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Ince hails MacKenzie

14 April 2013

Blackpool manager Paul Ince hailed the character of Gary MacKenzie after the defender played his part in the 1-0 Lancashire derby win over Burnley in the week he lost his grandfather.

The 27-year-old, who became Ince's first signing when he joined on loan from MK Dons last month, played the full match as Ludovic Sylvestre's goal eased the Seasiders' relegation worries.

Sylvestre's goal deserved to win any game as he thumped in a fine strike from the edge of the area into the top corner after 58 minutes to see Blackpool leapfrog Burnley and climb to 12th in the npower Championship.

After seeing his side pull five points clear of the drop zone, Ince was quick to highlight the contribution of on-loan MacKenzie at the end of a difficult week.

"Gary MacKenzie was outstanding. He lost his granddad in the week and we said we'd dedicate the win to him," said Ince. "We said he could have a couple days off but he wanted to be part of it and considering the situation, he was brilliant.

"Loads of players are out of contract. We've got some very good players out here and I've said to them from day one, as soon as get to where we need to in this league, we'll sit down and talk about the future.

"But he's certainly not doing any harm. I don't think we're safe. It's a crazy league, isn't it? We can't count our chickens at this moment in time but what I do know is that it was a vital three points - a must win game.

"We got the ball down and played some good stuff, and on the balance of play I think we were very comfortable. We should have scored more."

The defeat brought Burnley's four-game unbeaten run to an end but they could have led when Junior Stanislas went on a fine run only to see his shot cannon back off the post. Ross Wallace also saw a decent attempt saved by Matt Gilks but Blackpool also hit the bar through Tom Ince as both sides struggled to play passing football on a terrible surface.

"On that surface it was either probably going to end up as a mistake from someone or a quality finish," said Burnley manager Sean Dyche. "It was a tight affair. They had the better fist of it the first 25 minutes but I actually thought they managed to play on that surface."

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