herald

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Fernandes in spotlight after Warnock axe

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes is coming under mounting scrutiny following his shock decision to sack manager Neil Warnock.

The Rs have endured an indifferent start to the season and languish 17th in the Premier League, with just five wins from their 20 matches.

Reports emanated this week suggesting Warnock's position was unsafe despite having led the west Londoners back to the top flight after a 15-year absence. QPR last night confirmed Warnock's spell at the Loftus Road helm had ended and Fernandes was immediately forced on the defensive via his Twitter account.

"Easy to call me an idiot. But it's harder to make decisions," the Malaysian businessman tweeted.

"(It) may be the wrong one and I'll be the idiot and I'll go but at least I'll stand up and be counted."

Earlier in the night, Fernandes posted: "Trust me in my 47 years of life I have never had to make such a tough decision. But I got to do what I think what's right. It's tough being a leader.

"But decisions have to be made for the club which in the short time I have grown to love ever so much."

Support

Fernandes did receive some messages of support and insisted the decision was not a "knee-jerk" reaction to the team's poor recent form.

"Long, long day," he said. "You live or die by your decisions. Neil Warnock is a legend for what he's done at QPR. I thank him. We move on."

Former Manchester City and Fulham manager Mark Hughes has emerged as the bookmakers' favourite to replace Warnock.

Ex-West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola and former Liverpool chief Rafael Benitez have also been linked.

The club's statement revealed a further announcement on the recruitment of Warnock's successor will be made "in due course".

Warnock said: "I'm very disappointed. I have enjoyed my time here more than anywhere else and the fans have been brilliant -- they deserve success."

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