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Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 12:52 UK

Blackburn hold no fears for Ince


Ince excited by Blackburn oppoprtunity

Paul Ince insisted the Premier League held no fears as he was unveiled as the new manager of Blackburn Rovers.

Ince, 40, left MK Dons to succeed Mark Hughes, signing a three-year deal.

He said: "I'm not scared of many things and there is no fear factor here. It should be exciting and I'm excited. It means the world to me to be here.

"I want to excite and entertain the fans and if they have seen my teams and how I like to play, I hope they will be excited by the prospects for us."


Ince played down questions about his status as the Premier League's first British black manager - and also insisted he will be going all-out to keep his best players, despite David Bentley wanting a move away from Ewood Park and Roque Santa Cruz also at the centre of speculation.

When asked about being the top-flight's first black British boss, Ince said: "It means a lot but it also means a lot that I am in the Premier League.

"I am proud of where I come from but I'm also proud to be in the Premiership."

Ince, who will bring Ray Mathias from MK Dons as his assistant, added: "I am happy to be a role model for anybody whether they are black, white, yellow, pink or purple. I'm proud of where I come from and I'm proud of my roots."

He has not given up hope of persuading 15m-rated England star Bentley to stay at the club, saying: "I want to keep my best players - Bentley, Santa Cruz, all of them. I will be speaking to those two players and the rest of my players and go from there."

Blackburn chairman John Williams also confirmed Ince will be under a contractual obligation to get the Uefa Pro Licence that is required to coach in the top-flight after the Premier League gave a special dispensation.

He said: "On behalf of the Premier League I would say that they rightly made us work very hard to get Paul and we had to give certain undertakings because quite clearly Paul didn't meet the requirements of the rule.

"It was a bit like that film, Groundhog Day. You'd wake up thinking Paul was a candidate and you go to bed thinking he's not. He couldn't finally be a candidate until dispensation was given.

"The case was made that Paul had served his apprenticeship in the lower leagues and had been busy with that since he stopped playing and we gave the undertaking that Paul will get the licence.

"Paul has signed a contract of employment with Blackburn where that undertaking is a contractual term. It's not something we'll just try and get done. He's under contract to Blackburn that he will complete that timeframe and we in turn have given that to the Premier League."

In order to be a football manager in the top divisions of Spain, Italy, Germany and France, coaches must have the Uefa Pro Licence qualification.

It was a bit like that film, Groundhog Day. You'd wake up thinking Paul was a candidate and you go to bed thinking he's not

Blackburn chairman John Williams
The licence requires 240 hours of study and usually takes a year to achieve.

But in the past in England, special dispensations have been given to the likes of Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate, former Chelsea manager Avram Grant and ex-Southampton boss Steve Wigley.

England's first black captain has also received the support of Piara Power, director of anti-racism organisation Kick It Out.

He said: "Although Paul Ince has been given the job solely on the basis of what he can bring to Blackburn Rovers, we hope he can be an inspiration to the many other black players leaving the game and a signal to chairmen across the leagues that they too should be looking at black coaching talent."


Watch the whole Paul Ince news conference

see also
Exciting times to come - Warnock
23 Jun 08 |  Blackburn
Blackburn appoint Ince as manager
22 Jun 08 |  Blackburn
Comment: Ince deserves chance
22 Jun 08 |  Football
Barnes battles for post as boss
23 Jun 08 |  Football
Paul Ince career photos
22 Jun 08 |  Blackburn
Rovers get Ince licence exemption
20 Jun 08 |  Blackburn
What is a Uefa Pro Licence?
23 Jun 08 |  Football
Blackburn link flattering - Ince
11 Jun 08 |  Blackburn
Shearer declines Blackburn chance
11 Jun 08 |  Blackburn
Hughes becomes Man City manager
05 Jun 08 |  Man City
Blackburn in no rush for new boss
04 Jun 08 |  Blackburn
'Perfect' season for Ince at Dons
28 Apr 08 |  Milton Keynes

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