New Hull City winger Tom Ince has admitted he is eager to play in the Europa League this season and test himself against opposition from around Europe.
The former Blackpool winger turned down offers from England and around Europe to play under Steve Bruce at the KC Stadium.
Ince was a substitute in Hull’s win over Trencin in the previous qualifying round but he is pushing for a start on Thursday after impressing during Saturday’s 1-0 win over QPR.
Bruce’s side must now beat Lokeren to reach the group stages and Ince is relishing the chance to test himself against opposition from around Europe.
He said: “We have great depth in this team now because we know we are going to be fighting on a lot of fronts.
“To be in that tournament with this club is massive, it’s the first time in their history.
“We play a strong Belgian side on Thursday but we have strength in depth and ability in all areas. It’s massive to mix it with the big boys and against the big teams.
“To play in Europe, Champions League or Europa League, is a fantastic opportunity.”
Bruce will be without fellow summer signing Robert Snodgrass for the game with the former Leeds United midfielder set to miss six months of action.
The Scotland international dislocated his kneecap during the win over QPR and he is set for further scans to see if he suffered ligament damage.