It is never nice when you see someone you know lose their job.
I regard Paul Ince as one of my true friends in life. He is someone I speak to every day and is one of those guys who has been there for me on the not so good days.
I was really disappointed when I spoke to Incey on Tuesday morning and found out that he had lost his job at Blackpool. I know they had been on a bad run but everybody knows that managers don’t get given enough time to rectify things. You only have to look at the results that Derby are having now. People are saying what a good job Steve McLaren has done but Nigel Clough signed that team and he said it would take a while for that team to develop.
When Blackpool got off to a flying start this season and were top of the league, I remember speaking to Incey and he maintained then that he needed to sign quality football players and they were riding their luck. I don’t know why but they never arrived and, when your results are based largely on luck, eventually your luck dwindles.
Incey made it absolutely clear to me that they were getting dominated in games and that Tom, his son, then produced a piece of magic which won them the football match. You can’t always look at your boy to produce some magic to help you win.
When Incey took that job, it was always going to be tough on the back of what Ian Holloway achieved there. Because Blackpool have recently been in the Premier League, the expectation levels are very high at the club.
But Paul is a fantastic human being who works incredibly hard. He is a proud man and will be hurting at the moment but he will bounce back. I think he will get another management opportunity. He has a good football brain and good opinion of a player. Down the years, I have spent hours on the phone talking to him about various games and players.
The sad thing is that Incey probably won’t be the only manager to lose his job before the end of the month. I think far too often the answer for a chairman or a board of directors is that it must be the manager’s fault so let’s make a change. Perhaps people should look at themselves first before looking out.
*It will be nice to catch up with a few old friends this weekend when we play my former club Crawley. I still speak often to their chairman and I have enormous respect for their playing staff.
We are in terrific form so it has got all the makings of a really good game.