Premier League can only improve Ings - Southgate
England Under 21s head coach Gareth Southgate joked that the man of the match award was a “brave call”, with Norwich winger Nathan Redmond getting the nod over two-goal Clarets striker Danny Ings at Turf Moor.
But after his brace in the 3-1 win over Portugal on his home ground, Southgate was delighted with the 22-year-old’s contribution.
Ings made an immediate impact with a mazy run, before scoring from Tom Ince’s cross after six minutes.
He added a second just before the hour from Redmond’s low centre, and Southgate smiled: “I would have thought the odds were fairly short on Danny scoring here, I think his first contribution to the game was to beat about five men, knock it wide and just miss out on the cross, so you sensed it might be a night for him to do well.
“He’s very proud to play for this football club, and it was a great night for him to play here in an England shirt.
“He gives us real competition for places, we have three strikers playing in the Premier League, and they are all slightly different.
“You need goals in your team and you can’t guarantee everybody will be fit and ready for the summer, so the more we are able to bring in and give them that experience, the better.”
Ings has one goal to his name in the Premier League so far, after a hamstring injury kept him out for a month, but Southgate feels he will only improve from his experience in the top flight: “I’ve got terrific belief in Danny from what he did last year, I saw a lot of him at Burnley. He’s technically a better player than perhaps people sometimes realise, he will score goals because he’s a real threat in the box, he’s a big threat from crosses, low and high, and definitely his mentality is he wants to learn.
“I’ve spoken to him about how this season is going and he’s spoken about learning from his experiences, from playing against top defenders and from watching top strikers at the other end of the pitch.
“As the season wears on, it will only benefit him.”