Reading FC manager Paul Ince believes his backroom staff are deserving of more praise after keeping the club up.

Announced as interim-manager in February, the former England international brought former Wolves midfielder Alex Rae into the club, alongside Colin Cooper, to work with Royal legends Mikele Leigertwood and Michael Gilkes.

Despite losing 3-0 to Hull City, Reading retained their Championship survival last weekend- leaving them two matches remaining, no doubt with half an eye on next season.

Rae, the former Scotland international, has been assistant manager to Ince at all of his clubs and has taken charge of Dundee and St Mirren.


Reading Chronicle:


Speaking ahead of the final home game of the season, Ince insists his coaching staff should be given more spotlight.

He said: "When you look at achieving a job people on look at the manager and the players, they never look at the people behind the scenes. I’ve always had Alex with me, we’ve got this relationship and get on well, which is important. The lads love him, he says it how it is. I always think it is important to have relationships and Alex has always been great with the players.

"It’s not just about the coaching drills, it’s about making the players want to come into this environment in a good mood and if not, sensing what is wrong with them. If I speak to the players about Alex Rae, they’ll say they love him.

"He doesn’t get the credit he deserves. If I have an idea and he doesn’t like it, he’ll tell me. Some people nod like yes men but he’s not afraid to say. If there’s any issues they go to Al, and he sorts it. 

It is not just Rae that Ince heaps praise on, naming former Royal stars Gilkes and Leigertwood too.

Ince continued: "He's been brilliant, as they all have. For Gilksey and Ledge it’s been good experience, being involved in first team football. For them to be getting that experience.


Reading Chronicle:


"I’ve never seen Ledge so nervous in some games he’s usually so laid back, but it means so much to the club and to them. It’s a team game and they’re just as big a part as me and Al. We are where we are, and we’ve achieved what we wanted to achieve.

"You always get a better picture when you’re upstairs. When you watch rugby, they’re always upstairs because you get a picture of what’s going on. It’s good to have another pair of eyes as on ground level you can’t always see on the other side so it’s an important job."

Leigertwood and Gilkes both have full-time roles with the Academy alongside first-team duties.