TOM Ince has revealed a fear of getting the chop is driving him to produce his best football.
The young striker appears to have finally nailed down a place in the starting 11 after a couple of fine displays, including a goal in last week’s FA Cup win over Fleetwood.
But suggest to the 19-year-old that he is now first choice and he couldn’t disagree more.
“You never definitely have the shirt, especially at this club where there are so many good strikers and the manager has so many options,” said Ince.
“You have to earn the right to play by working hard in training every day, doing what the gaffer tells you to, and winning games – because that’s what we get paid to do, play well and win. Things might be going well at the moment but I know I have to continue to work hard.
“As well as myself, there is Matty Phillips, LuaLua, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Kevin Phillips... there are loads that can come in. Elliot Grandin has been injured but he is a fantastic player.
“So I know I have to stay at the top of my game to keep my place.
“That might not always be possible. Not every player is going to play well every week. You are always going to have bad games.
“But I am just going to concentrate in training, work hard, and then come a Saturday – if I am selected – do my best, which I always do.”