Paul Clement has admitted to Derby County’s official website that he was surprised to learn that Tom Ince’s hat-trick against Bristol City was the first of his professional career.
Ince scored three times in Derby’s recent 4-0 victory over the Robins to end his eight-game wait for a goal in dramatic fashion. And Clement says that the 23-year-old’s task is now to push on, after getting back on the score-sheet once moe.
“I was actually surprised that he hadn’t scored a hat-trick before last week because he is a talented offensive player,” Clement said.
“Now we want him to push on and he knows that every game brings a different challenge for him and the team.
“The good players deal with the problems posed by the opposition and raise their game to any kind of situation.”
Ince has made a good start to the challenge that Clement has set him, as he scored in Derby’s most recent match against Ipswich Town.
The former Hull City man scored the winner at Portman Road as the Rams picked up a hugely important victory over their fellow promotion chasers.
Ince has now scored seven times in 19 Championship appearances so far this season, which builds on the 11 goals he managed for the Rams iatthe back end of the last campaign.
Derby’s win over Ipswich has elevated them into the top two of the Championship table, with Clement’s side’s next match coming against Fulham on Boxing Day.