Appleton unaware of new Ince bid

Post-match reaction to Wolves' 2-1 victory over Blackpool.

Last Updated: 21/12/12 at 23:10 Post Comment

Thomas Ince pictured on Friday night

Thomas Ince pictured on Friday night

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Blackpool manager Michael Appleton is not aware of an improved offer from Liverpool for Tom Ince.

On Thursday, Appleton confirmed his chairman Karl Oyston and the Barclays Premier League club had held discussions about Ince, who left Anfield with one senior appearance to his name last summer, but the initial fee put forward fell short of Blackpool's valuation of the England Under-21 winger.

Ince was one of a number of Seasiders players frustrated by a goalkeeping masterclass from Carl Ikeme as Wolves left Bloomfield Road with a 2-1 npower Championship victory thanks to a goal in each half from striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

Asked after the game whether Liverpool had upped their bid, Appleton said: "No, not that I'm aware of."

On Ince's impressive individual display, he added: "It was important for him and he's got to show a strength of character now to suggest that, with everything going on, all he wants to do is play football and play well for Blackpool Football Club."

Blackpool dominated the contest for long periods after Ebanks-Blake found a cool finish in the third minute to ensure Wolves opened the scoring for the 15th time in 23 Championship outings this season.

But Ince and Portuguese playmaker Tiago Gomes could not find a way past the inspired Ikeme either side of half-time, while the latter also thudded a drive against the base of a post.

Ebanks-Blake netted from the penalty spot after Chris Basham pulled Bakary Sako's shirt and Appleton, who saw his skipper Alex Baptiste set up a grandstand finish, was unimpressed with the spot-kick award.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to weigh up the whole game and look at the opportunities we created in both halves and say we probably should have got something out of the game," he said.

"But it wasn't to be, a poor two or three minutes at the start of the game and we won't talk about the other decision.

"I think he's given it for pulling of the shirt, but if it was a pull of the shirt it was the slightest of pulls and definitely he was outside the box, quite comfortably. It's disappointing."

Wolves manager Stale Solbakken has now chalked up three victories in four games on the back of a nine-match winless run and was quick to give credit to Ikeme.

"He was brilliant with three or four good saves," he said. "The lads should give him a pat on the back.

"He's been solid the whole season. I think the one against one with Ince in the first half was very good.

"Also the two or three saves at the start of the second half were very good."

Nevertheless, Solbakken insisted it was a team effort and praised the application of on-loan Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant and substitute David Davies, who helped Wolves reassert themselves in midfield after a torrid opening to the second half.

"Having David Davies come on, we started to get more of a grip on the game again," he said.

"I think Jermaine Pennant played his by far the best he's played in a Wolverhampton shirt in an away game."

There were also warm words for Ebanks-Blake, who put a fallow November behind him to register his eighth and ninth goals this term.

"He has worked hard," Solbakken added. "He came in training with a great attitude and also in games so I am pleased that he got his goals."


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