Bruce backs under-fire Blackburn boss

Emile Heskey, Antonio Valencia and Lee Cattermole scored the goals for the Latics.

Bruce has urged Blackburn to give Ince more time to prove himself as manager at the club.

“I had a cup of tea with him before [the match]. I have known him a long time and at the end I just said ‘Keep your chin up’,” said Bruce.

“He has played at the highest level and you don’t play for Inter Milan, Liverpool and Man Utd without having a bit of bottle and Incey has plenty of that.

“He will come out fighting and snarling and determined to turn it around.

“We have all been there. If he does turn it round, which I’m sure he will, it will make him a better manager.”

“When you employ a young manager new to the game you have to back him and give him every resource to pull him through,” he continued.

“Otherwise if you discard them it is pointless and we lose a potentially very good young manager.

“He has done well with MK Dons and Macclesfield so let’s give him a chance.

“I thought his team were okay, we just blitzed them away in the first 20 minutes.

“We have got off to the best possible start against a team which is low on confidence.

“Antonio was absolutely at his rampaging best and he can do that to any team.”

Bruce added on the game: “A big three points – I’m absolutely delighted.

“You can see the nucleus of the team I’ve got, I’m very, very pleased with – the last thing I want to do is dismantle it,” he said.

“I’ve got to keep trying to improve it, that’s my job. I’ve got the backing of the chairman, I know, we’ll try and keep hold of the squad and that includes Emile as well.”