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Manchester City
Crystal Palace
3
0
FT
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Werder Bremen
Borussia Dortmund
2
1
FT
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Aston Villa
Manchester United
1
1
FT
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Tottenham Hotspur
Burnley
2
1
FT
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Barcelona
Cordoba
5
0
FT
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Paris Saint-Germain
Montpellier
0
0
FT
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Real Madrid
San Lorenzo
2
0
FT
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AS Roma
AC Milan
0
0
FT
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Malaysia
Thailand
3
2
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 4
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Former boss Ince angry at lack of backing

Paul Ince believes he was deprived of the time he needed to succeed at Blackburn and he wanted longer at the club to prove the point that a young English manager is up to the job at Premier League level.

Ince was sacked by Blackburn just before Christmas, less than five months after signing a three-year contract at the club who had fallen into the Premier League relegation zone under him.

The former England midfielder makes it clear he remains an admirer of Rovers chairman John Williams, for giving him an early chance to manage a top-flight club. But the 41-year-old felt his sacking was premature.

''Whatever club you go to you want to bring in your own players,'' he explained on Sky Sports News. ''You need to build your own team, but unfortunately we didn't have that time.''

Ince cites the loss of key players to injury, and the departure of goalkeeper Brad Friedel to Aston Villa, as factors in what soon proved to be a difficult campaign for Rovers.

But he was prepared for the long haul, and remains disappointed his employers were unable to keep the faith in his abilities and potential.

''It was always going to be hard at Blackburn because of investment,'' Ince concedes. ''I have nothing but admiration for the chairman, for giving me the chance to manage at that level.

''You need to get young English managers in. But the disappointing thing for me was that the board didn't come out at the time and squash it [the criticism] and say 'you are staying here until after the Christmas period'. If that had happened it would have stopped the press writing things and unsettling my players.

''It is important that you stand by your manager through thick and thin. I felt at the time we could have gone for another five or six games and seen where we were then.''

Ince accepts he made mistakes - but is still convinced he has what it takes to manage big clubs.

''I take responsibility as manager of the team. The reason we were down where we were was down to me,'' he said. ''You need to mould your own team and bring in certain players and staff. But I did not have the time to do that.

''I feel that I am a Premiership manager. But I was not allowed to be a Premiership manager. My confidence has not changed one little bit. I still feel I can do it.''

Blackburn was only Ince's third management job, after lower-league stints at Macclesfield and MK Dons, and he does not rule out a return below Premier League level if necessary.

''I am happy to go down to the Championship or the first division,'' he added. ''I am still learning my trade - but if a Premiership job came up I'd like to think I might be in the running.''

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