Tom Ince rejects England under-21 call-up, coach Gareth Southgate surprised

Hull City winger Tom Ince has told Gareth Southgate that he no longer wishes to be considered for selection for the England under-21s.

Southgate revealed the player's decision at a news conference on Thursday to promote his side's forthcoming friendlies against Czech Republic and Germany.

Ince, a regular in the under-21s' successful European Championship qualifying campaign, informed Southgate of his decision in discussions that also involved his father, former England captain Paul Ince.

Southgate said: "I have had discussions with Tom and his dad over the last week or so, and he has decided he does not want to considered for the under-21s.

"I have to say I was surprised. He has obviously been a regular for us all the way through the campaign, but he feels at this moment in time he has got some priorities at club level.

"There is some uncertainty about where he is going to be at club level next season."

Ince is currently on loan at Derby, having failed to hold down a regular first team place at the KC Stadium.

The 23-year-old joined Hull on a free transfer when his contract at Blackpool expired last year, but within three months he was sent out on loan to Nottingham Forest.

Southgate warned Ince to brace himself for a possible backlash and insisted: "If you get called up, you should make sure you're there.

"Nowadays, there are people who make excuses -- they've got a knock, they're injured -- because they want to be fit for that game at the weekend. It's sad."

After naming a 24-man squad for the upcoming friendlies against the Czech Republic and Germany, Southgate said: "I'm disappointed because he's a good player and only time will tell whether it's a good decision on his part.

"I've spoken to both [Tom and Paul] and the message from both was exactly the same. I've said to Tom and Paul they need to be aware of possible consequences of the decision in terms of how it would appear from the outside and I think they understand that.

"It's a shame because he's been through all the qualifying and I'd assumed he would want to put himself on that stage which is a great opportunity for all these young players, but on this occasion it is not going to be the case.

"I guess it's for Tom to explain his full reasons. I've taken on board what they've said and I have to now look at the rest of the group and working with those guys that are fully committed to being with us."

Southgate's side face Czech Republic in Prague on March 27 before taking on the Germans at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium on March 30.

The 24-man squad announced for the two fixtures includes a first call-up for 19-year-old Southampton defender Matt Targett.

Southgate revealed he was delighted to offer a recall to Tottenham defender Eric Dier, who opted out of one of Southgate's squads in November.

Southgate added: "Eric felt he needed to go away and work on his game - he wanted to establish himself at centre-back and he's done that which is great credit to him.

"I did speak to him before this squad because I wanted to check he wanted to be a part of it but he said all along it was a temporary thing and he needed more time to work on his game and he's delighted to be back in the fray.''