A few days ago we asked you to grade the job Paul Ince was doing at the point he was shown the door by Reading. It followed his dismissal on Tuesday morning, with a late 2-1 defeat at Preston North End the previous day proving to be the final straw for the Royals’ hierarchy.
Unsurprisingly, you weren’t impressed. Not one bit. Ince comes out with an average rating of just 1.53/5. The majority of you gave him a 1/5 (62.2%), while some were a little more forgiving, handing him a 2/5 (27.9%). Just 6% went for 3/5, with a few others on 4/5 (2.5%) and 5/5 (1.4%).
It’s a very stark decline indeed for a manager who’d started off pretty well before really coming up trumps earlier this season.
Ince kicked off with an average of 3/5, earned by keeping Reading in the Championship with some decent albeit not outstanding performances. However, he really hit the heights in 2022/23, registering 4.26 for a strong start to the campaign. He’d drop off somewhat in December (3.61) and then again in March (3.12).
Fortunately for Ince, 1.53/5 isn’t quite the worst score we’ve ever seen. That came just over a year ago as Veljko Paunovic’s sign-off: a paltry 1.31. For context, since we started these approval ratings in 2015, Reading managers had only dipped below 2.5 twice before: 1.8 for Jaap Stam in his final rating (March 2018) and 1.9 in Paul Clement’s only rating (October 2018).
It’s a sign of just how chaotic things have been for Reading recently that the last two seasons have included our two lowest managerial approval ratings. Despite both showing promise at some stage and to some extent, both Pauno and Ince ultimately left Berkshire with the club in a pretty toxic state.