Ince ready to extend career with Wolves

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Paul Ince is poised to change his mind and continue playing with Wolverhampton Wanderers for another season. The 36-year-old former England midfielder had been set to follow the example of his team-mate Denis Irwin and call time on his career this summer.

But now Ince, capped 53 times by his country, is indicating that he will be prepared to delay hanging up his boots for another 12 months - even if Wolves are relegated from the Premiership.

Ince feels he is still able to compete with the demands of top-flight football and has been a major figure in Wolves' bid to avoid an immediate return to the First Division. "When you feel you are playing well consistently and don't feel your legs are going there's no reason why I can't continue playing football," he said.

"Does it depend on staying up? Not really, no. Wolves are a great club with great fans and you are a long time retired and not playing.

"If you feel good in yourself and feel really fine physically, why not reconsider things and do another year?

"I felt good after the play-offs last May against Sheffield United for another year in the game and, with just 11 games to go this season, I feel good, so why not?"

Ince has played for West Ham United, Manchester United, Internazionale, Liverpool and Middlesbrough, and was persuaded to put his retirement plans on hold by manager Dave Jones before helping Wolves win promotion last year.

Wolves, currently 18th in the Premiership, are fighting hard to preserve their top-flight status but Ince is desperate to avoid a return to the First Division. "Yes, it is hard when you play in the Nationwide League. You go to certain grounds with little changing rooms and it can get to you. I've only been in the Nationwide League one year. I'm not used to that," Ince said.

"I've felt this year [the Premiership] is where I belong. I've had the chance to play against the best players again - the likes of Steven Gerrard and Roy Keane - and have competed with them and am still enjoying it."

Elsewhere, the Bolton Wanderers captain Jay-Jay Okocha is urging the board to speed up his contract talks. Okocha would like to see the situation move on this week after Bolton's defeat by Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup final.

"In the next couple of weeks, I would like to know what I will be doing," he said. "It is not in my hands. I've got to wait for the right offer and I'd like talks with the chairman [Phil Gartside] this week if possible."

* Ronaldinho broke a window in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela while filming a television advert. Fortunately for the Barcelona player, the window was a small, modern addition to Spain's most famous pilgrims' shrine. The Brazilian was asked to try a scissor-kick beneath the cathedral's 12th Century Portico de la Gloria (Portal of Glory). "I asked Ronaldinho to hit the ball as hard as he could and he had the bad luck to hit the window," the advert's director Emil Samper said. "It was my fault."