Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sousa's the Lone Ranger in Charge; Loftus Road Boss Hits Back at Claims That Chairman Flavio Briatore Rules the Roost by Insisting He Makes All the Decisions. by James Olley

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sousa's the Lone Ranger in Charge; Loftus Road Boss Hits Back at Claims That Chairman Flavio Briatore Rules the Roost by Insisting He Makes All the Decisions. by James Olley

Article excerpt

PAULO SOUSA says he calls the shots at Queens Park Rangers and claims the club are on track for a return to the Premier League.

Chairman Flavio Briatore was rumoured to have exerted increasing influence over team selection during both Iain Dowie's tenure and Gareth Ainsworth caretaker spell in charge.

But Sousa, who took charge at Loftus Road in November, quashed talk of the Formula One team boss acting in such a manner on his watch.

He said: "Each person is different from the other. I am looking to do my job and I do it like I want always. I do always what I want and all the decisions are mine.

"I met him for the first time when he invited me to talk about QPR, which was one day before I came here.

"I live for my work, for my players and for my club to try to satisfy everyone because it's the only way I can satisfy myself. I am happy for what has been done until now because we are building a strong base to prepare for the future with more power.

"I don't know where any pressure would come from." But that pressure stems from lying 11th in the Championship, with the play-offs virtually out of reach as sixthplaced Cardiff have a seven-point lead and two games in hand.

As recently as 23 March, Briatore admitted Sousa's future will be decided in May, ominously adding: "The end of the season is the right moment to see which kind of results have arrived and if it's possible to continue with Paulo." The club continue to transform at pace -- today sees the launch of Rangers' new home kit that will be worn for the first time against Plymouth on 25 April -- but the team have struggled so far to match their chairman's ambition.

Luigi De Canio was given just seven months to impose himself, while Dowie had only 15 games.

For his part, the Portuguese remains unmoved, insisting the club are building for a promotion push next season.

"Time is results -- in this profession, you need to have the results to progress and get time," he said. …

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