by praising team-mate Ince's display before drawing attention to their burgeoning partnership.

He added: "I think it is up there [as his best performance for England], personally it was a good game for me to get two assists and Incey to score as well, it’s a good partnership down there.

"It was difficult with the pitch and conditions but the gaffer said to us to go out and play and don’t make excuses with the pitch, and I think that’s what we did.

"We’re going into games and our first thought is to get a clean sheet and build from there, all the lads that are coming in and defending in that back four and the whole team is great confidence for us and hopefully we can take that into the championships and keep it going."