Paul Ince linked with a surprise return to Middlesbrough as manager

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 22 March 2017, 10:37

Similar to Middlesbrough’s insipid performances this season, the next Boro manager market hasn’t proved to be the liveliest of affairs.

Since Aitor Karanka was axed last week it’s caretaker boss Steve Agnew whose largely hogged top spot in the betting, with the likes of Harry Redknapp, Bryan Robson, Nigel Pearson, and Guus Hiddink dipping in, and then out, of contention.

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The general consensus is that Agnew will cling onto the job until the end of the season, but if Boro are to bring in a new face, then it will happen within the next week-and-a-half during the international break.

The latest name to spring into the mix is former Boro midfielder Paul Ince who has been cut from a 25/1 outsider to the 5/2 second favourite (Bet Victor). The 49-year-old may have sported the Boro shirt between 1999 and 2002, however he is a surprise name in the frame considering he’s been absent from the dugout since 2014.

After a spell as player-coach at Swindon Ince entered into the managerial arena with Macclesfield Town in 2006 (player-manager), saving the club from relegation, before moving over to MK Dons, where he won the League Two and Football League Trophy double.

Ince made the step up to Blackburn Rovers, becoming the first black British manager in England’s top-flight, however it proved to be a disappointing 177-day spell with Ince sent packing with just three wins from 17 games at the helm.

Ince returned to MK Dons for a single season, which has since been followed by brief stints at Notts County and Blackpool, with the latter coming to an end back in January 2014.

Whether Ince would now return to Boro is open to debate, but in his Paddy Power blog Ince said that he has no idea why he’s suddenly in the frame for the post, and he’s yet to have any contact with Boro chairman Steve Gibson, although he seemed to welcome the idea of managing under him.


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