Paul Ince sacked by Blackburn Rovers

16 December 2008 11:59
Blackburn are currently second from bottom of the Premier League table and it was decided to relieve Ince of his duties at a meeting of the club's board on Monday. It followed a run of six consecutive league defeats for the former Macclesfield and MK Dons manager.

Ray Mathias and Archie Konx, who were coach and assistant manager under Ince, will take temporary charge of first-team affairs, starting with the game against Stoke on Saturday.

In a statement, the club said they "were desperate for him to succeed and wanted to give him as much time as possible in the unforgiving environment of Premier League management where time is such a precious commodity".

Chairman John Williams said: "Three wins in 17 [league] games has seen a squad, which finished seventh last season, fall to 19th position. We are currently in real danger of becoming detached from the pack.

"The survival of the club in the Premier League is paramount and our focus now is on finding a replacement who will be able to maintain our top division status. Paul will bounce back, he is a fighter and we wish him well."

The writing appeared to be on wall when Williams openly criticised the 3-0 defeat at Wigan on Saturday.

"After all the signs coming out of Brockhall [Blackburn's training ground] this week, I was led to believe we would get a top performance," he said. "Without taking anything away from Wigan I have to say I was very disappointed with what I saw.

"The worry is the league table is beginning to stretch out and now we need two wins just to get back among the pack at the bottom."

The sacking followed a call from Richard Bevan, the chief executive of the League Managers' Association to keep faith with Ince. "He's only been there five months and not brought in his own players," he said. "I'm sure chairmen, the likes of John Williams at Blackburn, are under a lot of pressure.

"They have got a massive commitment into the club and what we have got to get over is that continuity, looking at allowing managers to build relationships with the fans, the players and particularly the board.

"If you do that, then stats and history shows that you will be more successful. Blackburn sold the likes of David Bentley and Brad Friedel for £20m and probably, I think, they are the lowest spenders from the transfer window in August, so I think we just need to give Paul time.

"He has got big matches coming up - he has got Stoke at home, Sunderland away, Manchester City at home and Fulham away, so they are all matches where he can pick up points.

"I think the best example of where we've got to bring a bit of calm to the situation is to just look at Gary Megson at Bolton.

"At the beginning of November everyone was saying he should be kicked out or resigning, he goes and wins four out of five matches and he wins manager of the month." Blackburn are the sixth Premier League club to have changed managers already this season.

Manager Date started Date finished Played Won Drawn Lost Goals for Goals against Win percentage Ray Harford 25/06/95 25/10/96 48 18 11 19 67 61 37.50 Tony Parkes 25/10/96 01/06/97 28 9 11 8 36 29 32.14 Roy Hodgson 10/06/97 22/11/98 52 18 13 21 71 74 34.62 Brian Kidd 04/12/98 03/11/98 23 5 11 7 24 28 21.74 Graeme Souness 14/03/00 06/09/04 118 40 32 46 162 161 33.90 Mark Hughes 16/09/04 04/06/08 147 58 39 50 181 176 39.46 Paul Ince22/06/0816/12/08173410173417.65NB Does not include caretaker managers

* Ince has the worst win percentage of any Blackburn manager in the Premier League

Source: Telegraph