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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Ainsworth on Brighton & Future Prospects

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times (and other papers)
Rangers run aground at Brighton

GARETH Ainsworth has rubbished suggestions that QPR could be drawn into arelegation battle following their Boxing Day defeat at the Withdean Stadium. Struggling Brighton, who lie one place above the Championship's drop zone,are now just four points behind Rangers after inflicting their second 1-0defeat in a row.It took the Rs half an hour to shake off the lethargy that allowed veterandefender Guy Butters to rise unchallenged and head the only goal in theseventh minute.And Ainsworth admitted: "It was a really bad game that had 0-0 written all over it, but another set-play's done us and we played nowhere near what we can do."We don't need to start looking over our shoulders yet - we're better thanthat and we're above any battles to stay up. There are some good players here, a few of them are coming back from injury and we're still looking forward."
Rangers could not even blame their bete noire, Rob Styles - who, despite hisusual exhibition of inconsistent refereeing decisions, could not be heldresponsible for their languid display.True, Styles did dismiss QPR assistant manager Tim Breacker from the dugoutf or vocal criticism of one decision, but that could hardly be said to have a major bearing on the outcome.
Clumsy defending allowed Butters to head in Richard Carpenter's free-kickand Rangers were slow to repair the damage as they struggled .....
"I thought my team looked a bag of nerves after their goal went in. Itwasn't until the second half that we actually did anything of any merit,"observed QPR boss Ian Holloway."You need to create chances up front and you also need help from the wide areas - we didn't do that. The team looked mentally weak and I need to picka different one next time."

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