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Always some Ings there to remind me – Danny keeps sole England cap close to home

Watford v Southampton – Premier League – Vicarage Road
(Image credit: Richard Heathcote/NMC Pool)

Danny Ings may have handed all of his football memorabilia onto his father – but he revealed he has kept his one and only England cap close at hand to use as a target and further his international career.

The 28-year-old Southampton striker made his Three Lions debut in a Euro 2016 qualifier away to Lithuania almost five years ago.

Having just signed for Liverpool, Ings appeared to be heading for big things before he suffered a serious knee injury just days after making his England bow.

Danny Ings made his only England appearance to date four years ago

Danny Ings made his only England appearance to date in 2015 (Nick Potts/PA)

He would go on to leave Anfield and return to Saints – his boyhood club who had released him from their youth set-up for being too small – for whom he would hit 22 Premier League goals last season.

That has seen him finally land another England call-up as he looks to add to his collection of caps in the forthcoming Nations League fixtures away to Iceland and Denmark.

“Since I was a kid and throughout my career, my dad has all the stuff – but the cap stayed with me as a reminder,” he said.

“It was something for me to work towards. I just kept it in the house with me because I did not want to have just one cap.

“I want to represent my country more and more and to be in the squads. I am extremely excited.

“It is not on display but it is just in the house… there. When I got the call, it was good to get it out and hopefully I can add more to it in the future.”

Asked whether his recent setbacks have made this call-up something he can appreciate more than he did the first time around, Ings added: “Yes, I think so.

“It has been a long time since that brief spell in the national team so to be back in this environment it gives me great confidence that over the years I have been doing something right and improving and trying to get back to the levels I wanted to be at.

“As I have said before I want to get even better now and keep improving and try to make as many squads as I can because it will be a great feeling to do so.”

Ings also pointed to the example of Jamie Vardy – with the pair having followed similar career paths.

Vardy, 33, has retired from international football but ended the 2019-20 season with Leicester as the Premier League Golden Boot winner.

Ings is inspired by the goalscoring exploits of veteran striker Jamie Vardy

Ings is inspired by the goalscoring exploits of veteran striker Jamie Vardy (Mike Egerton/PA)

“What Jamie has done for years for Leicester has been phenomenal,” added Ings.

“He has a similar background to me in non-league football. So it is great.

“I just want to be as consistent as I can be in training and in games and if it means I am scoring goals every season from now on, then fantastic.

“But as long as the team is winning and we keep improving as a club, that’s very important.”