Ings hoping to follow example of Baggies man Berahino

England expects: Danny Ings, pictured in action against Hull City on Saturday, is expected to pull on the Three Lions at Turf Moor against Portugal on Thursday night
England expects: Danny Ings, pictured in action against Hull City on Saturday, is expected to pull on the Three Lions at Turf Moor against Portugal on Thursday night

Clarets striker Danny Ings is relishing the prospect of pulling on the Three Lions at Turf Moor on Thursday night.

The 22-year-old has been called into Gareth Southgate’s 22-man England Under 21 squad alongside team-mates Michael Keane and Nathaniel Chalobah for the double-header with Portugal and France.

The trio will be in familiar surroundings for the fixture against A Selecção, which will now serve as a dress rehearsal for the European Under-21 Championships in the Czech Republic next June after the pair were drawn together in Group B with Italy and Sweden.

Ings, who made his debut in a 4-0 win over San Marino 13 months ago when replacing Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling in the 65th minute, said: “It’s going to be a cold night here on Thursday night but it’ll be a big night if I can play a part.

“It’s down to Gareth Southgate and the staff to pick the side, but if I can get on the pitch or even in the squad it’ll be fantastic for me.

“Last year there were many moments that were meaningful in my career, and Thursday is another one so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Ings, who bagged a brace on his first start for his nation in the 9-0 romp over San Marino at Shrewsbury Town’s Greenhous Meadow last November, becoming the first Burnley player in nine years to score a goal for his country, has been selected among a pool of strikers that includes Chelsea’s Patrick Bamford, currently on loan at Middlesbrough, Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson and Fulham’s Cauley Woodrow.

Former international team-mate Saido Berahino was recently promoted to Roy Hodgson’s senior set-up after netting seven Premier League goals this term – including two against the Clarets in a 4-0 win at the Hawthorns.

Ings believes the Burundi-born West Brom forward, who has netted 10 times in 13 outings for the Three Lions, has set an example for the country’s young strikers.

The 21-year-old could make his debut in the Euro 2016 qualifier with Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday though he’ll remain in the 26-man squad for the friendly against Scotland on November 18th.

“If you’re scoring goals in the Premier League and doing well for your club then doors will open,” said Ings. “That’s happened to him and fair play to him because he’s a fantastic striker and a great finisher.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to follow in those steps and do well for Burnley. Maybe in the future that will open doors for me.”

And Berahino’s good fortune has also left a window of opportunity open for Ings: “When one door opens for somebody else then another one opens for you,” he said.

“There are a lot of good strikers but if I’m given the nod I’ll give my best for my country.”

After taking on Portugal at Turf Moor on Thursday, the Under 21s will face France in Brest on Monday.

Meanwhile, the striker will be providing a 12-week coaching programme for seven of the town’s disabled schools in the near future, with further details to be announced.

“I’ll be going down to the schools and seeing the kids as well, we’ll be doing disability football, wheelchair football, and I think we’ll be looking to create a Burnley disability team to compete,” he said.