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Paul Ince: ‘If I were to go back into management, Steve Gibson is type of person I’d want to work for – but I haven’t heard from Boro’

We spoke to Ince after links to vacant Middlesbrough job saw his odds slashed from 40/1 - 3/1

Comments

Firstly, I’ve no idea where the Middlesbrough link has come from. I’ve been out playing golf all day, and got home to calls asking about it.

The truth is, I haven’t spoken to Boro. The chairman has my number, but he hasn’t called.

Personally, I hope Steve Agnew gets the job and keeps them up.

I had a fantastic three years at the club – I had great times there, and really enjoyed my time there with Terry Venables.

It’s a great place. Every time I go up there – most recently for the FA Cup game against Man City – I get a great reception, which isn’t always the case with my former clubs!

It’s a massive club which will always have a special place – the chairman, Steve Gibson, is one of the best you could work for in football, and he always looked after me.

On a personal note, I hope they can survive for him. He’s put so much heart, soul and money into the club that he deserves more than relegation.

He stays true to his managers, which is rare in football. If I were to go back into management – and that’s not a guarantee because I’m enjoying my BT work so much at the moment – he’d be the type of chairman I’d want to work for.

So I’m gutted to see them struggling, but I think they’ve still got a chance to get out of it. There’s still 25% of the season still to go.

They’ve got a run of three games now – Swansea and Hull away, before Burnley at home – where it’s absolutely vital they pick up some points. A few wins there would change everything.

If they’re going to get those results – whoever’s in charge – they’re going to need to start scoring goals. I know that, last season, they were a very defensive unit, and they didn’t concede many, but you can’t replicate that in the Premier League – the gulf in quality is too vast.

If they can start to nick a few points here and there, they’ll have a chance. Especially at home. I remember playing in a crucial relegation fixture in my time at the club, and I scored to make it 2-2 against Bradford. That got us going again, the next week we beat Arsenal, and the rest is history.

I’ve been frustrated that I haven’t had more job offers, because I think my CV is better than many people give me credit for – given that most of my teams had no budget – but it is flattering to be linked with a club that means so much to me.

What do you think?