THE future of Paul Ince as manager of Blackpool was in serious doubt last night – with former Rangers and Scotland captain Barry Ferguson rumoured to be on the verge of replacing him as a player-manager.
Ince was reported to be holding talks over his future with club chairman Karl Oyston at Bloomfield Road, according to Sky Sports.
The Seagulls have lost their last four matches in the Sky Bet Championship to leave them 14th in the table, their latest defeat coming in Saturday’s 2-0 loss at basement side Barnsley.
The Tangerines were also knocked out of the FA Cup by Bolton and have not won any game since November.
Ince refused to face the media after Saturday’s defeat and the poor run, allied to speculation over the future of his son Tom Ince at the club, is said to have strained relations with Oyston.
One newspaper reported that veteran midfielder Ferguson – said to be a respected voice in the dressing room – will take the reins and be assisted by coach Steve Thompson. Ferguson was sent out on loan to Fleetwood Town by Oyston last season and only brought back during Ince’s reign. The former Manchester United and England captain, Ince, and his assistant Alex Rae – also a former Rangers and Scotland midfielder – were said to be on the verge of being sacked last night.
Ferguson, 35, won five league titles and five Scottish Cups with Rangers and captained them to the 2008 Uefa Cup final. He holds the record for most appearances by a Scot in European competition.
Ferguson won 45 caps for Scotland but in 2009, following behavioural incidents while on national duty, he was stripped of the captaincy of Rangers and told he would no longer be considered for international selection. He joined Blackpool from Birmingham in 2011.