Ince’s pledge on player contracts

Paul Ince
Paul Ince
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Paul Ince has made a pledge to his players - win the next two games and contract talks will begin.

Blackpool have 36 of their stars out of contract this summer, although all but 15 of those the club hold the option of extending for a further year.

With so many players’ futures uncertain, Ince admits it’s made things more difficult.

But the manager insists he’s willing to look forward and start talks, as soon as their Championship survival is confirmed.

“If we can get a couple of wins this week, then the process of sitting down with players can start. I can then tell them how I see the future.”

Ince inherited a squad with almost all of them unsure where they’ll be next season.

But he says he’s been open from day one and wouldn’t dream of considering next season until Pool are sure what league they’ll be in.

“The day I walked in, I had a meeting and told the lads that I couldn’t do anything until I knew what league we’ll be in next season,” he said.

“There’s no point looking at targets or new contracts if we were going to be in League One. The players are aware of the situation, but we know it’s not one which is ideal.

“The players are only human, they have families and want to know where they are going to be.

“They want to be secure, but I can’t do much about it at the moment.”

Blackpool have had a traumatic season, with Ian Holloway and Michael Appleton walking out of club within two months of each other.

It’s meant instead of looking up, Pool are faced with being still in the thick of a relegation battle, with only five games to play.

But Ince is convinced the corner has been turned.

He said: “I sometimes look at the players in my team and wonder how we are in the situation we find ourselves.

“Since I’ve been here the players have been outstanding.

“Because of the turmoil at the club, the lads lost their way a little.

“But now they have structure and they are getting back to what I saw under Ian Holloway. That’s important.

“We beat Palace, beat Watford and should have beaten Forest.

“Those three are all in the top six, so we are playing well.

“It’s now time to start beating the teams around us.”