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Saturday, December 23, 2006

QPR Snippets - Evatt re Blackpool...Gregory on Ray Jones/Contract...No Waddock to Brentford...Cureton Scoring Away

Clubcall: December 22
Evatt targets Bloomfield Road stay

Queens Park Rangers defender Ian Evatt says he wants to join Blackpool on a permanent basis in January.
Loan signing Evatt has been one of the Seasiders best players so far this season, forming part of a strong, settled back four.
With little chance of first team football at Loftus Road, Evatt says he is keen to extend his stay on the Fylde Coast for as long as possible:
"I've had a chat with the gaffer Simon Grayson. QPR and Blackpool are on their way to arranging something so hopefully it will be sorted out for the New Year.
"A permanent move is my first option. If that can't be arranged it'll have to be a loan, but a permanent deal is something I'm definitely looking at." Clubcall

QPR Official Site - "A MUST-WIN'
Gaffer John Gregory is relishing the opportunity to lock horns with fellow strugglers Barnsley at Loftus Road on Saturday.
The R's sit just one place and one point above the Tykes in the Championship table and having succumbed to five defeats on the spin, Gregory is fully aware of the need to return to winning ways tomorrow afternoon.
Speaking exclusively to QPR World, Gregory said: "It's a six pointer without any shadow of doubt.
"We want and need all three points and if we get them then it's three they can't get. It enables us to get some distance between ourselves and them.''
Gregory also revealed that Steve Lomas, Lee Cook and Damion Stewart are all in contention for the visit of the Tykes.
"We've definitely missed one or two key players over the last few weeks,'' he told QPR World.
"Stevie Lomas has missed a lot of football and we've missed Cookie's influence in the side too.
Steve Lomas could return against Barnsley
"But we're getting one or two back now - Damion should be back tomorrow too which is a boost.
"He's okay, although he'll play with a face mask. It was a nasty fracture of his cheekbone but it's great to have him back in the fray.
"I'm just delighted that I can field a slightly stronger side this weekend.''
A full interview will be available on QPR World later this afternoon, which includes the gaffer's thoughts on those players whose contracts are up in the summer, as well as the future regarding Ray Jones and QPR's efforts so far to retain his services. QPR

The gaffer talks about Saturday's big game; what he expects from players wanting a new contract; and the future of striker Ray Jones Gregory
In the QPR World Interview, Gregory says they've made about three contract offers to Ray Jones.
[Chairman Paladini has said they made about eight offers
"...Paladini insisted: "We broke our back to try to keep him. We have done every-thing we possibly can. "We have offered him about eight contracts but every single time we have heard from his agent that Ray won't be signing." ... Dave McIntyre Ealing Gazette
"..QPR chairman Gianni Paladini said: "We have offered him about eight contracts but the money being asked is ridiculous." Mirror
".... "We offered him a very good contract, six or seven times we've made an offer and his agent doesn't want to know - he just said the boy wasn't signing." Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times

Brentford gambled their League One future on youth team manager Scott Fitzgerald yesterday when they handed him the team manager's job following a four-game spell as caretaker boss that has promised much but produced only one point.
The Times understands Fitzgerald was the second choice behind another youth team coach, Oxford United's Darren Patterson, who turned down the chance to take on the role with former QPR boss Gary Waddock as his number two.
The rejection by the two ex-Luton team-mates, coupled with an apparent disagreement by Brentford board members, caused an embarrassing delay in announcing the position until yesterday - more than a month since the process began.
But the Bees have still shown great faith in Fitzgerald in opting for him in preference to several candidates with managerial experience, including Stuart Gray, Brian Little, Bobby Williamson and Kevin Wilson.
Managing director Keith Dickens and chairman Greg Dyke were swayed by the fact that Fitzgerald's professional approach and commitment have the players believing in themselves again and showing improvement, despite being bottom of League One without a win in 20 games.
Alan Reeves, Fitzgerald's former Wimbledon team-mate, who was recently assistant manager at Swindon Town, will continue as his assistant and John Griffin, who was promoted to number two by previous boss Leroy Rosenior, is expected to revert to chief scout.
Brentford fans were unaware of the backflip that took place on Wednesday, when Fitzgerald had resigned himself to resuming his role as youth team manager.
It certainly caught out the Hounslow Chronicle, who declared yesterday that "Patterson and Waddock were unveiled as Brentford's new managerial team on Tuesday afternoon"! Fitzgerald said at the time: "I have not been told anything so I presume I won't be getting the job.
"But I will be happy to resume my duties as youth team manager and assist the new boss in helping to make sure we stay in League One.
"I'll give him 100 per cent support just as I did Martin Allen and Leroy."
Presumably Patterson, also shortlisted by Brent-ford six months ago, could not agree terms with the cash-strapped Bees.
The former West Brom, Wigan, Crystal Palace, Luton, Preston, Dundee United, York and Oxford midfielder, won 17 caps for Northern Ireland and has had two brief spells as manager at Oxford United.
He temporarily took over when Graham Rix was sacked until Ramon Diaz was appointed, and later was appointed boss in March 2006 in succession to Brian Talbot.
But the club's new owners then gave the job to Jim Smith just eight days later, making Patterson the shortest-serving manager in Football League history.
The 37-year-old Fitzgerald, another Irishman, has a similar footballing background.
He was a defender with Colchester United, Millwall, Sheffield United and Wimbledon before joining Brentford and being appointed youth team manager by Allen.
His lack of experience has meant the Bees have offered him a contract only until the end of the season.
A club statement said: "Scott, ably assisted by Alan Reeves, has stepped up in very difficult circumstances to undertake the interim role.
"In a short period of time, they have worked on fitness, organisation and team spirit and have delivered an encouraging performance improve-ment.
"We believe a continuation of this will have a positive impact on results and achieve our goal of maintaining League One status.
"In a move to add to the Fighting Chance supporters' appeal, the board have agreed to make available additional funds to enable the loan signings of a number of players in the January transfer window.
"The work that Scott has put into creating a robust survival plan formed a major part of the considerations in appointing him."
Asked if Fitzgerald had been the club's first choice, Dickens, who led the recruitment process with fellow directors Ian Jones, Jon Gosling and David Heath, said: "Well, I am not sure about the percentage of first choices who get any job but, when I asked Scott about his thoughts on this, he said, first choice or 21st choice; if you are offering me the job I really want, I'm grabbing it with both hands and I'm going to show everyone I am the right choice by keeping us up'.
"We did look at the full range of options, from experienced survival candidates, structuring management in different ways, other known-name candidates who were available and interested (and some who were not) - all of whom are not without risk and all of whom have their own price tags.
"Given our financial situation, we were unlikely to get a proven high-division manager, even though we did try to do so.
"So the four of us proposed to the board that our best option was to go for the bubbling under' talent - that is those proving themselves in non-league, youth development or an assistant somewhere who now wanted a chance to run their own show."...." Brentford

Jamie's Golden shot! Evening Star 22 December 2006 CARL MARSTON
FOUR months ago, if you had suggested that Colchester United would be in the play-off zone going into Christmas, and that Jamie Cureton would be eying up the Golden Boot, then it's likely you would have been certified!
After the first five games of the campaign, Cureton was still searching for his first goal. The team had also lost all five fixtures, to be second-from-bottom in the Championship, and already they were out of the Carling Cup.
But Geraint Williams' men have not looked back since the day that they held on to to beat Derby County 4-3, on August 26, thanks to a hat-trick from Cureton.
Four months on and the U's are in fantasy land. They are sixth in the Championship table, occupying the last of the play-off spots, and their hit-man Cureton has plundered 12 goals, including a brace in last weekend's 3-0 demolition of Stoke City.
In fact, former Norwich, Bristol Rovers and Reading favourite Cureton is only two goals adrift of the Championship's two leading marksmen, Norwich City's Robert Earnshaw and Southampton's Grzegorz Rasiak.
“I set myself a target at the start of the season, and I'm pretty near that already,” revealed Cureton, who scored 14 goals last season, seven for Swindon and seven for the U's (on loan).
“I'll keep that target to myself and as soon as I pass it, I'll set a new target.
“As for the Golden Boot, I'd be happy just to be in the top five. But if I keep scoring, there's no reason why that isn't something I should aspire to.”
Cureton will be looking to add to his tally at third-placed Preston tomorrow. It promises to be one of the toughest games of the season, not least because Paul Simpson's men have won eight of their 12 fixtures at Deepdale.
The U's will then entertain Luton Town on Boxing Day, in front of a sell-out crowd, before hosting Wolves the following Saturday and travelling to QPR on New Year's Day.
“The Christmas period is going to be vital. We've got four tough games, two of them away and two of them at home,” continued Cureton.
“We've got Preston away this weekend, which will be a very hard game, but we honestly believe that if we play like we know we can, then we can get something from the game, whether it is three points or one.
“We set ourselves a target at the start of the season of reaching 50 points. We're already on 37 points, and if we are very close to that target of 50 when the Christmas and New Year games have been played, then we will have done very well.
“But we won't just stop when we get there. Once we get to that target, we'll set a new one, and then we'll keep going and hopefully challenge for the play-offs and promotion.
“It would be a dream to play in the Premiership, but we know it's still a long way off.
“But we've done very well this season, and the lads have all worked very hard. If we keep doing that, then there's no reason why we can't push on for promotion,” added Cureton. Evening Star

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