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Page last updated at 08:15 GMT, Saturday, 20 June 2009 09:15 UK

Sousa warned of Martinez effect

Paulo Sousa
Sousa parted company with QPR in April after only five months in the job

Paulo Sousa has been warned of the difficult task he will face to succeed Roberto Martinez as Swansea City boss.

Paul Lambert, a team-mate when Sousa won the Champions League crown in 1996 with Borussia Dortmund, says to follow fans favourite Martinez will be tough.

Martinez, who has joined Premier League Wigan Athletic, guided Swansea to the League One title before their eighth placed Championship finish last term.

"It will be tough to take over from a man who has done great," said Lambert.

The former Scottish international was Sosua's central midfielder partner when the Portugal great won the second of his European titles against Juventus in Munich.

Sousa played for the Italian giants the previous season when he won the first of his Champions League medals when Juventus beat Ajax on penalties in Rome in 1996.

The 51-times Portuguese international joins Swansea after the Welsh club enjoyed its highest league position for 25 years, playing a stylish and attractive brand of football that earned universal plaudits.

"It will be tough for Paulo," Lambert told BBC Radio Wales' Back Page programme.

Paul Lambert
"Paulo is very single-minded, has his own ideas of the game and will show it is not difficult for a top player to become a good manager

Former Borussia Dortmundteam-mate Paul Lambert

"Just like whoever takes over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United will have a difficult ask.

"But I'm pretty sure that Paulo will get a bit of success and if he gets them out of the Championship, people will forget everything that went before."

The former Queens Park Rangers manager has "verbally accepted" a three-year deal to become Swansea's 12th boss in 14 years and is set to be unveiled next week.

Sousa was QPR chief for just five months and 26 games and parted company when the club claimed he divulged sensitive information as the London team claimed they acted to "protect their position."

The 38-year-old - once assistant to Portugal manager Carlos Queiroz - lost six of his 23 league games in charge at the club hailed one of the richest in the world due to its millionaire owners.

Sousa departed Loftus Road amid suggestion that he was unhappy with QPR chairman Flavio Briatore meddling in team affairs.

Briatore denied the claims and even said in a statement on the club's website after Sousa's departure "Paulo picked the team all the time."

Lambert says that Sousa - a member of the Portuguese national team's golden generation alongside Rui Costa and Luís Figo - is his "own man" and "single-minded."

"I think it's a great appointment for Swansea," said Lambert, now manager of League One Colchester United.

"He did a fine job at Queens Park Rangers. It is well-documented that there are problems at that particular football club.

"Paulo said when he took the QPR job that he'd be his own man and he wouldn't like people telling him what to do."

Former Cardiff City winger Gareth Ainsworth was on Sousa's coaching staff at QPR and took over as caretaker boss at Loftus Road when he left the club.

"I don't think you can judge someone on just four or five months in any circumstances," Ainsworth told the Back Page.

"Fans and players wanted him to stay as they enjoyed the change of style and the learning experience.

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"He's a fantastic man, well-respected, honest and an intelligent guy that comes across super-intelligent tactically.

"In training he changed players, changed some players' positions and he brought some things out of players that I didn't see and I've been at QPR for seven years!

"He's a real thinker, he can be a shouter and aggressive in the dressing room but is a very intelligent talker who speaks a lot of languages which is useful thesedays - but I'm not sure how he'll cope with the Welsh accents!

"Swansea were blessed with Roberto Martinez who got them playing some great stuff and Paulo will add to that style as he was a fan of Swansea's way of playing the game.

"In a way he has a team that suits his footballing philosophies - and I can tell the Swansea fans that they're in for a treat. He'll be a top manager of the future."

Asked about Sousa's limited managerial experience, Lambert added: "It's all very well being a world-class footballer and playing at some unbelievable football clubs but how do you get experience as a manger? By being given an opportunity.

"And when Swansea gave Roberto Martinez the chance he did an absolutely brilliant job with not much experience and Paulo will be great.

"Paulo is very single-minded, has his own ideas of the game and will show it is not difficult for a top player to become a good manager."



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see also
Sousa offered Swans manager's job
18 Jun 09 |  Swansea
Wigan finally land boss Martinez
15 Jun 09 |  Wigan
BBC Radio Wales' The Back Page
13 Jul 07 |  Wales
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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