QPR Report Twitter Feed

Friday, December 08, 2006

Stoke Look at QPR

[Fans will be able to directly compare Lee Hendrie "vs" Jimmy Smith given that John Gregory wanted to sign Henrie on loan before he turned to Smith.]

From The PFA "Give Me Football" - Match Preview STOKE v QPR
Like Derby, Stoke have enjoyed a fine couple of months, in fact no side in the division has accumulated more points than Tony Pulis' men over the last eight league games. The Potters won five successive games before being held to a goalless draw at Coventry last week – where goalkeeper Steve Simonsen kept his sixth clean sheet on the bounce.
Loan signings Lee Hendrie, Patrick Berger and Salif Diao have made a big impact at the Britannia Stadium and another victory tomorrow could lift the club into the top six.
In contrast, QPR appear to be struggling at present, with last weeks 3-0 reversal at Crystal Palace making it three defeats on the trot for John Gregory's side. The Hoops boss enjoyed a fine start to his managerial spell at Loftus Road, but last week he admitted his team are lacking belief after their disappointing recent run.
"In the first half we had opportunities, which we have been taking recently, but we looked fragile in terms of confidence. We have been poor in our last two home games and we were poor today as well," he said.
SHAILY'S VERDICT: With QPR struggling for confidence, in-form Stoke are a confident selection to pick up another victory. PFA

Stoke Official Site - Stoke vs QPR
QPR find themselves perched perilously above the relegation mire despite an upturn in fortunes since John Gregory's arrival at Loftus Road.
Rangers propped up the entire Championship when Gregory took charge in late September and faced the possibility of being cut adrift at the foot of the table after claiming just one win from the opening eight league games.
However, the former Aston Villa boss installed some much-needed confidence into his youthful side and was instantly rewarded with morale-boosting victories over Hull, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Luton and high-flying Cardiff.
The sluggish start to the season appeared to be finally over last month when Ray Jones netted the winner to end Cardiff's unbeaten home record, but successive defeats have followed against Coventry, Sunderland and at Palace last Saturday to leave Rangers grounded in the bottom six again.
But Gregory certainly has the right blend of youth and experience at his disposal to steer QPR to safety and the emergence of teenage sensation Jones - who will sit out today's clash with Stoke through suspension along with defender Zesh Rehman - could be the shot in the arm needed to propel the team away from a relegation battle.
The 18-year-old striker - who has five goals to his name this term - has already caught the eye of several potential Premiership suitors with his all-action displays since making his first-team debut back in April.
Chairman Gianni Paladini though, is determined is keep hold of the home-grown youngster and recently scotched media reports linking Jones with a move to across London to Fulham.
Jones has also quickly forged a productive partnership with Dexter Blackstock, who leads the way in the goal charts with six goals in his first 19 appearances since joining for an undisclosed fee from Southampton in August.
At the back, the addition of Jamaica international Damion Stewart has helped shore up a defence minus the uncompromising Dan Shittu following his £1.6million move to Watford while Marcus Bignot is a virtual ever-present at right-back.
On-loan Chelsea duo Jimmy Smith and Michael Mancienne have been earning rave reviews since making the drop down to the Championship while Stefan Moore, Tommy Doherty and Ian Evatt are all currently enjoying temporary spells with Port Vale, Wycombe and Blackpool respectively.
The evergreen Paul Furlong, 38, continues to roll back the clock and produce dynamic performances, despite a thigh injury restricted the former Chelsea and Birmingham forward to just two appearances this season, with Kevin Gallen offering another viable attacking option.
Influential midfield pair Gareth Ainsworth (ankle) and Marc Bircham (hamstring) have been stranded on the sidelines in recent weeks and remain injury concerns, with the latter reviving his QPR career under new boss Gregory after spectacularly falling out of favour with previous incumbent Gary Waddock.
Waddock had replaced Ian Holloway back in February but his reign lasted barely seven months before Gregory returned to take charge of the club he made over 150 appearances during his 18-year playing career.
Rangers make the trip north this afternoon bidding for a fourth successive win at the Britannia Stadium, as goals from Furlong and Richard Langley secured a 2-1 victory on their previous visit virtually 12 months ago this weekend.
It was a different story, meanwhile, in the return fixture as Carl Hoefkens cancelled out Marc Nygaard's opener before Hannes Sigurdsson netted the winner in the clash at Loftus Road in March.
Down the years, Rangers have won 14 of the 25 clashes between the sides in all competitions while Stoke have been victorious on just six occasions.

Blog Archive