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Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Saturday, 6 December 2008

Benitez backs under-pressure Ince

PREMIER LEAGUE
Venue: Ewood Park Date: Saturday, 6 December Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Merseyside 95.8 FM, Updates on BBC Sport website & highlights on Match of the Day; featured game on Final Score

Paul Ince (left) and Rafael Benitez
Benitez believes Ince needs more time to gain experience

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez hopes a win for his side at Ewood Park on Saturday will not result in Blackburn boss Paul Ince getting the sack.

Ince is under pressure following four league defeats in a row, but the former Manchester United midfielder has won the backing of his Spanish rival.

"Hopefully we can win and Paul Ince will stay at the club," said Benitez.

"He is young and can become very good with experience. It is part of the game to learn how to manage under pressure."

Ince, who is just five months into his current job, has already called for more time following Wednesday's 5-3 Carling Cup defeat at Manchester United.

The players have made mistakes we weren't making under Mark Hughes so I feel bad for the manager

Ryan Nelsen
Blackburn Rovers captain
Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn, now defensive coach at Blackburn, echoed Ince's plea for patience.

Winterburn told BBC Radio 5 Live: "If you give Paul time, then you can make a judgment on him but you can't judge somebody after 15 games.

"Even talking about judging him at the end of the season - give him at least two or three seasons to work his way into the job.

"It almost seems now we are very judgmental within a few games, it's absolutely crazy."

Rovers, 19th in the top flight, have won just once against leaders Liverpool in their last 19 league meetings.

"I cannot allow myself to think of anything but my own team, my responsibility is to win every game for Liverpool," said Benitez.

"I will try to do that and I wish Paul Ince all the best for the future, but only after this game."

Ince, who has implored his team to "stick together" despite their poor run, has also received the support of Rovers captain Ryan Nelsen.

"Paul's been great," said the New Zealander. "He's taken a lot of flak when the players should have.

"All the players have made mistakes we weren't making under (former manager Mark) Hughes so I feel bad for the manager.

"Everyone's training, working hard, heads aren't down; we're not slumping around feeling sorry for ourselves.

"We know the situation we're in and we're working hard with the staff, with the gaffer, to get up this league."

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see also
Under-fire Ince wants more time
05 Dec 08 |  Blackburn
Blackburn v Liverpool
04 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Hero Tevez hails four-goal salvo
03 Dec 08 |  League Cup
Blackburn boss gives Jansen hope
21 Nov 08 |  Blackburn
Ferguson unsure over Keane return
05 Dec 08 |  Sunderland
Blackburn appoint Ince as manager
22 Jun 08 |  Blackburn
Paul Ince career photos
22 Jun 08 |  Blackburn


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