Ince faces make or break in favourable run
Wednesday 10 December 2008
Paul Ince, the Blackburn Rovers manager, knows only a return to winning ways can ease the pressure which is growing over his short tenure at Ewood Park.
Ince's position was almost certainly one of the main topics of discussion at yesterday's monthly board meeting. However, having opted for the former manager of League One MK Dons instead of more experienced candidates in the summer, the Blackburn chairman, John Williams, is reluctant to make a change with Ince less than five months into the job.
Even though Rovers have slipped from seventh in September to their current position of 19th after a run of 10 Premier League matches without victory, the manager will be given more time to turn things around.
Fortunately for Ince, the fixture list is in his favour. After Saturday's trip to Wigan, Rovers face Stoke, Sunderland, Manchester City, Fulham, Newcastle, Bolton and Middlesbrough before the end of next month.
It is a run which is likely to make or break Blackburn's season but Ince cannot afford not to make the most of matches against teams currently outside the Premier League's top eight.
Williams has set the team a target of nine league wins in total this season – they currently have three – but he that stressed the players had to start turning things around pretty quickly.
"We have 22 games left and the sooner we start picking up the wins the better the situation will look," the chairman said. "The longer we go without a win the more difficult it becomes for us to get those wins we need.
"The players and the manager believe our fortunes will change once we get that first win," Williams added, "but we all know we need that win quickly."
Despite reports of dressing-room unrest, the players appear to be fully behind Ince and Nigel Winterburn, brought in by the manager as a defensive coach, has backed him to succeed.
"If you give Paul time, then you can make a judgement on him, but you can't judge somebody after 15 games," Winterburn said. "It almost seems now we are very judgemental within a few games, it's absolutely crazy."
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0: Eight things we learnt as Blues step closer to the Premier League title
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho plays down news signings Nathan and Yoshinori Muto but talks up Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta needs 'five minutes' to sign new contract and remain with the Gunners
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate