Paul Ince set to be named Blackpool boss

 

Paul Ince is set to be unveiled as Blackpool manager on Monday after he watched the Tangerines slip to a 1-0 defeat at Ipswich this afternoon.

The former England international sat in the directors' box at Portman Road as Michael Chopra's 50th-minute strike settled the contest.

While Blackpool are yet to confirm Ince's arrival, caretaker boss Steve Thompson revealed after today's game that the 45-year-old was on the brink of agreeing a deal.

"There's going to be an announcement on Monday. It's going to be Paul Ince," he said.

"The deal is very close to being done."

Ince has not managed since he left Notts County almost two years ago and his return will see him coach his son and England Under-21 international Tom Ince.

Thompson has been in interim charge since Michael Appleton left for Blackburn on January 11 and revealed he hoped to remain to help Ince on his return to management.

"It's something I want to do," he said.

"It's quite difficult stepping in as number two. As much as you try and do things right, you always know that this time next week you might have your arm round a new manager as his assistant.

"I'll just have to see what happens.

"I think Paul wants me to work with his team. I'll keep my head down and work as hard as I can for him, but further down the line, I want to be number one."

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy hailed substitute Chopra his cool finish - his fifth goal of the campaign - came five minutes into the second half.

McCarthy saluted his player and said there was never any chance of him leaving on loan, despite approaches from rival clubs.

"Some clubs asked about him but I made the decision we needed him and needed his goals," McCarthy said.

"His winner was the one bit of real quality in the whole game. From the time he made his run to the time he got across the defender and held him off to the minute he finished with his weaker left foot.

"The defender was all over him and the keeper narrowed his angle, so it was real quality. He showed a bit of class.

"He's got something about him. He scores his goals but it was the way he went about his job and worked hard.

"He stopped them playing from the back, as best he could. I thought he was excellent."

McCarthy was delighted with the victory, despite it being an ugly, tense contest.

"It was horrible, scrappy, scruffy, ugly, magnificent 1-0 win," he said.

"I'm not bothered how we get them as long as we get the points to keep us in this league.

"We need everyone scrapping and they we're all doing that."

Chopra's winner came when he raced onto a superb, lofted through ball from Guirane N'Daw, shrugged off the challenge of Alex Baptiste and coolly slotted a low, angled shot past goalkeeper Matt Gilks.

Town just about deserved victory in what became an increasingly tense and sometimes scrappy affair.

Daryl Murphy and Luke Hyam both had early chances for them, before Tiago Gomes lashed against the post for Blackpool after being played in by Chris Basham.

Baptiste then shot across the face of goal and agonisingly wide after a pass from Matt Derbyshire.

Both sides huffed and puffed after the goal but it was the Tangerines who went closest, when Baptiste's header was cleared off the line by substitute Frank Nouble.

"We always said the first goal was going to be massive," Thompson said.

"The Tiago Gomes one was a great chance. He hit the post and if he'd pulled it back Matt Derbyshire had an open goal.

"I'm not saying it makes or breaks the game, but it could have been very important."

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