Paul Ince backs son's decision to quit England Under-21s

Paul Ince has backed son Tom over the decision to call a halt to his England Under-21 career for the sake of his club future.

Winger Tom Ince told England boss Gareth Southgate he no longer wishes to be considered for selection -- ruling himself out of this summer's European Under-21 Championship.

His father, the former England, Manchester United and Liverpool midfielder, says the 23-year-old -- in his last year of eligibility for the England Under-21 side -- had to think about his long-term career and focus on club football.

While Southgate has said he was "surprised," his former England colleague is confident the move is a sensible step.

"His attitude has been spot on," Paul Ince told Sky Sports News. "But sometimes you have to be selfish in life and he's got to think about his own long-term future. It was a tough decision for him but I think it's the right one.

"Over the last year he has been a bit stop-start. He's moved from Blackpool to Crystal Palace, to Hull, to Nottingham Forest and now Derby. It's important to stabilise yourself somewhere. He's been here, there and everywhere -- like a nomad."

After two-and-a-half successful seasons at Blackpool, Ince moved on loan to Palace in January 2014, before joining Hull in the summer. He has played most of his football this season away from Hull, however, with loan spells at Forest and Derby affording him the chance to be involved regularly.

Paul Ince said: "Next year it's important, wherever he's going to be, which will hopefully be at Hull, that he starts sustaining his place in the first team because it's the Premier League -- it's your bread and butter.

"He needs to think about himself and the future of his career. It's not going to be with England Under-21s or the seniors, it's going to be a club level and the next things will follow on -- England is a bonus."