Ince hoping to shine in Italian job ahead of England role

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The Independent Online

Paul Ince has revealed his dream job would be to manage the Italian club Internazionale rather than become England coach.

The former England midfielder became the first black British manager in Premier League history when he took charge of Blackburn Rovers last week after success at Macclesfield and the MK Dons. The 40-year-old has always been vocal in his support of England but his fond memories of the two years he spent at the San Siro from 1995 to 1997 has led to a desire to manage the side in Serie A.

"My dream was always to manage in the Premier League," Ince told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme yesterday. "I've got the chance to do that now. I'm very patriotic, I love my country, I loved playing for it. In time to come that could be a case but there are a lot of better managers out there who are probably in front of me as far as getting the England job.

"If I was to have my dream it would probably be to go and manage Inter Milan in the future: I had two great years there and I'd love to go back there and manage. But in the meantime all my energies are focused on Blackburn and having a really good season."

One of Ince's first priorities will be to sort out the futures of the England midfielder David Bentley and the Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz. Both have been linked with moves from Ewood Park, and the former has handed in a transfer request citing his desire to play European football.

However, the former Manchester United and West Ham midfielder says he expects the pair to remain in the North-west.

"I don't see why not," he said. "They are both under contract and I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be. Football can change from one week to the next but I will expect them there on July 7 to start pre-season training."

Ince was also the first black captain of England and he is proud of his appointment to the post, hoping he can act as an inspiration to other potential black managers. "It's a great milestone for me," Ince said. "To be the first black British manager in the Premier League is awesome and hopefully it can be the flagship for the likes of Andy Cole, Ledley King and Rio Ferdinand to get into the coaching system and help them become managers."

Ferdinand has also captained his country, though yesterday he maintained that being England captain is not the be all and end all." The 29-year-old captained Manchester United in the European Cup final against Chelsea and also led the national team in Fabio Capello's second game in charge when they faced France in March.

However, the United defender is adamant he is not motivated by the possibility of being captain and that his main concern is winning trophies for both club and country.

Ferdinand told Sky Sports News: "I don't really think about it. I think other people think about it and talk about it more than myself. It's not the be all and end all for me.

"I've said from the beginning I go out to play football for my team and to try and win trophies. It's not all about being captain – I've said many times the more captains there are on the pitch the better for the team. At Manchester United last season we had a lot of captains on the pitch no matter who wore the armband so if that happens with the England team then that's great."

The former West Ham player admitted he would be interested in a career in management, commenting: "A coaching role, be it with a youth team or a first team, some form of management may interest me. But who knows? I've got a long way to go yet with my career. I've just signed a new deal with United and long may that continue. I think every player sees a little bit of a manager in themselves but whether you can do it or whether you get the opportunity is a different thing all together so I am concentrating on playing for now and if it does come around in the future then that would be great."

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