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Monday, February 26, 2007

QPR vs Plymouth - Additional Post Match Reports

[For photos from the Plymouth perspective - Click on the two small camera icons in the center of the page]

DAILY MAIL/Richard Copeman - A happy return for Ian
Another manager returned to his former club in the capital on Saturday and failed to get the result he wanted.
But, unlike Alan Curbishley at The Valley, Ian Holloway had every right to look like the cat who got the cream.
Having left Loftus Road in acrimonious circumstances a year ago, Holloway has stabilised Plymouth in midtable while propelling them into the nation's consciousness by reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1984, where struggling Watford await.
In contrast, Queens Park Rangers have become, in the words of current boss John Gregory, 'a soap opera' due to their on and off- field shenanigans.
And this soap opera could clearly end with the most unsatisfactory of conclusions - relegation.
But Holloway's exit from Rangers, a club he served for a decade as player then manager, clearly still grates, especially the much-repeated allegation that he made the first move towards what proved an aborted switch to Leicester.
Holloway said: "We were 12th with 15 games left and I was told to go and talk to Leicester. I didn't ask to go and talk to Leicester, I was told to. Facts are facts, end of story."
Holloway, however, was never going to gloat on his return - it was all about the twinkle in his eye. He still has a lot of friends at Loftus Road and he was not about to burn any bridges. "I've got no problems with QPR chairman Gianni Paladini, he's a fantastic bloke and I wish him all the best. We had a big cuddle. It's hard seeing Rangers where they are, but we all have to battle."
There was plenty of passion, if little creation, before Plymouth took a 32nd-minute lead as Krisztian Timar's flick from a Paul Connolly free-kick allowed Lilian Nalis to head home.
Somewhat surprisingly, however, the hosts avoided defeat as the excellent Lee Cook volleyed home after what looked a blatant foul on Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick.
Opposite number Lee Camp had been key to Rangers staying in the game as he stood firm against a barrage of long balls and crosses.
Camp is in his second spell on loan from Derby, having helped the west London club win promotion from League One three years ago. He's back until the end of the season as he bids for a recall to the England Under 21 side.
He said: "I'm surprised with what has happened, but there's a long way to go in the season and, with four or five wins, you can soon pull away from it."
One thing that has not changed at Loftus Road is the likelihood of a memorable quote from Holloway.
He said: "People call me madcap, but that's rubbish. I am not mad and I do not have a cap."
Classic stuff. Daily Mail

Telegraph/Nicholas Harling - Hollow return for Holloway

The metaphoric red carpet at Queens Park Rangers, laid out for former manager, Ian Holloway, was virtually pulled from under his feet amidst terrible feelings of guilt.
The hospitality to Holloway, whose five years as Rangers' manager ended in rancour a year ago, came in the symbolic gesture of granting him the familiarity of the home dug-out.
Yet, confirmation that Plymouth's build-up to their FA Cup quarter-final would be no picnic, came with the ferocity of Rangers' initial onslaught which would have brought a goal from Dean Blackstock but for the outstretched legs of Luke McCormack. The goalkeeper was soon to suffer a horrific collision with Adam Bolder and Martin Rowlands but recovered after treatment, only to be much abused again in the lead-up to the goal which gave Rangers a precious point. He was hustled into dropping a corner, which presented Lee Cook with a controversial equaliser.
"Plymouth have probably got every justification for feeling hard done by," said Rangers' manager, John Gregory. "Players don't surround the referee for no good reason." The chief protestor, Lillian Nalis - who had headed Plymouth in front - was booked and later sent off for kicking the ball away, to leave Gregory among the sympathisers. Telegraph


ARGYLE goalkeeper Luke McCormick had no doubts he was fouled during the build-up to QPR's equaliser in the Pilgrims' 1-1 draw at Loftus Road.

"I definitely, definitely had two hands on the ball," said Luke. "They knocked the corner in; I knew [the ball] was mine; I went up for it and, just as I've made contact with it, I felt a bump in my back which sent me on to my front. It was a foul.

"As far as fouls on goalkeepers go, I don't think you will get more obvious than that. The referee should have been in a good enough position."

McCormick made a string of fine saves that kept the Pilgrims in the game, but even that could not sweeten the bitter taste of the goal he conceded.

"From a personal point of view, I was pleased," he said. "It's always nice, making saves.

"But you would rather concede one of those, than a dodgy one because of the referee's decision. Plymouth Official

Clive Whittingham/QPR Rivals Match Report

Simon Skinner/QPR Net - Match Report

15 Coventry 35 -12 42
16 Burnley 35 -2 41
17 Ipswich 35 -8 39
18 Norwich 32 -11 38
19 Luton 34 -14 36
20 Hull City 34 -13 35
21 QPR 34 -15 35
22 Barnsley 35 -23 35
23 Southend 35 -22 31
24 Leeds 34 -24 31
Table/The Times

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