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Former Middlesbrough midfielder Paul Ince lands Reading job permanently after interim spell

Paul Ince has been named Reading’s new permanent manager. The former Middlesbrough midfielder will take charge of the Championship rivals after leading them on an interim basis until the end of last season.

Ince, who made 106 appearances for Boro between 1999 and 2002, took charge of the Royals on an interim basis following the departure of Veljko Paunovic in February. He successfully guided them to Championship safety despite being deducted six points from the EFL for breaching profitability and sustainability rules.

Ince managed to steer Reading four points from the relegation zone with four wins and three draws in 14 games in charge. And as a result, he retained the role next season, with his assistant, former Sunderland midfielder Alex Rea, also signing a contract to stay.

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General manager Dayong Pang said: “Paul and Alex were brought to Bearwood to instill confidence, structure, spirit and determination in a first team which, in difficult circumstances, had lost its way at the start of the year. And ultimately, it had to produce almost immediate results.

“Fourteen points from their first ten games was enough to keep the club in the league and I’m delighted that Paul and Alex have accepted the challenge to take this club forward.”

Ince is now hoping to rebuild his squad at the Select Car Leasing Stadium for a better league campaign next season. But he will be fully aware of the club’s difficult financial situation, with most believing it will be another struggling season for the Berkshire side.

Elsewhere, Nathan Jones spoke of his pride as Luton Town missed out on a shot at promotion from the Premier League after losing to Huddersfield Town over two legs in the first semi-final of the play-offs. Former Boro striker Jordan Rhodes scored the only goal at John Smith’s Stadium on Monday night as the Terriers won 2-1 on aggregate and booked their place at Wembley for the final where they will meet the winner of the tie Nottingham Forest v Sheffield United.

Speaking after the match, Jones said: “I’m really proud of my squad and proud of the way we do everything. Just a touch of disappointment. But it’s amassed with a lot of pride. Apart from the goals, it was a top performance.

“We’ll be stronger for that. Tomorrow I’ll be back at work, ready to sign, so we’ll have another crack on that in a year. To get into the Premier League, it’s Luton Town where we are. came from and all we had Three years ago was in the Premier League and we came through the Conference.

“I’m so proud. They’re absolutely on the floor. You can imagine. Some will be disappointed for the roles they’ve played, but I’m not. They gave me their all and were the best band you’ve ever had. you can imagine. They deserved better.”