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Ince "not scared" of Blackburn job

Paul Ince has become the first British black manager in the Premier League after being unveiled at Blackburn Rovers and he is confident that he is ready for the challenge.

"I am not scared of many things and there is no fear factor coming to Blackburn," the 40-year-old said. "It is exciting coming here. It means a lot (to make history) but it's also about that fact that I'm in the Premier League. Whether I'm black, white or whatever, I'm just proud to be in the Premier League."

Asked if he had considered whether he might go on to become the first black England manager, Ince said: "Not really. I am happy to be a role model. I am proud of where I come from, proud of my roots. I am proud to be at Blackburn and I don't know where it will take me. Only time will tell.

"The feedback I have had from fans has been very encouraging and I am looking forward to meeting the players. I played with Brad Friedel at Liverpool. He's exceptional goalkeeper and someone I can speak to who can tell me things about the club.

Ince will be required to gain the Uefa Pro licence as part of his contract. He was named as Mark Hughes' successor on Sunday despite not possessing the required coaching qualifications to take over at a Premier League club. However, John Williams, the Blackburn chairman, secured dispensation for the former England captain with league chiefs.

"On behalf of the Premier League I would say that they rightly made us work very hard to get Paul and we had to give certain undertakings because quite clearly Paul didn't meet the requirements of the rule," Williams said. "It was a bit like that film, Groundhog Day. You'd wake up thinking Paul was a candidate and you go to bed thinking he's not. He couldn't finally be a candidate until dispensation was given.

"The case was made that Paul had served his apprenticeship in the lower leagues and had been busy with that since he stopped playing and we gave the undertaking that Paul will (get the licence).

"Paul has signed a contract with Blackburn where that undertaking is a contractual term. It's not something we'll just try and get done. He's under contract to Blackburn that he will complete that timeframe and we in turn have given that to the Premier League."

The former MK Dons and Macclesfield Town manager's first task is to speak with David Bentley and Roque Santa Cruz about their futures at the club after both were linked with moves away from Ewood Park. "I want to keep my best players," Ince said. "We don't start (pre-season) until July 7 so I'll speak to those two players and to the rest of them and take it from there."

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