MacKenzie: When Paul Ince talks, you listen

Gary MacKenzie
Gary MacKenzie
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Gary MacKenzie says the Guv’nor is alive and well at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool manager Paul Ince has been charged with violent conduct by the FA and hasn’t spoken publicly for a fortnight, but defender MacKenzie insists his influence has played a huge part in Blackpool’s brilliant start to the Championship season.

In an illustrious playing career, Ince earned his no-nonsense reputation and his ‘Guv’nor’ nickname, and MacKenzie said: “When I came here on loan from MK Dons last season, the manager’s desire to win was one of the first things I was made aware of. He has a group here who have bought into that.

“We’ll roll up our sleeves and give every last drop. The gaffer commands respect from every player because of his career and what he did in the game before he became a manager. When he says something, you listen.

“It’s not a case of being frightened of him but you realise what he has done in the game. If he tells you something, chances are he’s going to be right.”

Blackpool go into tomorrow night’s Sky-televised Championship clash at Huddersfield fourth in the table.

Having taken just one point from the past two games, the Seasiders are thankful to have had a free week amid a hectic schedule.

MacKenzie explained: “I got home at half past seven on the morning after the Millwall game, so I missed out on a full night’s sleep. That takes its toll.

“Apparently the driver went round the M25 the wrong way – but it was dark! Then I drove three of us straight from Preston back to Scotland.

“My girls were up, so there was no chance of getting any sleep. We then just had to grind it out on Saturday against Leicester.

“I don’t know why they sent us to Millwall when we’d been to Bournemouth a few days earlier.”

MacKenzie won Pool a last-minute penalty which resulting in the 2-2 draw against the Foxes. He controlled a long throw before being flattened by keeper Kasper Schmeichel – not that he knew it.

“I didn’t even know it was the keeper until afterwards, but it was a stonewall penalty.

We deserved a point, so it was justice. The lads don’t know when to give up, tired as we were from a long week.

“We’ve got a good balance of players here who can fight and have a good bit of flair as well.”

Star man Tom Ince stepped up to score the pressure penalty. The 21-year-old is so often Pool’s hero but that doesn’t mean he gets special treatment from his dad.

MacKenzie added: “Everyone in the dressing room gets treated the same by the manager. Just because you’re a gifted footballer, that does not mean you’re going to get away with anything lightly.

“Thomas knows that and he puts in his shift as well.None of us would expect anything less whatever the circumstances.”