Paulo Sousa had a lot to say to the gathering media after QPR`s 1-1 draw against 10-man Coventry City on Saturday. His full press conference was released on www.QPR.co.uk to QPR Wolrd subscribers. The media reported most of what Sousa had to say: about the lack of training due to the weather, how he changed things around to accommodate Routledge but it didn`t come off because you can`t change things overnight and expect everything to work perfectly; how we controlled the game for the greater part and had many chances but didn`t put them away.
But the press didn`t tell us everything!
Sousa spoke frankly about Helguson`s foul which led to the free kick from which Coventry scored. Bluntly, Sousa called the foul “a stupid foul,” and went on to explain that he expects his players to be clever – to think first and act afterwards, not the other way around!
‘Sometimes you act before and then you think and then you make mistakes,” he explained.
He was asked what, in fact, Helguson was doing so deep in defence when we were playing against 10-men by then.
“It was not only Helguson that caused this situation.” Indeed, Delaney was co-conspirator with Helguson – although only Helguson got booked!
“You need to be more clever, you need to think, you can`t make stupid fouls.
“When I first came here,” Sousa explained, “we made a lot of fouls, especially in the lines where normally our opponents are good and try to put pressure on us with kicks into the box. But now we have started to make good things because we don`t concede so many fouls, these kinds of stupid fouls.”
There`s no getting away from it – Sousa is unimpressed with the lack of discipline which costs us fouls in important areas. Good, I say, about time someone addressed that particular issue!
Sousa was also asked about which formation he preferred – the 4-4-2 we played against Coventry, the diamond formation, or did he choose his formation based on which players were available each week.
“It is important to get the players and to make good decisions, but I need time to work with one shape in which I believe more, and give time for each player to grow and to get confident in this shape,” he admitted.
Sousa then came clean that the 4-4-2 was not his favourite shape but nor was the diamond! “Something else is coming!” he confessed.
“The diamond has come because I need to give more lines to our shape to be able to control the space better,” he told the official website.
“Then we play at home and we have another important winger, like Wayne, and we want to be more open to control the game and to play with more width.
“We get that! We get that!” Sousa said animatedly.
“But we also need to grow with this (new) shape, of course,” he admitted.
Sousa is open and honest, which is very refreshing. He is also clearly a very intelligent man and, most importantly, a highly intelligent footballer. He has his ideas and is slowly transmitting them to his team. But clearly, it will all take time.
And then there is the big question – what is this “Something else” which he has promised is coming? Keep watching Rs` fans – there is clearly so much more we can expect from our young manager and his/our team!
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