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Former Blackburn boss backs Chris Powell to succeed at Charlton

Paul Ince, England's first ever black captain, believes that more needs to be done to get ethnic minorities in football management.

In the top four divisions of English football there are just two black managers: Chris Powell at Charlton Athletic and Ince himself at Notts County.

The former Liverpool and Manchester United midfielder doesn't believe there is a particular reason as to why black people shouldn't get into management and compares the current situation to that of when he was a player in the '80s, but feels it will only happen gradually.

He said: "I think it’s important, more so as a manager. I think going back to the '80s, there weren’t many black players.

"Now obviously the premier league is filled with them and they are very good players at that. I think the likes of Jonny Barnes and [Laurie] Cunningham, [Mark] Chamberlain, people like that I think they have inspired us as footballers.

"And now I think it’s important for me to do the same and Chris Powell, who just taken the job at Charlton to the job for other people like that.

"Andy Coles and the Rio Ferdinands and Sol Campbells people like that. I think in time it will happen. In the eighties there was hardly any black players but gradually there was more.

"When I went to Italy there were hardly any black players, but gradually there was more and more."

Nowadays in the Football League, teams are very much multicultural, with players of various ethnicities and faiths playing in the same team, and often this is reflected in the composition of the stands, but less so the dugout.

He continued: "Now it’s important we change that to managers. If Chris Powell is successful then hopefully that will entice more black players to go into football management."

The former Manchester United and Liverpool player seemed disappointed that the more well-known ex-players seem to opt for a role in the media, being a football pundit, or even commentators, whilst pointing out that these people could be using their experience to teach current players.

He said: "A lot of players go into punditry and these are great players who have learnt so much from managers and footballers they have played along side and to not to give that back to football would be sad."

Ince, the first Premier League's first black British manager, also went on to suggest that there is no reason why more people from ethnic minorities shouldn't get into management because he himself has shown it's possible to do it well, even if not all the time.

He concluded: "I’ve got my hands dirty, I’ve done it the hard way and I have shown I can get into the Premiership within three years as a manger.

"Yeah it didn’t work but I have gone back down again to League One and I’d be prepared to go up again."

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