Blackpool were tonight indignant about suggestions that Paul Ince has tendered his resignation, five months after taking over as manager at the Championship club.
The club insisted that the 45-year-old took training today at the club’s pre-season training base in Portugal and to have discussed transfer targets with the club’s chairman Karl Oyston. Oyston has received no indication from Ince that he wants to leave, despite the club’s message boards being rife with such rumours in the past few weeks. Ince, who currently faces a tough low-budget recruitment period to a replace a number of established players who are leaving Blackpool, could not be reached today.
The relationship between Ince and Oyston is a challenging one, with the former Manchester United, Liverpool and England midfielder far less comfortable with the chairman’s wheeler-dealer methods and reluctance to spend than Ian Holloway was. Ince has been disappointed that Blackpool have been struggling to prevent the loss of left back Steven Crainey, who has been linked to Wigan. Ludovic Sylvestre, Ian Evatt and Alex Baptiste with Kirk Broadfoot have all stalled over new deals. Baptiste appears destined for Bolton, Broadfoot has not responded to the offer of a new contract and Evatt has been released. The Crainey situation may have been more of a frustration to Ince than the prospect of losing his son, Thomas, who is attracting Premier League interest and seems likely to go.
Ince has had a bumpy time in management, lasting only 177 days at Blackburn Rovers at the start of the 2008/9 season after winning three games in 17. Blackpool finished 15th in the Championship, five points of the relegation zone last season.
He may have as many as 10 players to recruit in five weeks before the season starts and said this week that he must consider three triallists, three of whom have joined the squad in Portugal. Ince said on Wednesday: “I’ll look to bring in three or four triallists but I don’t want to make it like a cattle market where you are bringing triallists in all the time. If you do that you never get any consistency or fluency. It’s hard because you get calls from agents telling you to give their kid a trial because he’s a great player. But if they are that great, why are they coming on trial? Sometimes they can be embarrassing and it doesnt look good for the management when your players are training with triallists who are absolutely terrible.”