Wigan manager Steve Bruce has backed former team-mate Paul Ince to turn things around at Blackburn - but not before they face each other on Saturday.
Some reports have suggested Bruce could put his ex-Manchester colleague out of a job if his side defeat struggling Rovers at the JJB.
Bruce said: "I have known him since he was a kid and when he came to United and I was the older one in the squad."
He added: "He has a fierce pride and a fierce determination about him and he always wants to succeed. He succeeded very well as a player.
"We know he's got a lot of bottle; you don't play for clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool and Inter Milan otherwise.
"I hope after Saturday he changes it around, because he needs a bit of time."
As for the time frame, Bruce has little doubt Ince deserves a significantly extended opportunity to prove himself.
"Sixteen weeks - is that too early to judge? If and when he does turn it around he will look back on it and see it does make you a better manager. All of us have had tough times.
"This time last year we had nine points after 16 games - so I knew we had to have an unbelievable turnaround and do things pretty quickly.
"I've been sacked after having a tough time and I've apparently been close to the sack and turned it around."
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