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Nigel Pearson criticises Boris Johnson and says the United Kingdom have had "underwhelming" leadership amid coronavirus crisis

Nigel Pearson

Watford manager Nigel Pearson says he has been "underwhelmed" by the leadership of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson amid the coronavirus.

The English football season has been put on hold until April 3 after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the disease.

The Premier League was the last of Europe's major competitions to announce a postponement, with a statement on Thursday stating that this weekend's fixtures were set to go ahead as planned.

But Pearson believes the situation in the United Kingdom has been undermined by the actions of those at the very top.

“I don't think we had any great leadership last night listening to the prime minister,” the Watford manager said.

“I was totally underwhelmed by the lack of leadership and clear message in terms of what was said in that press conference.

“We are trying to be proactive ourselves and hopefully the Premier League will make strong decisions based on what is right for everybody in the game.”

“We have to be mindful that this problem, this worldwide problem, is not going to go away. It is going to run its course. It isn't something we can stop and, we, in the football industry, have a responsibility to ourselves and each other [to ensure] that the well-being of everybody concerned is taken care of.

“I think what's important first and foremost is to deal with the well-being of people involved in the industry. We have to be decisive with how the problem, the situation, is dealt with.”

Watford, who suffered a 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace last weekend, had been scheduled to face Pearson's former employers Leicester on Saturday afternoon.

The Hornets are currently 17th in the Premier League table, with goal difference alone separating them from Bournemouth in the relegation zone.


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