Blackpool winger Thomas Ince is upset over claims England's U21 flops lack desire.
Ince quit Liverpool two years ago to establish himself as a senior player.
"I went to play alongside grown men who played week in, week out to put food on the table for their families and all the rest of it," he told the Mirror.
"After I'd had that four- or five-month loan spell there I went back to Liverpool, I sat down with my Dad and I said: 'Do you know what? I need more of that.'
"I don't think that's a lack of desire. I had the odd occasion where I would go up to Melwood and train with Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. I could have signed an extended three-year contract, stayed at Liverpool and not played.
"But I wanted to work hard. I wanted to go out and play. At that point, Ian Holloway, the Blackpool manager at the time, gave me the chance to express myself and I took it. I will always be grateful for that."