Ince backs Robinson return
Rovers boss believes his goalkeeper is best in the business
By Richard Bailey. Last Updated: November 11, 2008 4:37pm
Robinson: Getting back to his best
Blackburn Rovers boss Paul Ince believes Paul Robinson deserves a call-up to Fabio Capello's England squad for the friendly with Germany.
Robinson lost the No.1 jersey while Steve McClaren was England manager and has not been able to reclaim it under new boss Capello who, like his predecessor, seems to prefer Portsmouth goalkeeper David James.
But Ince believes that Robinson's form since his £3.5million switch from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer warrants a starting place in the England XI.
He said: "I think he deserves a chance. It is a friendly, so why not? I know David James has the shirt but since Robbo came here, he has been outstanding.
"He had a lack of confidence at Tottenham due to not playing. He wanted a fresh start and he has his head screwed on. He is really focused on his job and you can see that in his performances.
"It was a great bit of business bringing him in. As far as I am concerned, he is the best goalkeeper in the league, and he can get better."
Robinson made some magnificent saves in the 2-0 defeat against Chelsea on Sunday and without the former Leeds stopper Chelsea could have recorded a landslide victory.
Ince believes that Blackburn goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms has to take some of the credit for Robinson's resurgence.
He said: "It is important for a goalkeeper to get on with a goalkeeping coach and they get on really well.
"They are good mates. Paul loves coming into training every day and loves what he is doing. You can see that on the pitch."
Ince will go head to head with former Manchester United team-mate Roy Keane on Wednesday when Blackburn take on Sunderland in the Carling Cup.
The Rovers manager admits that the two remain in contact and Keane was one of a few people who continually wished him well when he started out on the managerial path at League Two Macclesfield Town.
He said: "When I was at Macclesfield and we were 92nd team in the league, he was the one who was always ringing me up and texting me, saying good luck, I hope you get a result."
Ince is in no doubt that Keane has what it takes to pull Sunderland out of the relegation zone and move them up the table.
He added: "He is a young manager learning his trade just like me. He needs time as he is trying to build something there. He will need three or four years to get where he wants."