Paul Ince maintains that he could have done a similar job to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United, with the former Red Devils star having no regrets at making such a bold claim.
In the wake of Jose Mourinho’s dismissal, those at Old Trafford turned to a familiar face for inspiration.
Treble-winning hero Solskjaer made an immediate impact, opening his reign with eight successive victories and claiming 13 from 16 outings across all competitions so far.
Ince claimed early on in that run that: “I could have gone in and done the same thing, so could Steve Bruce. Anyone could have gone in and done what he has done, it wasn’t a hard thing to do to give those players freedom and improve the mood.”
His comments raised more than a few eyebrows, with Solskjaer considered to have worked a minor miracle in delivering a reversal in fortune for United so quickly.
Ince is refusing to back down, though, and is not about to relax his stance.
“The cloud over Old Trafford was that big. All he had to do over two to three weeks was put a smile on faces.
“I don’t [regret it] at all. The players were so down.
“Once he did that at an early stage, he has done very well to take it to the next level to where they are now.”
While remaining of the opinion that any former favourite could have emulated Solskjaer, Ince concedes that the Norwegian should now see an interim agreement turned into a permanent contract.
He added: “As far as I am concerned, if they get into fourth it will be tough not to give him it.”
Solskjaer has United back in the Premier League’s top four at present, while progress has also been made to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup – where they will meet Wolves.
Attention is, however, about to shift to European matters, with the Red Devils preparing for a crunch clash with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday which has them trailing a heavyweight Champions League last-16 encounter 2-0 from the first leg.