Following Reading’s defeat at Preston North End on Easter Monday, Paul Ince has been sacked as the team’s manager. The loss leaves the former Premier League side in the Championship relegation zone, one point from safety with just five games left in the season. Ince had issued a defiant response to the defeat, insisting that not even Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola or Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp could prevent the current crisis. However, after the game, Ince hinted that Reading’s six-point deduction meant he didn’t deserve to get the blame for the team’s position.
“I’ve got absolutely no qualms about that,” he said when pressed if he was worried about his own position. “At the end of the day, we are in this position that we’ve been put into [the six point deduction]. You need to think about that when you think about how unfair that is to me and the players.”
Ince went on to say that if Reading had not received the deduction, they would be sitting on 47 points and that it was going to be tough with eight first-team players out due to injury. He believed that it was unfair to ask him about his position as manager and that the players were more important in trying to lift them again and go again on Saturday.
Less than 24 hours later, Ince was dismissed. In a statement on Tuesday morning, the Royals said: “Reading Football Club can confirm that the contract of first team manager Paul Ince has been terminated with immediate effect. Under-21s Manager and former Royals striker, Noel Hunt, has been installed as Interim First Team Manager until the end of the season.”
Reading next face already-promoted and league leaders Burnley on Saturday as they look to claw their way to safety.