QPR Report Twitter Feed

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cardiff vs QPR - Cardiff Views & Preparations

CHANGE OF REFEREE - Cardiff Official Site

Queens Park Rangers v Cardiff City has seen a change of referee with Uri Rennie stepping down and now Mick Thorpe will take control.

Thorpe from Suffolk like Uri will be in charge of the Bluebirds for the first time this season. Spookily enough the last game he officiated with us was a 1-0 defeat to yes you guessed it QPR in December of 2005 with Marc Nygard getting the winner.

The last game Mick took control of was at Selhurst Park where Crystal Palace drew 2-2 with Wolves. The man in black produced three yellow cards and 1 red card with Mark Little getting an early bath - Cardiff

Forde: I'll be staying Ninian No 1 Apr 21 2007
Steve Tucker, Western Mail

CARDIFF CITY goalkeepers Neil Alexander and David Forde played a round of golf together recently.

It was Alexander who took the win, but that is the only thing he will be taking off the Irishman for now, with Forde insisting the Bluebirds' No 1 jersey is most certainly not up for grabs.

Forde, who joined Cardiff from Derry City in January, has now established himself as first choice for the Bluebirds after Alexander failed to agree a new contract at Ninian Park and made it clear he was set to move on this summer.

But, despite having supplanted Alexander in the side, Forde insists there is no friction between the pair.

"Myself and Neil get on fine. He's spot on and there's no animosity between us at all," said 27-year-old Forde.

"Obviously I'm delighted to get in the first team. When I first arrived at the club that was my aim, and I didn't expect it to happen so quickly.

"I thought I wouldn't get my chance until next season, but it's been great already to have played four games for the club.

"To get the last few games of the season also gives me that headstart over any one who comes in over the summer."

It has been a tough start for Forde in the first team, with the Bluebirds picking up a draw and two defeats in their last three outings while shipping five goals.

It has all contrived to sink City to 11th position with the play-offs all but out of reach following a season which promised much.

"Of course there's disappointment amongst the lads. To think we were so close, but yet so far," said Forde. "But they are still reasonably confident of finishing the season quite high."

And Forde is still not ruling anything out as Cardiff go into their last three fixtures.

Forde added, "We've still got a chance. If we can get a result against QPR and other results go our way, then we'll still have two games left after that.

"The lads still want it, particularly after recent results didn't go our way. We want to win the last few games.

"My season has just started now a couple of weeks ago. I want to end the season on a high and that means keeping a clean sheet against QPR and helping the side get a win."

Cardiff manger Dave Jones admitted he has not been following today's opponents too closely.

"I haven't taken much interest in whether QPR are safe or not. I've been totally wrapped up in what's been going on at Cardiff City," said Jones, whose side have not won in six games.

"I know they've lost a couple of players, the loan players have gone back. I'm sure John Gregory will want to get them as safe as he can without going to the last game. So it's going to be a tough one, as they always are. I've not come across one easy game yet."

Ahead of today's fixture Jones insists his players are in good spirits, although injuries mean he will need to rejig the side which drew 1-1 with Stoke at Ninian Park last time out.

Skipper Darren Purse looks set to miss out after aggravating a calf injury. Midfielder Riccy Scimeca could still be absent with a groin problem, while Glenn Loovens may not play another game this season as his foot problem drags on.

It means Kevin McNaughton could move to the centre of defence, with Welsh international Joe Ledley dropping to full-back after two games in midfield.

Teenager Chris Gunter should slot in at right-back while Willo Flood may get a start in midfield.

"The lads are in good fettle, obviously a bit disappointed, but you have to keep going right to the death," said Jones.

"It doesn't matter if you mathematically can do it or mathematically you can't do it. They get paid to do this and are professionals.

"Training's been going fine. It's been going well, everyone at this football club wants to do well. The season's not over yet.

"But, if we do fall short, it just means we're not quite ready for it this season. It means that next year we have to be stronger."

This week has been filled with speculation over which players will face the axe at Ninian Park after Jones admitted he was considering a major culling of his squad over the summer.

The Bluebirds' boss said he would use the next three games to take time to consider his options.

"Everyone has their opinions on who should stay and who should go, but we'll wait until the end of the season and assess the areas where we think we can get stronger," added Jones.

"We'll see what we can do differently and how we can become better, that's how any club grows.

"There's people out of contract who will be moving on who are now being watched by other clubs so they'll be performing.

"The people who've got contracts here who think they are safe still have to perform.

"To be not performing now shows lack of character, so why would you want them in the club? Every body is playing for their futures at this club."

QPR v Cardiff City - your at-a-glance guide

QPR: Probable: Camp, Bignot, Cullip, Stewart, Timoska, Bolder, Rowlands, Lomas, Moore, Blackstock, Smith. Subs: Cole, Nygaard, Kanyuka, Idiakez, Furlong.

Player to watch - Dexter Blackstock: One of the few players finding the net regularly for Rangers this season, with 13 strikes to his name so far.

Cardiff City: Possible: Forde, Gunter, Johnson, McNaughton, Ledley, Parry, Flood, McPhail, Whittingham, Chopra, Thompson. Subs: Feeney, Alexander, Blake, Gilbert, Green.

Player to watch - Michael Chopra: Can the 22-goal striker end the season as the Championship's top-scorer? You wouldn't bet against it.

Referee: Uriah Rennie (Yorkshire).

Form guide: QPR have won three, drawn two and lost one of their last six at Loftus Road. Cardiff have lost four and drawn two of their last six aways.

Bookies' odds: QPR 6-5, Cardiff 7-4, draw 9-4 (Ladbrokes).

Steve Tucker's verdict: Rangers will want another win to ensure safety, while Cardiff will want to salvage some pride. 2-2 draw. IC Wales

Rangers can relax - Apr 20 2007
Terry Phillips, South Wales Echo

The feeling among QPR players is that one win will secure safety from relegation.
In reality, though, they are probably safe already.
Rangers are a team who blow hot and cold.
John Gregory, pictured, has made big changes since being appointed manager in late September.

Only three players from back then are still first team regulars - Dexter Blackstock, Paul Furlong and Damian Stewart.

Gregory has already been offered a new contract and will be staying in charge next season.

Stories that Chris Coleman, having been axed by Fulham, would take over at QPR next season were always way off the mark.

Another story which the nationals used extensively was that Sam Hammam was buying into QPR.

It's true Rangers need cash, but that rumour started when Hammam was spotted in the directors' box at a game.

The truth of that one is that Hammam lives close to Loftus Road and asked if he could pop along.

The chairman, Gianna Paladini, welcomed Hammam along for the one game. No more. IC Wales


Stephen McPhail is looking to see Cardiff build on their last game against Stoke, both in terms of the result and the performance at QPR this Saturday.

"Last weekend was disappointing," he admitted. "The result didn't go our way but I thought we played a lot better than they did. We tried to play our best football, but there were chances we could have taken to get the three points."

After missing a few vital chances in the game, Cardiff's saving grace was perhaps down to a near miss by Stoke, a point echoed by the playmaker who said, "We had a lot of chances, a lot of possession, and a lot of crosses.They just didn't seem to be going in.When Stoke missed, we were chasing the game at that stage. That miss gave us a chance to get back in the game and luckily Chops was there to step up."

Although the play-offs have been written off by many, Cardiff are not ruled out completely. Dave Jones and the lads are still in it, but it's going to be a tall order with more than a few favours required. McPhail continued, "Its six points now, which as you said is a big ask with only three games to go; but as long as we've got a chance we'll keep going and try and do it."

After a recent drought in goal scoring, Chopra's last minute goal put an end to this.As well as this, Cardiff have made a much deserved comeback after being thought of as dead and buried.

He said, "Chop's got back into goal scoring last Saturday and hopefully can keep going from here and get a few more. It was disappointing to not take all three points last weekend, but Dave was happy with the way we approached the game, especially the second half, where we put it to them and showed our character.

"Of course, the test of character continues at QPR this Saturday as the lads all want to end the season as strong as possible. We all know that the worst thing in the world would be to find out we could have made it with three wins as teams above us messed up.

"On top of that it's a case of being professional and showing everyone that our minds are on the job until the last minute of the last game. We'll want to go out with a bang no matter what happens around us - CArdiff

Blog Archive