Blackpool midfielder Thomas Ince has revealed he always wanted to emulate Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs, rather than his own father.
Paul Ince was a battling midfielder for the Red Devils, as well as for the likes of Inter and Liverpool during a distinguished career, but Ince Jr admits modelling himself on Old Trafford legend Giggs.
Speaking ahead of the Tangerines’ play-off final against West Ham on Saturday, where both teams will bid to return to the top flight after a year’s absence, Ince admits there are few similarities between him and his father, both on and off the pitch.
“I am so proud of my dad, and really value his advice and guidance, but we are not at all alike as players or in personality,” he told Daily Mail.
“In fact, I'm the opposite to him in many ways. He has this stern look and has an opinion about most things, whereas I am a lot quieter, much more laid back.
“While he was a midfield enforcer, I was always much more interested in taking the ball past players, rather than off them. My idol has always been Ryan Giggs, and it is weird to think he lodged with us for six months when he started out at [Manchester] United.”
Ince, who has seven goals for Blackpool in all competitions this season, also revealed it can be hard to shrug off the reputation of his father and establish himself as a good player in his own right.
“My dad actually prefers it that I followed my own career path rather than trying to be like him,” he added.
“He gets frustrated with the ‘Paul Ince's son’ tag as much as I do and wants me to be recognised in my own right.
“I based my whole game on Ryan, from watching him live and on video for United and Wales, and it's great that he's still good mates with my dad.
“He still phones me up for a chat about how I'm doing. I often stop and think about that, my all-time hero giving me advice on how to be a better player. I've been lucky in a lot of ways.”