Match Report: Old master Neil Warnock ensures that new Blackpool manager Paul Ince starts with defeat against Leeds United
Leeds United 2 Blackpool 0
Thursday 21 February 2013
Paul Ince could hardly conceal his delight on his return to management, but for Neil Warnock there was talk of retirement – in part, at least.
It has been almost two years since Ince last barked out orders from the sideline, and even though he failed to get the better of one of the elder statesmen of his profession in Warnock, the 45-year-old was a happy man. He said: "It's better than being sat at home watching TV, or being out walking the dog. We played some good stuff at times and there's plenty to work on."
Defeat leaves Blackpool 11 points shy of the final play-off place in the Championship. Ince added: "You look at how many big teams have come down from the Premier League and the most important thing for us is to get to 50 points. There are a lot of teams lower than us in the division who've spent a lot more money than us."
Leeds maintained their slim play-off hopes, a victory sealed with two goals in the space of six minutes. David Norris marked his 400th league appearance with the opener just before the hour mark, as Blackpool failed to deal with a Ross McCormack corner. When the ball broke loose, Norris reacted first to fire into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Warnock didn't have long to wait for the decisive second in front of Elland Road's largest league crowd of the season.
Blackpool were again architects of their own demise as Stephen Crainey's attempts to clear Sam Byram's cross succeeded only in the ball falling to Steve Morison thanks to a slip by full-back Alex Baptiste.
The forward didn't need a second invitation to secure all three points, gratefully firing home his first goal since joining from Norwich last month.
Warnock is expected to leave his post when his contract expires in the summer even if he leads the club to promotion. About his future, Warnock said: "If you brought another manager in, I can't see them getting any more out of this group of players."
Regardless of where he is next season, he added: "I don't think I'll retire. I fancy helping a younger manager or something like that. There's not much liaison between boards and managers so I'll still keep my hand in and probably come in every January to help keep a team up – a bit like Red Adair, that would suit me."
Leeds (4-4-2): Kenny; Byram, Lees, Peltier, Warnock; Green, Norris (Pearce, 90), Tonge (Brown, 84), Varney; McCormack, Morison. Substitutes not used Ashdown, White, Diouf, Habibou, Hall.
Blackpool (4-2-3-1): Gilks; Baptiste, Broadfoot, Cathcart, Crainey; Ferguson, Osbourne; Ince, Sylvestre (Derbyshire, 74), Phillips; Taylor-Fletcher (Delfouneso, 70). Substitutes not used Wabara, Eardley, Basham, Halstead, Martinez.
Referee C Boyeson (East Yorkshire).
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