New manager Paul Ince insists he will tackle the challenge of keeping Macclesfield Town in the Football League in the same fashion as he would on the pitch.

The 39-year-old former Wolverhampton Wanderers midfield player took his first steps into management by signing a 14-month deal yesterday to take over as player-boss at Moss Rose, which will then become a six-month rolling contract.

While his playing career included a World Cup and spells at Manchester United, Inter Milan and Liverpool, his start as a manager could not be in sharper contrast.

The Silkmen sit bottom of the league with five points from 15 matches - seven adrift of second-bottom Boston - and attract the lowest average attendance in the Football League.

Ince said: "It's a massive challenge because of the situation the club's in, but I wouldn't have taken this on if I didn't think we could get out of it.

"I wouldn't say it's a gamble - it's a challenge and I never shirked a challenge as a footballer.

"It was a gamble to leave Manchester United for Inter-Milan so you do take chances, but that's the way I am. I'm excited about it.

"Sometimes, you can be fortunate like the likes of Robbo (Bryan Robson), Keaney (Roy Keane) and (Gareth) Southgate.

"It's important that you learn what it's like in the lower leagues and that's what I intend to do." n Leeds United las night announced they have agreed financial compensation with Swindon Town and have been given permission to discuss personal terms with Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet.

The Robins revealed yesterday morning they had granted the Coca-Cola Championship strugglers permission to open talks aimed at bringing the management duo to Elland Road.

But Swindon later claimed negotiations had been broken off after Leeds failed to meet the level of compensation required to prise them from the County Ground, as set out in their contracts.

The statement on Leeds' club website appeared to bring to an end a day of confusion where each club released conflicting statements concerning negotiations for Wise and Poyet's services.