Paul Ince's fate at Blackburn to be decided in 24 hours as players party in Dublin

15 December 2008 11:47
Now sitting second from bottom in the Premier League after a 3-0 loss to Wigan at the weekend, speculation surrounding Ince's replacement is growing with Graeme Souness and Sam Allardyce emerging as favourites for the hotseat.

For Ince, however, his future is not at the forefront of his priorities: "It's nothing to do with me," he said. "I have more to worry about than my future. I have to try and lift 20 players in time for next week.

"It doesn't matter about Paul Ince, what matters is these players, trying to get them three points. Whatever will be, will be. At the moment, I'm just disappointed for my players and for the fans.

"I've been fighting all my life. I've fought from the first day I walked into the Premier League and will continue to do so."

According to the Mail, Roque Santa Cruz and midfielder Tugay were the only players not to have travelled to the Irish capital fearing fans' reactions to them partying at a time when their manager's fate hangs in the balance.

Ince, though, who had organised his own celebrations for the backroom staff, cancelled them given that there was little to celebrate following their latest defeat.

Former Manchester United captain Ince remains confident he can turn Blackburn's fortunes around even though the loss to Wigan was their sixth in a row.

"You can't explain it because you're not the one who goes out there, you can only prepare the players. Once they cross that white line there is little you can do about it.

"There is no point feeling sorry for yourself, there is no point in the players feeling sorry for themselves, they have just got to keep believing.

"We need to believe we can beat Stoke. We're hurting. We've let ourselves, as well as the fans, down. I understand their frustration, but it's easy to drop your heads; you have to keep on fighting.

"Stoke is a massive match. If we win, it sets us up nicely for Sunderland."

Ince has found support in the shape of his former team mate Steve Bruce. The Wigan manager said that Ince's position is nowhere near as drastic as his was this time last year: "We had nine points this time last year so there is time for Blackburn to get out of trouble," he said.

"They are capable of that because they have good players. He [Ince] will come out fighting and snarling and determined to turn it around.

"We have all been there. If he does turn it round, which I'm sure he will, it will make him a better manager."

Meanwhile, Allardyce has denied any contact with Blackburn and seems to be eager for a move to Sunderland to replace the recently departed Roy Keane.

"As far as I am concerned I talked to Blackburn when it was between me, Paul Ince and Steve McClaren," he said. "But that has been the sum total of any contact between me and Blackburn since then. There's nothing in it at the moment."

Source: Telegraph