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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Winter Comes Early To Loftus Road

A month ago, things were beginning to look a little brighter for John Gregory's QPR. QPR had just won at League Leaders Cardiff, in a game shown live on Sky TV and winning an achievement of the week award...
QPR lying 14th had 24 points from 18 games - 5 less than 6th placed WBA and 7 points less than Derby and Burnley. And the bottom fourth teams, Hull and Leeds both had 16 points.
Then came five games in a row in which QPR Lost and playoff talks have vanished for the season (except from the handful of genuine super-optimists who cite Ian Dowie's Crystal Palace from a couple years back). And it all seem so unnecesary: A 0-1 loss at home to Coventry. A 1-2 loss at home to Sunderland. A 0-3 loss to Crystal Palace. A 0-1 loss at Stoke. A 0-1 at home to Wolves. And now the league table shows QPR going from 7 points behind playoff Derby to 19 points behind Derby. And at the bottom, QPR are down to 20th: 1 point ahead of Barnsley. 4 points ahead of Hull and Leeds.
In his comments, John Gregory has spoken, but not clear how he's going to change things. He's speaking increasingly about a serious relegation threat.
And of course, off the field, Developments continue:
- Ugo Ukah supposed transfer to Italy turns out not to have occurred. And to this day the club has yet to explain - at least on its website, what had happened. - Just as they never explained why Chief Operating Officer, Graham Mackrell left the club after less than three months.
- The supposed (and demaned by the Chairman) response by Chairman Gianni Paladini to the Fan Magazine, AKUTRS has also yet to materialize.

- After nearly 300 days of paid "Gardening Leave", Coach Tim Breacker was permitted to join up with Ian Holloway at Plymouth
- The loan transfer window closed. The one item; Jimmy Smith has extended his loan till the end of the season.
- Forward Ray Jones has thus far refused to sign a new contract, and talk of various clubs getting him. Meanwhile numerous clubs are being linked to Lee Cook and there would be little surprise if he actually did get sold in the January transfer period.
And the Daily Express came out with a story about QPR Finances which led to a response from the Chairmen of QPR & QPR Holdings.
And in the world of inconsequential - albeit possibly symbolic "snippets": Besides the Ukah return...The club website doesnt take note of Kevin Gallen's 400th appearance; doesnt update to reflect that one of its players (Jonathan Munday) has been on loan for the past month. And then a purely peripheral item: There was much talk about the players all being measured and given suits during the Summer which they would be wearing as they travelled to games. Whether those suits ever materialized is something that was never answered

So now on Saturday - The eve of Christmas Eve - a CRUCIAL relegation game against Barnsley ( Leon Knight)

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