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The waiting game

Blackpool winger Tom Ince told Goals on Sunday that he does not regret leaving Liverpool - but refused to rule out a return to the Merseyside giants.

Last Updated: 26/04/13 at 12:24 Post Comment

Ince: happy in orange

Ince: happy in orange

Ince, son of former Anfield midfielder Paul, progressed through the Reds' academy, but moved to Bloomfield Road in the summer of 2011 in search of regular first-team football.

The 21-year-old has become a leading light for the Tangerines, scoring in last term's Championship play-off final defeat to West Ham, and then rippling the net 18 times this season to help keep the North West outfit clear of the relegation zone.

Ince - whose dad is now his manager at the Seasiders, having succeeded Michael Appleton in February - was linked with a move back to Liverpool in the winter transfer window, but he says he is happy to continue plying his trade at Blackpool - for now.

"I was very lucky to have a grounding at Liverpool, but after having a loan spell with my dad at Notts County and playing in that first-team environment I wanted more of it," said the Stockport-born trickster.

"I wanted to experience the real world and play in front of 10-15,000 people every week, which you don't get at reserve level, and thankfully [then Blackpool boss] Ian Holloway came in for me.

"Having watched Blackpool in the Premier League, when they were such an exciting team, and seen some of the young kids at the club, I knew that it was meant for me and I haven't looked back since.

Focus

"You can jump into the Premier League too soon and I've still got a lot of developing to do, so right now my focus is playing for Blackpool, working hard for them and chipping in with a few more goals.

"I don't know how close things came to happening in January with regards to me going back to Anfield, but I get that home feeling with Liverpool and it is a fantastic club."

Ince says being the son of erstwhile Manchester United and England player Paul, who joined him on the Goals on Sunday sofa, has inspired him to carve out a successful footballing career - but he couldn't resist a little dig at his old man!

"I used to be 'Son of Paul' but now I am showing my own ability and that is starting to drift away," said the wideman, who has made six appearances and notched two goals for the England Under-21 side.

"However, I am proud to have a dad who has done what he has done in the game and it gives me the inspiration and motivation to do the same, if not better.

"It is probably easier because we don't play in the same position - he didn't have a great turn of pace and I didn't see him doing many step-overs!"

Build

Ince, Snr, meanwhile, opened up about his plans for Blackpool, who were thumped 6-1 at play-off chasing Brighton on Saturday to bring a five-game unbeaten run to a crashing halt.

The 45-year-old, whose managerial CV includes spells in charge of Blackburn, MK Dons and Macclesfield, believes he has "steadied the ship" at Bloomfield Road and thinks the club can eventually regain their Premier League status - with or without the younger Ince.

"The Blackpool lads were going through a little bit of turmoil after losing Ollie [Holloway] and Appleton and I could see their heads were down and that the club could go down," said the Tangerines chief, who won 53 England caps, as well as two Premier League titles with Man United.

"I had mixed emotions about taking the job, but I had a good discussion with the chairman, Karl Oyston, and have formed a good relationship with him.

"We have steadied the ship and almost secured safety, and we can now build for next year and talk about extending players' contracts.

"I want to push for the Premier League and not accept mediocrity; it won't be straight away and it will take pigeon steps but I think we can do it and hopefully we can keep our best players, like Tom.

"But as his father I understand that he has the ability to push on."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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