Ince distances himself from speculation

DAVID CUFFLEY MK Dons boss Paul Ince has shot down talk of leaving the League Two leaders after being linked with the Norwich City job.


MK Dons boss Paul Ince has shot down talk of leaving the League Two leaders after being linked with the Norwich City job.

The former England international has been tipped as a possible candidate for the Carrow Road managerial vacancy, and was earlier said to be a target for Queen's Park Rangers.

Ince, who was capped 53 times by his country and managed Macclesfield last season, has made a flying start to life at stadium:mk, where his side enjoyed a 4-0 home win over Lincoln in front of a crowd of more than 13,000 yesterday to take a three-point lead at the top of their division.

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But before that match, he chose to clarify his position as manager - and insisted he was not looking for another move.

He said: “Someone's in a job and they obviously look at managers who are doing okay and just put two and two together.

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“And all of a sudden you just get speculation about nothing really.

“We're trying to do a job here. We don't need speculation like that to disrupt what we're trying to do at this club.”

Ince, who celebrates his 40th birthday next Sunday, is rated a 33-1 shot to succeed Peter Grant after a weekend in which Stoke boss Tony Pulis was reported to be a surprise contender.

Pulis has guided Stoke to fifth spot in the early standings after narrowly missing the play-offs last season.

Pulis' canny dealings in the loan market saw Stoke eventually finish eighth after Southampton edged them out of the play-off picture on the final day.

The 49-year-old managed to entice Premiership trio Lee Hendrie, Salif Diao and Patrik Berger to the Britannia Stadium after a poor start to his second spell in charge of the club.

Pulis' man management skills previously helped stabilise Plymouth Argyle on a tight budget following brief stints at Portsmouth and Bristol City. The Pilgrims were mired in the relegation zone when Pulis arrived at Home Park but finished in mid-table in his only full season. Pulis has never been relegated in his 15-year managerial career which started at Bournemouth after becoming one of the youngest-ever coaches to clinch a UEFA A licence.

Meanwhile, axed Leicester boss Martin Allen, who has admitted an interest in the Norwich job, is also being linked with Millwall and Cheltenham.

On a more exotic note, former West Germany international Pierre Littbarksi has expressed an interest in the Norwich post - a fact which carries more interest because his assistant at Japanese club Avispa Fukuoka is ex-City midfielder Ian Crook, who was believed to have been interviewed for the Norwich job last season after Nigel Worthington was sacked.

Littbarski told “If I were to come, I would come with Chippy (Crook). He knows the game there a lot better than I do.”


t Paul Jewell 11/4

t Ian Crook 5/1

t Steve Bruce 13/2

t Dion Dublin 7-1

t Martin Allen 8-1

t Joe Royle 8-1

t Mark Bowen 9-1

t Jim Duffy 12-1

t Mike Newell 14-1

t Glenn Hoddle 14-1

t Peter Reid 16-1

t Peter Taylor 16-1

t Malky Mackay 16-1

t Dave Penney 16-1

t Nigel Pearson 25-1

t Geraint Williams 25-1

t Stuart Pearce 33-1

t Steve Tilson 33-1

t Paul Ince 33-1

t Kevin Keegan 33-1

t George Graham 50-1

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