‘Two up front... we just don’t have the players’

Paul Ince
Paul Ince
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Paul Ince has told critical fans he’d play two up front - if he had the players to do it.

The Seasiders boss came under criticism on Sunday after his decision to persist with his 4-4-1-1 formation, despite being a goal down to Brighton.

It prompted chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ around Bloomfield Road, but Ince is sticking to his guns.

“This is where we are as a club,” he said.

“Fans that understand football will understand where we are.

“We will have to patch-up a team again, but hopefully Ricky (Ricardo Fuller)will be back which is a real boost.

“You have to look at the personnel we have.

“Brighton played a three in midfield, if we played two up top we’d have got over loaded in midfield. We can’t afford for that to happen.

“We needed to make sure we stayed in the game as long as possible.

“If we’d have gone to two up front with the quality they have, we’d have got our pants pulled down.

“It was a case of us staying in the game, last thing I wanted to do was to go 2-0.

“You have to be careful what you wish for.”

Ince’s formation brought huge success to the side in the early part of the season, with Blackpool recording the best start in the club’s history.

But since the win against Sheffield Wednesday at the end of last month, Pool have now gone six games without a win, losing five.

And Ince has sympathy with critical fans.

“I understand the fans are frustrated at the moment, but they are no more frustrated than we are.

“I don’t care if you’re the best player in the world, when fans boo it affects you.

“If you look at all the top teams in Europe, the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea, they all play with one up front.

“It’s OK saying let’s go and play gung-ho football, but that would get us relegated, I’ll tell you that now.

“With the players we have we can only play a certain way, and the fans have to understand that.”

Blackpool go into tomorrow’s game with yet more selection headaches following Chris Basham’s fifth yellow card of the season against Brighton.

He’ll miss the trip to Sheffield Wednesday, as could defender Jack Robinson.

Ince explained: “We think Jack has strained his hamstring.

“He’s a major doubt now for the game, but we have Tyler Blackett so should be fine at least there.”

n Media reports claiming Paul Ince could be on his way to Sheffield Wednesday are wide of the mark.

A number of reports in the national media have linked the boss with the vacant Hillsborough job, but The Gazette understands he’s not in the running at present.