Ince arrived on loan on transfer deadline day, and he told the official Derby website that Steve McClaren has been the reason for his return to form.
Signed from Hull City to help the Rams clinch promotion to the top flight, Ince was arriving with little football to his name this season. An earlier loan spell with Nottingham Forest had done little to prove his ability, and just one goal in 12 appearances for Hull suggested he was not cut out for the Premier League.
However, since signing at the iPro, the England U21 international has scored six goals in just eight games, and slightly helped the Rams overcome their recent stutter. Playing in a side known for their adherence to footballing aesthetics has certainly helped, and Ince is once again showing the kind of ability that had him considered as one of England’s brightest prospects in recent years.
It also helps that the 23-year-old is playing under Steve McClaren, who is known as a brilliant man manager. Although he struggled in the early part of the campaign, since signing for Derby he has come alive as a creative force, and Ince admitted to the official Derby website that the former England boss was a key reason for his return to form.
“Even in the short time that I have been here it has been fantastic and I don’t think there is anything he doesn’t give you as a player,” the winger was quoted as saying.
“He gives you freedom and that’s what I think you need, especially wide and attacking players. On a personal level, to allow me that freedom, that chance to play regularly and to earn the right to play is significant.
“The biggest thing for me is freedom and it is allowing me to play at my best.”