Ince sorry to lose Eards

Neal Eardley
Neal Eardley
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Paul Ince has described the departure of Neal Eardley as “a shame”.

The 24-year-old defender is the third player to turn his back on a new contract at Bloomfield Road this summer, instead signing a three-year deal with Championship rivals Birmingham.

The Welshman found himself in and out of the side last season but he impressed in his final game for the club at Bolton.

He spent four seasons at Bloomfield Road and has collected 16 Wales caps.

Ince told The Gazette: “Eards going was a shame. Although he’s not played a lot of games for me, he showed against Bolton that he can play at this level.

“He’s also very versatile, so to lose him to Birmingham was sad news.”

Alex Baptiste and Ludo Sylvestre have also opted to move on, while Pool are waiting for a final decision from Kirk Broadfoot, Stephen Crainey, Barry Ferguson and Gary Taylor-Fletcher on their contract offers.

Ince is not surprised by the delay, saying it’s a case of the quartet waiting to see what’s about.

The manager added: “We’ve offered players contracts and they have done what players do – they are waiting to see what offers come in.”