He has been to every Blackpool game this season and knows the strengths and weaknesses of the team. That is what gave former England captain Paul Ince the edge in the race for the Championship club’s top job.
His son being one of their best players will have also helped. But Ince’s insight into the team will be vital as the season draws to a close. He has to hit the ground running, starting at Leeds United on Wednesday. Blackpool are closer to the relegation zone than the play-offs – only six points above the drop zone after a disappointing 1-0 at strugglers Ipswich on Saturday.
Ince has to get the Tangerines winning or they will end up back in League One which would be a disaster considering the success Ian Holloway had over the last four years.
But, Ince also has the elephant in the room as he knows failure could mean he will never work in football management again. Ince’s managerial career began so well and he looked like he was going to set the world alight. He kept Macclesfield in the Football League against all odds before guiding MK Dons to the League Two title. That is when it started going wrong.
A move to Premier League Blackburn Rovers ended after six months and three wins later with the team in serious relegation danger. A return to MK Dons ended prematurely before he was sacked at Notts County after a record nine consecutive defeats in April 2011.
No jobs have been forthcoming since, but his knowledge of Blackpool has opened up a route back into football and Ince knows he simply has to succeed to save his management career. And if doesn't get Blackpool instantly firing on all cylinders, they could be staring at the prospect of League One football.