Ince's Influence The Key - Craig Johnston
Ince's Influence The Key - Johnston
From "Press Association"
Craig Johnston believes Paul Ince is the ``missing link'' in Liverpool's title challenge.
The former Kop idol feels the 29-year-old England international, who arrived at Anfield in a £4.2million deal from Inter Milan, is the ideal man to bring some much-needed grit to the Reds' midfield.
Johnston, who helped Liverpool win the League and FA Cup double in 1986, said Ince's influence would be felt right through the team.
``In the summer, everyone was looking to see where Paul Ince would go as it would be one of the keys to the championship,'' said Johnston.
``Wherever he went would be decisive and obviously I'm delighted he's gone to Liverpool as he is the missing link they have needed for so long.
``He will bring more than just himself to the club. He also brings an infectious enthusiasm in the way he closes people down and pressures them into making mistakes, which is one of the Liverpool things missing for the last couple of seasons.
``Ince will set an example everyone else will be infected by. He brings a style of play which, whoever he plays for, be it England, Manchester United, Inter Milan or Liverpool, makes him so valuable.
``He will bring the best out of other people like Jamie Redknapp alongside him, which is why I think his signing is a masterstroke.
``I think the squad is spot-on now and the signings Liverpool have made are the correct ones. They will have a different attitude.''
Johnston, back on Merseyside for last weekend's Umbro International Tournament at Goodison Park, firmly believes Liverpool now have the edge over their title rivals and can take the championship back to Anfield for the first time since 1990.
``Newcastle losing Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand is a major blow, but you can never bet against Kenny Dalglish and only a foolish person does,'' said the 36-year-old Australian.
``You cannot ignore the claims of Arsenal and Chelsea, while Manchester United are obviously strong contenders. But I think someone else will win the title this year and I think that will be Liverpool.''
Copyright - Press Association.