Hull City v Stoke City: Ince convinced he was right to put Tigers ahead of the San Siro

Hull City's Tom Ince
Hull City's Tom Ince
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INTER Milan or Hull City, the San Siro or the KC Stadium?

To the vast majority of footballers, there would be no decision to make with the Serie A club considered to be one of the most glamorous around.

Allan McGregor

Allan McGregor

However, when Tom Ince found himself in the position this summer of needing to decide between the two clubs after leaving Blackpool, it was Hull who won the fight for his signature.

It was a move that took many by surprise, especially with father Paul having been such a big hit when at Inter in the Nineties.

A little over a month on from putting pen to paper on a two-year deal, the 22-year-old has no regrets and, instead, insists by joining the Tigers that his footballing education will be best served.

“It is easy to just reach for the stars and go for the top and think, ‘Yeah, I’m doing this, I’m doing that’,” said Ince, who before joining Hull spent three days at the San Siro with his father being wooed by the Serie A hierarchy. “But you have to think football.

“There are not many 20-, 21-, 22-year-olds that are playing week-in, week-out in the Premier League now. But I hope to do that with Hull.

“I am with a great bunch of lads and there are a lot of games coming up, hopefully in the Europa League and in the cup runs as well as the league.

“There is plenty of football to be played and that is what I consider to be best for me.”

This summer was not the first time that Ince has taken a decision over his career that raised eyebrows.

At just 19, he manufactured a move away from Liverpool to join Championship side Blackpool.

Again, the bigger picture was what mattered and Ince was rewarded for taking such a bold move by his career taking off in meteoric fashion.

Named the Football League’s Player of the Year in 2012-13, Ince quickly established a reputation as one of the most exciting young talents around and a host of top-flight clubs were soon on his trail.

Now happily ensconced at the KC, he is hoping that regular Premier League football can keep his career moving forward.

“I am over the moon,” he said. “I have found my home with the help of the manager and when someone helps you out like that, not only on the pitch but off the pitch, you are happy.

“And when you are happy off the pitch, the performances come on it. It’s a long season ahead. I know what I want to do, I’ve got ambitions in myself.

“But, first of all, it is to try and do well for Hull City and, most importantly, to try and score goals for this football club to help us win matches.”

The first of those victories in the Premier League came a week ago when Hull, with Ince making his full debut, got the better of QPR.

Another tomorrow when Stoke City come to the KC would go down very nicely, especially with Hull facing a tough task next Thursday when KSC Lokeren will travel to East Yorkshire looking to defend the 1-0 lead that the Belgians earned in the Europa League play-off qualifying round first leg.

A calamitous blunder by Allan McGregor helped prove the difference between the two sides on Thursday night.

Ince, whose arrival off the bench gave Steve Bruce’s side some much needed impetus, went as close as anyone in a Hull shirt to grabbing an equaliser with a shot that Lokeren goalkeeper Davino Verhulst somehow turned behind with his heel.

That save plus a similar effort to deny David Meyler is why Hull have it all to do on Thursday night against a team who also had chances to grab a second goal during an entertaining second half.

“That is European football,” said Ince when asked in the bowels of Lokeren’s Daknamstadion about how damaging the defeat could be to a club desperate to book their place in the group stage.

“We have to get over it quickly. We had 10 minutes of madness in the second half, but we have to learn from it.

“Look what happened when AS Trencin came to our place (in the previous round, when Hull won 2-1 on aggregate). They got an early goal but from then on it was one-way traffic.

“We’ve got enough ability to score goals. You saw that with the amount of chances we created.

“Throughout the game, we looked the better side. We kept the ball and just had a 10-minute spell where we were a little bit shaky.

“We got that under control, though, and started creating chances. There were lots of positives to take into the second leg.”

Before the return against Lokeren, there is the less than trifling matter of tomorrow’s televised visit of Stoke.

With the Premier League the club’s priority – as Bruce betrayed by making nine changes to his starting line-up in Belgium – another positive result would be a major fillip for the Tigers.

Ince added: “Last Saturday (at QPR) was fantastic, but now this is our first home game of the new season.

“Stoke are under pressure 
after losing their first game. We are under no illusions. They are a good side and will come to play.

“But if we can create the chances like we did in the Europa League, hopefully we can finish them. The goals will come.

“The gaffer has been in and around the market in the last few days looking for a centre forward after losing Shane Long.

“But there is enough capability in this team to score goals. We are creating chances, it would be a worry if we weren’t.

“We will be patient and keep the ball, and when we create chances we will have goalscorers who can put them in the back of the net.”