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Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 16:26 UK

Mathias delighted at Rovers move

Paul Ince (left) and Ray Mathias (right)
Mathias (r) has worked with Ince for two years (Phil Smith, Dons)

Ray Mathias thinks his time has come after being appointed as assistant manager to Paul Ince at Blackburn.

The 61-year-old has worked under Ince at Macclesfield Town and MK Dons.

"Throughout your career you strive to get to the top. It's been a long time in coming but eventually you get there," he told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"Our last two seasons [in League Two] have been unbelievable in terms of what we have had to do and what we've managed to achieve."

Ince and Mathias saved Macclesfield from relegation from League Two after they had looked doomed in 2006/07 and led MK Dons to the League Two and Johnstone's Paint Trophy double.

Mathias said: "When we went to Macclesfield, to go there and be 13 points behind everybody else, having not won a game, and then to stay up was a great achievement.

"We had a great time at Milton Keynes also winning the league and the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. We're very pleased with that and delighted to be going to Blackburn."

Mathias spent his entire career as a player with Tranmere Rovers and has had spells in charge of Wigan (twice), Tranmere and Chester as a caretaker manager and he is keen to stress that Ince's management style is not similar to how he played.

"I think people expected him to go in, with the type of player he was and whip everybody in to shape to do their best for the football club but it's not the case," he said.

"Paul is sensible and knows how to treat players well. He is very diplomatic and very honest.

Wigan Athletic 1986-1989 & 1998-1999 (manager)
Tranmere Rovers 2001-2003 (manager)
Chester City 2004 (caretaker manager)
Bury 2005 (assistant manager)
Macclesfield Town 2006-2007 (assistant manager)
MK Dons 2007-2008 (assistant manager)
Blackburn Rovers 2008 - (assistant manager)
"He hates looking back and hates looking forward. He lives for today. He never has any airs and graces about anything.

"He'll go about his job as he always does. He is very professional and he expects everyone around him to be exactly the same.

He added: "Paul adjusted well to the job he had to do with Macclesfield and it was the same at MK Dons.

"The players used to go to the local cafe at Macclesfield to get beans on toast, a pie or whatever.

"Then the diet came in and it was exactly the same at MK Dons, where we had a sports scientist."

see also
Ince names Mathias as assistant
26 Oct 06 |  Macclesfield
Mathias happy as Silkmen stay up
06 May 07 |  Macclesfield

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