Sunday 22 September 2019

'He might have to tweak a few things' - Paul Ince says Roy Keane will have to change to get back into management

Paul Ince.
Paul Ince.
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Paul Ince believes his former Manchester United midfield partner Roy Keane needs to change his approach to succeed in management, after admitting his notorious reputation may count against him as he aims to return to the game.

Keane launched a fresh rant against modern players, who he believes are too sensitive to criticism, in an appearance on BBC radio last week, yet Ince suggests the game's altered culture means managers need to change with the times.

Harry Arter and Jonathan Walters were among those who clashed with Keane during his explosive tenure in the Ireland set-up, with Paddy Power ambassador Ince telling that the former Sunderland and Ipswich boss will need to temper his aggression if he gets another management chance.

While Ince admits he and Keane responded well to tongue-lashings from Alex Ferguson when they played together at Manchester United, he suspects the days of managers ruling by fear are now banished to the history books.

"If Roy comes back into the game, he will have to consider how he does the job and maybe tweak a few things," said Ince, in an exclusive interview with

"Roy seems to manage like he played and when you look at what happened in his first job at Sunderland, it was an approach that worked. He got them flying in the Championship and they won the league in style.

"He would argue his approach worked at Sunderland, but maybe he needs to look at the way he does things if he gets another chance as a manager.

"When you start to get a reputation for being difficult to deal with, it can work against you and Roy might have to deal with that after what happened with Ireland.

"Club chairmen look at what players said about him in the Ireland set-up and they might think twice about giving Roy a job and then it becomes harder to get another chance.

"Will that negative reputation bother Roy Keane? Not at all. He won't lose any sleep about what anyone thinks of him, but would a club chairman consider him to be a risky appointing? I don't know.

"There is nothing wrong with having high standards and if Roy has higher than most others, that should not be viewed as a bad thing, but the game has changed and we all have to roll with it."

Ince saw a revamped landscape in the game when his playing career ended and he moved into management with Macclesfield, MK Dons, Blackburn, Notts County and Blackpool, as he was forced to introduce a gentle approach to dealing with players.

"Players have changed and I saw that when I was manager at Blackburn," he reflected.

"It didn't feel the same as it did a few years earlier, when managers used to scream at players and get a reaction from them.

"There was a bit of mollycoddling needed. I needed to be a bit more gentle with players to try and get the best out of them. This is the way football has gone.

"I find it sad the way the game has gone. The idea that players can decide they don't like a manager and won't play for him is shocking to me. I could never have done that in my career, but players are given too much power now.

"Owners and chief executives need to back their managers more because if a player is not happy now, he calls the chairman or whoever makes the decisions and has a pop at the manager. That can't be how a football club works, but it is now.

"Personally, I didn't think managing like I played would work. I went in at a low level and if I went about lambasting people, they would have looked at me as a big-time Charlie and laughed at me.

"I rarely lost my rag as a manager because if you start hollering and shouting at people every day, they just switch off.

"They are not used to that now. Sir Alex used to scream and shout at us when I was at United and we realised that was a signal to step it up on the field. If the boss wasn't happy, we had to do something about it, but it doesn't work like that now.

"Now it's all about having a nice environment in a squad and you want them to play with joy.

"Also, you need players to play for you and that appeared to be a problem for Jose Mourinho at United and maybe for Martin and Roy with the Ireland squad in the end.

"Football is evolving and managers who scream a lot are not making an impact any more. Someone like Roy maybe need to look at that and tweak the way he does things."

Paul Ince is a Paddy Power ambassador and you can read his views at

Online Editors

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