Ince hopes to keep Bentley

Image: Ince: New challenge

New Blackburn manager Paul Ince has announced his intention to retain the services of his best players.

Rovers boss keen to speak with his squad

New Blackburn manager Paul Ince has announced his intention to retain the services of his best players. The former England captain took charge at Ewood Park over the weekend and has laid out his short-term plans for the summer, including holding discussions with David Bentley and Roque Santa Cruz. Speculation continues to link the duo with big-money moves away from Rovers, but Ince is hoping that he can persuade them to stay by outlining his ambitious goals for the future. "We are a top 10 side, (former boss) Mark Hughes has done an absolutely fantastic job and it's up to me now to continue that and improve that and I want to keep my best players and keep pushing forward," he said. "We've got a bit of money in the kitty and one to two targets that we're looking at, but we don't start until 7th July so I'm looking forward to assessing the squad and going from there. "I want to keep my best player - Bentley, Santa Cruz, all of them, and I will speak to the players you are talking about and the rest of the squad and go from there."


Ince cut his teeth in management in League Two with Macclesfield and MK Dons and is aware that the pressure will be on him now that he has reached the top. Stepping into the shoes of a successful manager like Hughes was never going to be easy but, having never been someone to back away from a challenge, Ince is confident that he will be a success. "Last year they finished seventh so you have to build on that," he added. "Everyone has seen the way I played at Macclesfield and MK Dons, I want to play exciting football, entertain people and entertain the fans and if I can improve on 58 points next season and be in the top half of the table then that's a step forward."
Ince had been just one of a number of candidates in the frame for the role prior to his appointment, but Rovers chairman John Williams is adamant that he has appointed the right man for the job. "Throughout the process he exhibited all the characteristics you want to see in your next manager," he said. "On Sunday, when he signed the contract, I saw genuine excitement and enthusiasm which was incredibly refreshing and uplifting and I'm sure it will be infectious, on the training ground, in the dressing room and in the board room. "He is a very hungry man, he is clearly driven, he's a born winner and he's determined to succeed and serving his apprenticeship in the lower leagues means that his feet are firmly on the ground. "I believe he can build on the solid platform that we have given him."

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