Sousa's new boys start on duff note

Watford 3 QPR 0
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Paulo Sousa was not on the touchline for this appallingdisplay by the team he now manages. Having seen what he has taken on at Queens Park Rangers, the former Portuguese international may wish tomaintain his distance.

From winning the European Cup twice, in 1996 and 1997,famously with different clubs, it has come to this. Sousa agreed to take over at the troubled west London club on Wednesday.

Afterwards, however, he didn't try to hide the all-too-obvious truth. Sousa said: "This was a bad performance today. I'm here to change things because things have not been going well."

He then added, somewhat bravely: "There is no pressure on me. I'm here for the mediumto long term, to build a base to get to the Premier League."

It remains to be seen whether he will get the time to jolt this team into life, let alone back to the top division. After all, his employer, Flavio Briatore, has already shown he is a man of little patience – Sousa is the third manager since the Italian bought into the club.

Watford had lost five League games in a row, but QPR somehow made the Hornets looklike a top-three side in the Championship, not a bottom- three one, which was where they started the day.

With both sides lookingwitless, the hosts were awardeda penalty after 26 minutes for a push, and Tommy Smith hit the spot-kick low to Radek Cerny's left.

Seven minutes later Watford, with caretaker-manager Malky Mackay in charge at home for the first time, doubled their lead. Jon Harley passed to Darren Ward, who scored from 10 yards. Mackay was interviewed last Wednesday for the permanent position, and said: "I'd be delighted to get the job."

For Sousa, whose European Cup wins were with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund, the size of the task ahead became even clearer when Smith set up Lee Williamson for the third in the last minute of the first half. Fitz Hall's dismissal with 10 minutes left, for a pointless hack on the substitute Will Hoskins, at least gave Sousa one less selection problem for next week.

Comments