According to the more vocal elements at Molineux, Paul Ince should be the next Wolverhampton Wanderers manager.

But, as far as both he and his current manager Glenn Hoddle are concerned, Ince still has a bit left to offer as a player.

Having use of Ince for only a third of Wolves games this season has proved a major factor in the club's latest sorry failure to win promotion to the Premiership.

But, if he remains in charge of Wolves next season, Hoddle will not be swayed by Ince's increasing troubles with injury and his skipper looks set to defy his pre-season pledge to retire by carrying on playing next season into his 40th year.

"I hate the thought of retiring," said Ince. "Even now I keep striving because I want to be the best. That's the attitude I've always had.

"I want to stay at Wolves, I've really enjoyed my time here and I love working with the gaffer. Because he's given me the rest time when I've needed it he's probably prolonged my career and the reason I want to play on for another year.

"My ambition is to manage this club eventually and I've already learned a lot from the gaffer. But I've got more to learn. For now I want to keep playing and I would like to be here again next season."

The thought of what might happen when Ince finally ties up his boots ended up haunting the previous Wolves boss Dave Jones, who clearly saw the former England captain's presence at Molineux as a threat to his job.

But, despite having had to withstand the recent spate of chants of 'Paul Ince for Manager', Hoddle appears to be a lot more accepting of the fans' mood swings.

Though he is keeping his cards close to his chest on the future of Wolves' nine soon-to-be out-of-contract players, Hoddle has dropped a broad hint that Ince will indeed be kept on for a fifth season at Molineux.

"Paul has always been a winner and his enthusiasm and commitment rubs off on other players," said Hoddle.

"It was a pleasure working with him with England and again since I came to Wolves, and hopefully we'll be able to carry on into next year as well."

After missing almost half his side's games the previous season, Ince has made just 16 league starts out of a possible 46 for Wolves this term.

A thigh injury kept the former Liverpool, Manchester United and Inter Milan player out for more than three months in the autumn and, like last term when he also missed the final three games, Ince will once again end this season on the sidelines.

A hamstring problem that has dogged him since February finally saw his season end 36 minutes into the 1-1 draw with Watford on Good Friday.

And, after missing the last two matches, he will again be kept out of the action when this latest frustrating Wolves campaign closes at Carrow Road against Norwich City on Sunday.