Tag Archives: hierarchy

Arsene Wenger will NOT be sacked insist Arsenal but club chief Gazidis is set to face fans" fury at Emirates event

Arsene Wenger will NOT be sacked insist Arsenal but club chief Gazidis is set to face fans' fury at Emirates event

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

12:17 GMT, 12 December 2012

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UPDATED:

13:24 GMT, 12 December 2012

Arsenal are throwing their unequivocal backing behind underfire manager Arsene Wenger.

An increasing number of Gunners supporters are calling for the French manager's head after a difficult start to the season and club chief executive Ivan Gazidis will face a hostile audience tonight at the Emirates Stadium when he hosts a drinks reception for the Arsenal Supporters Trust.

The pressure on Wenger intensified last night as Arsenal were dumped out of the Carling Cup by League Two side Bradford.

Stand by your man: Arsene Wenger watches his side crash out of the Capital One Cup at Bradford last night, but the manager will continue to enjoy unwavering support

Stand by your man: Arsene Wenger watches his side crash out of the Capital One Cup at Bradford last night, but the manager will continue to enjoy unwavering support

HE'S USELESS!

Which Arsenal played has been dubbed Useless Read/watch Sportsmail brilliant new video column by clicking here…

But the 63-year-old is under no danger of losing his job despite their recent slump.

The Gunners board remain 100 per cent behind Wenger, who is continuing with his plans to bolster the squad in next month's transfer window.

Wenger has an excellent relationship with the club's hierarchy, who are in no doubt the Frenchman remains the right man to lead Arsenal.

The board's unwavering support of Wenger will anger a growing band of supporters who feel it is now time for a change.

A right old coating: Wenger watches his side slump at Bradford's Coral Windows Stadium last night's cup

A right old coating: Wenger watches his side slump at Bradford's Coral Windows Stadium last night's cup

Bradford City supporters v Arsenal

Ivan Gazidis

Hat-trick: A Bradford fan celebrates last night (left) but Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis will face a hostile audience at a supporters' event at the Emirates Stadium tonight

Arsenal will complete an eight-year trophy drought if they fail to win any silverware this season, a statistic deemed not good enough by some fans.

Nevertheless, Wenger's position remains one of the safest in European football despite the club's problems.

WENGER MUST GO… THIS ARSENAL FAN HAS DECIDED ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Matt Fortune

By the time this piece is written, I'll need a bath. No, something more, a cleansing of the soul, perhaps. Forgive me Arsene, for I have sinned.

Here goes… Wenger out.

Defeat to Bradford, a team ranked more than 60 places lower than Arsenal, was humiliating for a club of this stature.

Forget their current form, injuries or any other extenuating circumstances, it was a shameful night for all involved.

The League Cup quarter-final result will go down in history, the lead in those 'It's happened before' newspaper items many years from now.

'Valley of despair', one headline screamed. Valley of the damned, I'd prefer. It was the final straw.

Click here to read the full Matt Fortune article…

Fernando Llorente admits Premier League attraction as Manchester City and Tottenham wait

Llorente gives hope to Man City and Spurs as Spain striker admits Premier League appeals

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UPDATED:

10:16 GMT, 12 December 2012

Fernando Llorente has opened up on his future and admitted a move to Tottenham or Manchester City could be on his radar.

Juventus remain strong favourites to win the battle for the Athletic Bilbao frontrunner, but he was adamant he has yet to make a decision on his next club.

Out of contract at the end of the season, Llorente confirmed he was aware of interest from at least two of the Barclays Premier League's leading clubs and insisted playing in England was a prospect he was ready to consider.

On alert: Manchester City and Spurs want Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente

On alert: Manchester City and Spurs want Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente

'I am approaching the date when I can think about signing for another club,' he told Sky Sports.

'I am happy to let my brother and representatives deal with that, so I can concentrate on playing for Athletic.

'But I really like the Premier League in England, and I have already mentioned more than once that it is a league that appeals to me.

'You never know. It could be a good option for me, but we will have to wait and see what happens.'

Italian job Serie A giants Juventus remain favourites to sign Llorente

Italian job Serie A giants Juventus remain favourites to sign Llorente

Despite what sounds like an encouraging message for Tottenham and City, who are both keen to sign him for a cut-price fee in next month's transfer window, Juventus remain confident they will add him to their ranks for nothing at the end of the season.

Much of the groundwork has already been done, after Llorente fell out with Athletic's coaching staff and made it clear he would not be signing another contract, and Juve's hierarchy believe an agreement is in place to take him to Turin in the summer.

Arsenal rift over Theo Walcott as Arsene Wenger blocks January sale of contract rebel

EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal rift over Walcott as Wenger blocks January sale of contract rebel

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UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 7 December 2012

Arsene Wenger will plead with Arsenal
not to sell Theo Walcott in January as it emerged discussions over a
new contract have come to a halt.

Publicly, the Frenchman insists talks with Walcott and his advisers over fresh terms are ongoing.

Eyes on the future: Arsene Wenger is frustrated by the on-going negotiations with his star man

Eyes on the future: Arsene Wenger is frustrated by the on-going negotiations with his star man

But Sportsmail understands no formal discussions between the two parties have taken place since August 28, when Walcott turned down a five-year 75,000-per-week deal.

And with just three weeks to go until the transfer window reopens, there are currently no plans in place for further discussions.

Therefore, it is looking increasingly likely that Walcott will go into January with just six months left on his contract.

The 23-year-old could sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club from January 1 or join a Premier League side on a free transfer at the end of the season.

The Gunners will look to sell Walcott, whose preference is to stay at the club, in January if a deal is not agreed to avoid him leaving for nothing. But Wenger would prefer Walcott to stay until at least the summer and will make his point to the Arsenal hierarchy.

However, club chiefs are highly likely to press ahead with plans to recoup as much money as possible for Walcott next month.

Wenger made similar overtures to the Gunners board during the Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie sagas — yet both were sold as they entered the final 12 months of their contracts.

Speaking yesterday, Wenger said: ‘I am frustrated, honestly. If you ask me will we sell Theo in January, no. I have always been hopeful he will sign.’

Liverpool want to sign Walcott in January, while Manchester City and Chelsea will offer the former Southampton forward lucrative free transfers in the summer.

Should I stay or go now: Theo Walcott is at loggerheads with Arsenal over his new deal

Should I stay or go now: Theo Walcott is at loggerheads with Arsenal over his new deal

Wilfried Zaha to Arsenal transfer: Ian Holloway blasts Arsene Wenger

EXCLUSIVE: Why is Wenger talking about Zaha Palace boss Holloway with fierce
'hands off' warning

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UPDATED:

16:24 GMT, 28 November 2012

Ian Holloway has blasted Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for acknowledging an interest in Wilfried Zaha and warned other January suitors off his prized asset.

Zaha has been centre of attention this November, a month in which he turned 20 and also made his England debut as a substitute against Sweden, and Wenger is one of a number of Barclays Premier League managers monitoring his exploits in the npower Championship.

When asked specifically about his interest in the 20million-rated winger on Tuesday morning, Wenger said: 'We are looking at every player who could strengthen our squad – but he is not more on the list than anyone else.'

On the run: Zaha is wanted by a host of top-flight clubs after impressing for Crystal Palace this term

On the run: Zaha is wanted by a host of top-flight clubs after impressing for Crystal Palace this term

Fury: Holloway is angry with the Arsenal manager for seemingly declaring his interest in Zaha

Fury: Holloway is angry with the Arsenal manager for seemingly declaring his interest in Zaha

While the Arsenal manager didn't mention his name, it was widely received at the time that he was declaring his interest in Zaha.

Crystal Palace manager Holloway, who was due to sit down with the Selhurst Park hierarchy today to discuss their own transfer window strategy, retorted: 'Why is he talking about my players I don't think that's right and proper, with the greatest respect.

'I don't think anybody who manages any other club should actually admit who he likes and what he should be doing. I think that's totally bad etiquette. He can say what he likes but about his players, not mine.'

Holloway, who is less than a month into his tenure with the south London club, expects Zaha to spend some of his current five-year deal representing Palace in the Premier League.

But should that dream not materialise, the former Blackpool manager has already proposed his next destination.

'I have told Wilf what I would do if I was him, and we have got such a strong contract they can go and whistle to be honest,' Holloway added, of clubs preparing to make bids.

'I have just walked in on this, it wasn't my party, but I have to have some sort of say in it.

'I think the boy is learning, and learning in our first team. He has been here since he was 12, and the chairman has a grip of what he wants to do.

'At the end of the day I just want the best for the boy and I can guarantee he will get that: I know where I want him to go if he doesn't play for us in the Premier League next year, and I have already told him.

Interested: Arsenal manager Wenger is poised to make a move for the Crystal Palace winger

Interested: Arsenal manager Wenger is poised to make a move for the Crystal Palace winger

'But at the minute he probably will not be available no matter what the price is in January.

'I have been delighted with my few weeks here and at the end of the day Wilfried is a big part of this season.'

Palace are well placed to return to the top-flight and their position would have been enhanced further when Zaha released the manacles imposed on him by fellow promotion chasers Hull on Tuesday night only to be denied what would have been his fifth league goal of the season, and a last-minute winner, by home goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Your country needs you: Zaha made his full debut against Sweden earlier this month

Your country needs you: Zaha made his full debut against Sweden earlier this month

A dozen minutes earlier, he had been clattered to the turf via a robust challenge from Hull's on-loan Manchester United midfielder Robbie Brady.

As displayed by the peerless Lionel Messi, however, to dust down and carry on is the best policy, according to Holloway.

'He gets kicked all over the place but that's what he has got to get used to. He's got to stop gesticulating and get up like Messi does, and in the meantime the more he does things like he did in those last couple of seconds of the match, the more people will be chasing if he becomes available,' Holloway said.

'What he has to learn to do – the more famous he becomes, the more people will talk about him – is to produce.

'I have got no doubts that he will. I just have to make sure that he looks right to those sitting in the stand. If he gesticulates to the referee then those people watching might be put off. You just have to get up like Messi, get on with it and do it again.'

Ian Holloway blasts Arsene Wenger over Wilfried Zaha – EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: Why is Wenger talking about Zaha Palace boss Holloway with fierce
'hands off' warning

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UPDATED:

16:04 GMT, 28 November 2012

Ian Holloway has blasted Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for acknowledging an interest in Wilfried Zaha and warned other January suitors off his prized asset.

Zaha has been centre of attention this November, a month in which he turned 20 and also made his England debut as a substitute against Sweden, and Wenger is one of a number of Barclays Premier League managers monitoring his exploits in the npower Championship.

When asked specifically about his interest in the 20million-rated winger on Tuesday morning, Wenger said: 'We are looking at every player who could strengthen our squad – but he is not more on the list than anyone else.'

On the run: Zaha is wanted by a host of top-flight clubs after impressing for Crystal Palace this term

On the run: Zaha is wanted by a host of top-flight clubs after impressing for Crystal Palace this term

Fury: Holloway is angry with the Arsenal manager for seemingly declaring his interest in Zaha

Fury: Holloway is angry with the Arsenal manager for seemingly declaring his interest in Zaha

While the Arsenal manager didn't mention his name, it was widely received at the time that he was declaring his interest in Zaha.

Crystal Palace manager Holloway, who was due to sit down with the Selhurst Park hierarchy today to discuss their own transfer window strategy, retorted: 'Why is he talking about my players I don't think that's right and proper, with the greatest respect.

'I don't think anybody who manages any other club should actually admit who he likes and what he should be doing. I think that's totally bad etiquette. He can say what he likes but about his players, not mine.'

Holloway, who is less than a month into his tenure with the south London club, expects Zaha to spend some of his current five-year deal representing Palace in the Premier League.

But should that dream not materialise, the former Blackpool manager has already proposed his next destination.

'I have told Wilf what I would do if I was him, and we have got such a strong contract they can go and whistle to be honest,' Holloway added, of clubs preparing to make bids.

'I have just walked in on this, it wasn't my party, but I have to have some sort of say in it.

'I think the boy is learning, and learning in our first team. He has been here since he was 12, and the chairman has a grip of what he wants to do.

'At the end of the day I just want the best for the boy and I can guarantee he will get that: I know where I want him to go if he doesn't play for us in the Premier League next year, and I have already told him.

Interested: Arsenal manager Wenger is poised to make a move for the Crystal Palace winger

Interested: Arsenal manager Wenger is poised to make a move for the Crystal Palace winger

'But at the minute he probably will not be available no matter what the price is in January.

'I have been delighted with my few weeks here and at the end of the day Wilfried is a big part of this season.'

Palace are well placed to return to the top-flight and their position would have been enhanced further when Zaha released the manacles imposed on him by fellow promotion chasers Hull on Tuesday night only to be denied what would have been his fifth league goal of the season, and a last-minute winner, by home goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Your country needs you: Zaha made his full debut against Sweden earlier this month

Your country needs you: Zaha made his full debut against Sweden earlier this month

A dozen minutes earlier, he had been clattered to the turf via a robust challenge from Hull's on-loan Manchester United midfielder Robbie Brady.

As displayed by the peerless Lionel Messi, however, to dust down and carry on is the best policy, according to Holloway.

'He gets kicked all over the place but that's what he has got to get used to. He's got to stop gesticulating and get up like Messi does, and in the meantime the more he does things like he did in those last couple of seconds of the match, the more people will be chasing if he becomes available,' Holloway said.

'What he has to learn to do – the more famous he becomes, the more people will talk about him – is to produce.

'I have got no doubts that he will. I just have to make sure that he looks right to those sitting in the stand. If he gesticulates to the referee then those people watching might be put off. You just have to get up like Messi, get on with it and do it again.'

Jack Wilshere in talks over Arsenal contract – and could be new captain

EXCLUSIVE: Wilshere opens talks over 50,000-a-week Arsenal deal… as Wenger prepares to make him captain

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UPDATED:

07:42 GMT, 27 November 2012

Jack Wilshere is on course for a bumper new contract as Arsene Wenger starts preparing the midfielder for the Arsenal captaincy.

Sportsmail understands preliminary discussions regarding a deal extension, which will see the 20-year-old net a significant increase on his 50,000-a-week deal, have taken place.

The England star still has two-and-a-half years left to run on that contract but the Arsenal hierarchy are understandably eager to extend it. They do not want any uncertainty over Wilshere’s future.

Perfect 10: Jack Wilshere was honoured by the famous shirt in the summer

Perfect 10: Jack Wilshere was honoured by the famous shirt in the summer

Germany forward Lukas Podolski is understood to be the club’s top earner on 90,000 a week but, while Wilshere’s next offer is unlikely to be on that scale, the pay increase will make him one of the Gunners’ best-paid players.

Wilshere has enjoyed a morale-boosting month after his injury nightmare.

Having missed the whole of last season with ankle, foot and knee problems, he has made a successful return to club football and an instant return to the international game after his call-up to the England squad for the friendly against Sweden two weeks ago.

The midfielder will be buoyed further by Wenger’s plan to make him Arsenal’s next captain. The manager has privately identified him as the long-term successor to skipper Thomas Vermaelen.

Wearing the armband: Thomas Vermaelen (centre) is Arsenal's current skipper

Wearing the armband: Thomas Vermaelen (centre) is Arsenal's current skipper

The Belgium defender is under no immediate danger of losing the armband to Wilshere but a plan is in place to promote the talented playmaker within the next two-and-a-half years.

Having come through the club’s academy system, Wilshere has a deep emotional attachment to Arsenal and Wenger likes that. The manager took a similar decision when he made Cesc Fabregas club captain at the age of 21, while Gunners legend Tony Adams’ 14-year stint as skipper started at the same age.

Wenger hopes the lure of the armband will persuade Wilshere, who was given the club’s famed No 10 shirt in the summer, that his long-term future lies at the Emirates Stadium.

Jack Wilshere opens talks with Arsenal over new contract

EXCLUSIVE: Wilshere opens talks with Arsenal over bumper new deal as Wenger prepares to anoint captain Jack

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 26 November 2012

Jack Wilshere is on course for a bumper new contract as Arsene Wenger starts preparing the midfielder for the Arsenal captaincy.

Sportsmail understands preliminary discussions regarding a deal extension, which will see the 20-year-old net a significant increase on his 50,000-a-week deal, have taken place.

The England star still has two-and-a-half years left to run on that contract but the Arsenal hierarchy are understandably eager to extend it. They do not want any uncertainty over Wilshere’s future.

Perfect 10: Jack Wilshere was honoured by the famous shirt in the summer

Perfect 10: Jack Wilshere was honoured by the famous shirt in the summer

Germany forward Lukas Podolski is understood to be the club’s top earner on 90,000 a week but, while Wilshere’s next offer is unlikely to be on that scale, the pay increase will make him one of the Gunners’ best-paid players.

Wilshere has enjoyed a morale-boosting month after his injury nightmare.

Having missed the whole of last season with ankle, foot and knee problems, he has made a successful return to club football and an instant return to the international game after his call-up to the England squad for the friendly against Sweden two weeks ago.

The midfielder will be buoyed further by Wenger’s plan to make him Arsenal’s next captain. The manager has privately identified him as the long-term successor to skipper Thomas Vermaelen.

Wearing the armband: Thomas Vermaelen (centre) is Arsenal's current skipper

Wearing the armband: Thomas Vermaelen (centre) is Arsenal's current skipper

The Belgium defender is under no immediate danger of losing the armband to Wilshere but a plan is in place to promote the talented playmaker within the next two-and-a-half years.

Having come through the club’s academy system, Wilshere has a deep emotional attachment to Arsenal and Wenger likes that. The manager took a similar decision when he made Cesc Fabregas club captain at the age of 21, while Gunners legend Tony Adams’ 14-year stint as skipper started at the same age.

Wenger hopes the lure of the armband will persuade Wilshere, who was given the club’s famed No 10 shirt in the summer, that his long-term future lies at the Emirates Stadium.

Theo Walcott confident of new Arsenal contract

Contract rebel Walcott confident of signing new deal at Arsenal as talks continue

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UPDATED:

00:31 GMT, 22 November 2012

Theo Walcott missed Arsenal's victory against Montpellier last night with a shoulder injury picked up in the 5-2 win over Tottenham on Saturday.

But he used the matchday programme to reiterate his desire to pen a new deal at the club.

Walcott said: ‘It’s important for me that something gets sorted out, because I enjoy playing for this club.

Up in the air: Theo Walcott has yet to commit to signing a new deal at Arsenal

Up in the air: Theo Walcott has yet to commit to signing a new deal at Arsenal

'I don’t think you can put a timeframe on when it will be resolved, though when both parties are sure, it will happen.’

Arsenal chiefs previously told the England international they were unwilling to increase their original 75,000-per-week offer, which was rejected by Walcott in August.

But Sportsmail understands the Gunners' stance on the issue has softened in recent weeks, with the club now willing to reach a compromise with the forward.

It is believed both parties feel an offer of between 80,000 – 85,000-per-week will be enough to secure Walcott's long-term future.

Talks: Arsene Wenger has admitted Walcott could leave the club

Talks: Arsene Wenger has admitted Walcott could leave the club

The former Southampton forward has told Wenger he wants to stay at the Emirates but made it clear he wants a contract closer to 100,000-per-week.

And Wenger, who has been highly-impressed by Walcott's displays in recent weeks, will tell the club's hierarchy to up their existing offer and hopes his personal intervention will help resolve the issue when the player's representatives meet with Gunners officials for a second round of formal talks.

Liverpool and Chelsea are plotting January moves for Walcott, while Manchester City want to sign him on a free transfer next summer.

Theo Walcott contract: Arsene Wenger tells Arsenal to improve offer as Liverpool and Chelsea lurk

Wenger issues plea to keep Walcott as Liverpool and Chelsea plot January swoop

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 19 November 2012

Arsene Wenger will make a personal recommendation to the Arsenal board to improve Theo Walcott's contract offer in an attempt to end the uncertainty over his future.

Arsenal chiefs previously told the England international they were unwilling to increase their original 75,000-per-week offer, which was rejected by Walcott in August.

On target: Walcott scored in the 5-2 drubbing of Tottenham on Saturday

On target: Walcott scored in the 5-2 drubbing of Tottenham on Saturday

But Sportsmail understands the Gunners' stance on the issue has softened in recent weeks, with the club now willing to reach a compromise with the forward.

It is believed both parties feel an offer of between 80,000 – 85,000-per-week will be enough to secure Walcott's long-term future.

The former Southampton forward has told Wenger he wants to stay at the Emirates but made it clear he wants a contract closer to 100,000-per-week.

And Wenger, who has been highly-impressed by Walcott's displays in recent weeks, will tell the club's hierarchy to up their existing offer and hopes his personal intervention will help resolve the issue when the player's representatives meet with Gunners officials for a second round of formal talks.

Theo Walcott

Wanted: Chelsea and Liverpool are both considering moves in January

The club want his future resolved by the end of December.

Liverpool and Chelsea are plotting January moves for Walcott, while Manchester City want to sign him on a free transfer next summer.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are close to agreeing a new five-year contract with left-back Kieran Gibbs.

Mark Hughes clings to his job at QPR

Fernandes' patience running out as defiant Hughes clings to his job at QPR

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UPDATED:

23:43 GMT, 17 November 2012

Mark Hughes remains the manager of rock-bottom QPR ahead of crunch talks with chairman Tony Fernandes in the coming days.

The Welshman is clinging to the position by his fingertips after Rangers produced their worst performance of the season in the 3-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton.

QPR are the only team in England's top four divisions without a win and Hughes is uncertain whether or not he will be given the chance to right that wrong when the side travel to Old Trafford next week.

Come in, Harry: Mark Hughes is clinging onto his job at QPR after another match without a win

Come in, Harry: Mark Hughes is clinging onto his job at QPR after another match without a win

Come in, Harry: Mark Hughes has vowed to fight on at QPR despite the fans turning on him

Fernandes, who has previously been
forthright in his public backing of Hughes, took to Twitter to lament
another home defeat, and his words will do little to assure the manager
of his future.

'I feel gutted,' he wrote. 'I have
put my heart and soul into this with my other shareholders. And done all
we can to give support to players and all management. I can only
apologise to the QPR fans. we keep fighting.'

He later added: 'Let me tell you Fans come first. Everyone including me let the fans down. Many of us need a hard look at themselves. QPR has amazing fans. They deserve better.'

Fernandes enjoys a good personal relationship with the manager and is desperate for the man he bought to the club to succeed.

However, the limp showing at Loftus
Road shocked the club's hierarchy and could prove to be the final straw, especially after fans vented their own frustrations at the
situation.

At full time, a banner reading,
'Harry come and save us' was unfurled behind the goal, a message to
Fernandes that former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is the one they want.

Redknapp has previous with rescuing
teams floundering in the Premier League, having led Tottenham from the
foot of the table to the Champions League in just three years.

After the match about 100 fans gathered outside the main entrance, which was protected by stewards and police. But the protests faded and the ugliest moments had come at half-time, when Hughes and the players were booed, and again when Anton Ferdinand’s own goal sealed defeat.

Asked if it was the worst QPR performance of his time in charge, he said, 'Yes, without a shadow of a doubt.

'Today there was not that intensity.
We weren't on the front foot, we weren't anticipating anything, we
weren't aggressive enough. All the fundamentals that you need to build a
performance [were not there].

Out of ideas: QPR's abject performance against Southampton shocked Tony Fernandes

Out of ideas: QPR's abject performance against Southampton shocked Tony Fernandes

Out of ideas: QPR's abject performance against Southampton shocked Tony Fernandes

'Maybe the anxiety of the
significance of the game filtered through to them but, come on, the vast
majority of them are very experienced.

'It shouldn't affect them in that
manner and it surprised me that possibly it did. I can well understand
the reaction [from the fans]. In fairness, it was exactly my reaction to
that performance.

'We are not going to hide or try to
make it positive out of a very big negative because it was a huge game
for everybody connect with Queens Park Rangers, including myself,
players, staff and fans.

'We have not performed,
unfortunately, so when that happens it puts us in a situation that
no-one anticipated this year but we are where we are.'

He added: 'I don't run away from
challenges,' he said. 'This is a huge challenge. It was a huge challenge
in January when I undertook it.

'There weren't too many people
queuing up when I decided it was the right role for me. I knew it was
going to be problematic. We all understood that.

'This year we obviously had real
expectations and I was quite prepared to raise expectations because I
thought we would have a good season.

'It hasn't quite happened, unfortunately, and because we have raised expectations more people are disappointed.'