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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sousa on The Brink? - Another Paper re Ince Replacing Sousa (And Earlier Sousa Endangered Stories)

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-BBC - QPR chief dismisses Ince reports- QPR sporting director Gianni Paladini has denied reports Paul Ince is in line to take over as manager at Loftus Road.
- Rangers, co-owned by Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, have not won in seven games but Paladini insists Ince will not replace boss Paulo Sousa.
- "There is absolutely, categorically not a shred of truth in it," said Paladini.
- "I have not spoken to Paul Ince and neither have Flavio or Bernie. There is absolutely no way he will take over at QPR and no way it was even discussed."
- Ince was linked with QPR following the departure of coach Luigi De Canio at the end of last season.
- But he was never a frontrunner for the job and eventually left Milton Keynes Dons for Blackburn, with Iain Dowie becoming R's boss.
- Dowie was sacked in October following a series of disagreements with Briatore. His successor, former Portugal star Sousa, is already under pressure after just four months at the club.
- But Paladini says Sousa is not about to be sacked and that Ince, who was dismissed by Blackburn in December, has not been identified as a possible replacement.
- The Italian added: "When I heard what was printed in a newspaper I couldn't believe it. I have no idea where it came from because there is 100% no truth in it whatsoever.
- "It was said that I am a friend of Paul Ince. I am not a friend of his. I admired him greatly as a player and, for what it's worth, I think he's a very good young manager. But we're not friends and we haven't spoken.
- "Even if the thought had occurred to me that he should be QPR's manager - which it didn't - I don't have the power to make that decision.
- "That decision lies with the owners and I know for a fact that they want to keep Paulo Sousa, so nonsense about him having two games left is completely wrong as well." BBC

Sunday Mirror/Simon Mullock - Queens Park Rangers line up Paul Ince as manager
- QPR will offer Paul Ince a return to management if Paulo Sousa fails to halt the London club's slide down the Championship table.
- Rangers could only draw 0-0 at home against Sheffield United yesterday and are entrenched in arun of seven games without a win.
- Unless chairman Flavio Briatore sees evidence of an improvement in the next two games, Sousa's five month reign is over.
- Ince turned down an approach last week from Brighton, saying he does not want to drop below the Championship. Sunday Mirror

Daily Mail - Sacked Blackburn manager Paul Ince could make a return at QPR
- Paul Ince is expected to make a dramatic return to management with Championship billionaires Queens Park Rangers.
- Ince, sacked by Blackburn Rovers in December, is the top target for Rangers chairman and good friend Gianni Palladini as the pressure mounts on current boss Paulo Sousa.
- Sousa's job is in jeopardy following a dismal run which, after yesterday's goalless draw with Sheffield United, has seen Rangers take four points out of a possible 21.
- Sousa admitted to friends he fears he is about to lose his job less than four months after arriving at Loftus Road." Daily Mail

- [Posted Earlier:
Dave McIntyre/BBC606 - Down but not out - yet- Paulo
- Sousa is under pressure but still on solid enough ground to keep his job if QPR lose to Sheffield United on Saturday. - Unfortunately, I’ve got plenty experience of seeing Rangers managers in trouble.
- I won’t ever forget telling Ian Holloway I was writing a story that a bloke called Ramon Diaz was being lined up to take his job – a crisis he came through after his players rallied round and produced a sudden winning run.
- Holloway, who was never slow to give me a piece of his mind, showed tremendous dignity and was a gentleman towards me then, as he was 18 months later when I was about to break the news that he was being put on ‘gardening leave’ after a series of bad results and problems behind the scenes.
- It was also tough to write about the impending appointment of John Gregory in place of Gary Waddock, who I liked a lot.
- Then there was Iain Dowie. Like the Ramon Diaz debacle, reports that the manager was in trouble before the season had even started were taken by many as proof of the media’s madness rather than QPR's, and understandably so.
- Dowie made it to the start of the season but was soon gone.
- Even Gareth Ainsworth was replaced at the first sign of problems.
- His caretaker title made the decision to remove him seem less significant than it was.
- But at one stage Ainsworth was very much the board’s man for the job, despite bigger names being linked with it, and he lost that mantle after a home defeat against Burnley.
- One home defeat really is enough to turn the tide against a Rangers manager these days.
- But, having seen a few men in an all-too familiar position to Sousa’s, I don’t think his time will be up until at least the summer and even then, he could emerge intact.
- That of course means Sousa is now bound to be sacked.
- After all, less than a year ago, Gigi De Canio was so adamant I was wrong to suggest he’d be off after the season’s final game against West Brom, I suspended all judgement in an article titled ’QPR double act continues.’
- His position changed after that conversation and once the article was eventually published the following week, De Canio’s ‘double act’ with Gianni Paladini continued for all of 24 hours.
- The stick I got for that continued for considerably longer.
- How much longer Sousa has as Rangers coach remains to be seen.
- He is in the position De Canio and Dowie quickly found themselves in, under pressure from within to stick to a 4-4-2 formation and select certain players.
- But that pressure isn’t as severe, because in crucial ways Sousa is different to his predecessors and so are his prospects – at least in the short term.
- For starters, unlike in the cases of the five ousted Rangers managers in recent years – and I’m including Ainsworth but not De Canio, who quit – there has been no firm move to line up a replacement, which gives the current man some breathing space.
- More importantly, Sousa is different to Dowie in that he is very much Flavio Briatore’s man, whereas Dowie was a recommendation whose appointment was merely rubber-stamped by the co-owner.
- That means Sousa being ditched after just a few months would inevitably reflect badly on Briatore himself – especially in his native Italy, where Sousa is a major star after making his name as a player with Juventus.
- And regardless of who he is and whose choice he was, getting rid of yet another coach would just look so bad at this point there would be little to gain from doing it now, especially as this season is almost a write-off.
- There is also a financial factor. Following a pay-off to Gregory, the quick dismissal of Dowie was expensive and with two years of Sousa’s contact left to run, removing him as well would involve more money being wasted at a time when the club are looking to cut costs.
- At such a volatile club, anything could happen. But for now, it’s likely that the worst fate awaiting Sousa if Rangers’ slump continues is to have his card well and truly marked between now and the end of the season.
- And unless Rangers make a spectacular charge to the play-offs, it’s at the end of the season when matters will come to a head.
- Someone, possibly Sousa, will almost certainly carry the can. BBC606

From Last Week's Daily Mail
Daily Mail/Hatchet Man - QPR owners should give Sousa the time they were promising
- QPR’S owners have a chance over the next few months to prove they are not just trigger happy short-termists.
- After going through managers at a frightening rate, Paulo Sousa was brought in last November claiming that he had been hired for the long term.
Under pressure: Sousa has seen his side go on a poor run
For some reason, the young Portuguese insisted he would be given time to turn Rangers into a force for the Premier League in his first job in club management.
- Like Sousa’s title of first team coach rather than manager, it hardly seemed credible. He seemed naïve or deluded and already he is moving towards crunch time.
Rangers have not won in the last five matches and lots of talk already about hopes for next season must have eroded Sousa’s standing. The best he can aim at now is the play-offs, and that is beginning to look like an outside shot.
- QPR are six points off sixth place (and only nine above the relegation zone) and Sousa and his team must be making the owners’ trigger fingers itchy.
- But if they are not going to continue to be another set of clichéd, super-rich and impatient owners, they have to stand by the rookie they appointed. Daily Mail

Daily Mail/Neil Hallam - Give Sousa a chance, pleads Delaney
- Paulo Sousa's chances of a long managerial reign at QPR can hardly have been enhanced by a barren run that has produced only two wins in 11 League games, but his players are adamant he should be given time to 'get his message across'.
- Half a dozen managers have come and gone at QPR in the last 14 months but Republic of Ireland full back Damien Delaney, who headed in their first-half equaliser, insists he speaks for all the players in hoping the former Portugal star is not added to the disruptive procession of casualties.
- 'All the lads like and respect the manager and want him to be given time to put his ideas and methods into practice,' he said.
- Losing battle: Paulo Sousa is running out of time to convince QPR's bosses that he is the right man to guide them towards the Premier League after another loss
- 'He arrived in mid-season, which is always difficult, and he has had the job of trying to create stability after a lot of upheaval.
- 'This was only our second league defeat since early December and we all feel we are starting to get there as a team.'
- Sousa said he was instructed to build solid foundations in order to challenge for promotion next season but he added:
- 'We still have a chance of the play-offs this year. We have to go for it but it's difficult to be consistent while we are still building for the future.'
Goals from Maltese international Peter Bogdanovic and Brazilian Anderson de Silva eased relegation fears for a cosmopolitan Barnsley side that included seven imports, but it was a Liverpool loan signing, 20-year-old Adam Hammill, who made the biggest impression.
- The youngster, whose pace and searching crosses kept Rangers under pressure, has now played 70 games on loan at Dunfermline, Southampton, Blackpool and Barnsley while trying to persuade Liverpool he is worth a Premier League chance.
- 'I have always dreamed of getting a standing ovation after running myself to a standstill in a red shirt and now it has come true, albeit at Barnsley rather than Anfield,' said Hammill. Daily Mail

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