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Watford boss Pearson 'totally underwhelmed by lack of leadership' from UK PM Boris Johnson

16:03 GMT+3 13/03/2020
Nigel Pearson, Boris Johnson
The UK is becoming more seriously affected by the illness and the Hornets boss has not been impressed with the Prime Minister's handling of it

Watford manager Nigel Pearson said that was he was “totally underwhelmed by the lack of leadership” with regards to British prime minister Boris Johnson's latest statements on the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Members of the Hornets squad checked in with the club earlier this week to report feeling symptoms indicative of Covid-19, leading to the cancellation of squad training.

Additionally, Leicester City, who had been set to face Watford on Saturday, recently revealed that three of their own players had shown symptoms and had been sent home to self-isolate.

The Premier League originally stated that all of the weekend's fixtures would go ahead as planned following advice from the UK government, with the prime minister speaking on Thursday to relay the latest advice from leading health professionals.

Pearson, however, was left less than impressed with Johnson's speech.

“I don't think we had any great leadership last night listening to the prime minister,” the Hornets boss said at his Friday press conference.

“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.”

He added: “We have to be mindful that this problem, this worldwide problem, is not going to go away. It's going to run its course. It's not something we can stop and, we, in the football industry, have a responsibility to ourselves and each other than the wellbeing of everybody concerned is taken care of.

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

Since then, the Premier League – as well as all other leagues under the remit of the English Football Association – released a statement confirming that all upcoming matches are currently suspended.

It reads: “The FA, Premier League, EFL and FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until Friday 3 April at the earliest.”