Blackburn boss ready to stave off Villa and Spurs’ Bentley hunt

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Paul Ince might be just about to experience a baptism of fire. The new Blackburn manager has inherited a half-decent squad, although it appears that the former Liverpool and Man United player will need all his powers of persuasion to ensure David Bentley, Roque Santa Cruz and Brad Friedel remain at the club. How many of the trio will he manage to keep?

The Press Association report that ‘The Guv’nor’ is ready for the battle to keep hold of his best players, already fending off a bid for his England international winger.

He said: “When I came to Blackburn I said I wanted to keep my best players, and Brad Friedel comes into that category, he is one of the best ‘keepers in the Premier League.

“There is no interest from me in Paul Robinson, as far as I am concerned I want to keep Brad. I do not want to sell Brad, so why should I want Paul Robinson.

“As for the David Bentley situation, that will not go away, only time will tell whether he is here in August. He would have played at Macclesfield if he had not been injured, but I know that in football players come and players go.

“We have had an offer from Aston Villa, but I do not want him to go. But he is injured and he will have a couple of days off and I hope to take him to Germany on Wednesday for or training trip.”

With Tottenham also supposedly sniffing around David Bentley, it doesn’t appear that Ince is too confident of keeping this player, despite him trying to sound bullish. Are Rovers set for a season of struggle under their new manager next term, or will he confound his critics by keeping his top players and ensuring a top-half finish at the very least.

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