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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ex-QPR's Clarke Carlisle on Problems Overcome

Ex-QPR News: Clarke Carlisle. (Of course the person you think he might be thanking, was his QPR manager at the time, Ian Holloway. And perhaps stop referring to him as "the ex-Leeds man."! )

The Times - Carlisle a bright spark after defeating demons Dean Jones
Clarke Carlisle, the Watford defender, will not let relegation affect him if his side’s fate is decided this afternoon. Failure to win their home game against Manchester City will consign the Hertfordshire club to the Coca-Cola Championship next season.

However, Carlisle has suffered far more difficult issues in his personal life and is able to keep his career in perspective. In August 2003, while playing for Queens Park Rangers, Carlisle was admitted to the Sporting Chance Clinic because of alcohol problems.

Three and a half years on, his dream to play in the Barclays Premiership has been achieved and although he may not tally more than six top-flight matches by the end of this campaign, he is still happy. “I could be doing a million jobs,” he said. “But I’m not, I have played Premiership football and an FA Cup semi-final this season. I thank God for that. There are lots of incidents in life that help you keep things in perspective. Losing in football is not like losing a leg. I go into work with a smile on my face.”

During his spare time, Carlisle, 27, enjoys watching quiz programmes and is an avid viewer of Countdown. Four years ago, just before his alcohol problems began, he won the television show, Britain’s Brainiest Footballer, against the likes of Alan Brazil and Malcolm MacDonald, the former players.

But the most impressive thing about him is his gratitude towards those who have helped him. “I still work for Sporting Chance and I offer my time to them as much as possible,” he said. “It resurrected me and my football career, so for me not to give anything back would be arrogant and disrespectful. The Times

SKY SPORTS - Carlisle thankful for chance
By James Pearson - Created on 20 Apr 2007

Watford defender Clarke Carlisle is delighted to have his Premiership chance after overcoming a number of problems.

The former Leeds stopper battled against an alcohol problem back in 2003 and has endured an injury-hit campaign this time around.

A thigh injury has kept Carlisle on the sidelines for much of the season, but after spending a month with Luton he has now featured twice for The Hornets in England's top-flight.

"At the time of my problems, I didn't know what to expect," he admitted. "I didn't even know whether there would be football to come back to.

"It has been a long time, and a heck of a journey, with a lot of things for me to learn along the way.

"But I believe that, having come through those problems, I have the tools to deal with the situation Watford are in, and with having been injured for most of the season - Sky Sports

The SUN - Clarke booster for Hornets
By BEN KINSELLA - April 21, 2007

CLARKE CARLISLE aims to help Watford cope with their relegation heartache if they go down today.

The Hornets will drop out of the Premiership should they fail to beat Manchester City at Vicarage Road.

Defender Carlisle hit rock-bottom at QPR in 2003 as he was admitted to Tony Adams’ Sporting Chance clinic with booze problems.

A year later he joined Leeds and started to put his life in order.

Carlisle, 27, said: “Losing in football is not like losing a leg.

“I go in with a smile on my face and try to keep the lads upbeat.

“There are more important things than relegation but you don’t want it on your CV.

“Coming through my problems has given me the tools to deal with situations like the one we’re in.”

Carlisle was crowned Britain’s Brainiest Footballer on a quiz show and the only thing he is addicted to these days is a daily dose of Carol Vorderman.

He added: “I love Countdown. Carol Vorderman’s the thinking man’s crumpet — but don’t tell my wife!” The Sun


THE 3-1 loss at Ewood Park on Wednesday has put even more pressure on the Golden Boys ahead of tomorrow's (Saturday's) encounter with Manchester City."It was a long journey home" confesses Clarke Carlisle, "It was a disappointing evening definitely."
"We didn't start bright enough, not least myself. I feel I was at fault for the first two goals. It's a sharp lesson to learn; if you make errors in this division, you get punished."
Carlisle added: "I've got to learn that lesson very quickly and, as a team, we've got to learn to start brighter and make sure we are on top of our game because when you are two nil down or you get a goal back, as we did, and then to concede quickly then you're fighting an uphill struggle."

The ex-Leeds man could be forgiven for the blame he has taken the burden of.

After all, Blackburn was only his third game back after injury and a loan spell at Luton so he has not had the rest of the squad's time to adjust to the rigours of the top flight.
"The first game against Portsmouth, the intensity was completely different. You have to be concentrating for the full 95 minutes.
"There are no breathers when the ball goes out of play, its back in straight away. At a freekick, if you turn your back, they're on the ball playing" explains Carlisle.

"Even when you're attacking you have to make sure every thing is locked in because in seconds they're in your box having an effort at goal.
"The levels of concentration and application are far beyond anything I've experienced before."

However the centre half is determined to make the most of it and enjoy his time in the top flight.

"But it's brilliant, you know, you're pushing yourself to your limits as a player and I'm relishing that.

"I'm going to work with a smile on my face, trying to keep the lads upbeat about the situation that we're in, and when I get my chance I'm trying to take it."

After the hype surrounding the FA Cup semi final focus now firmly turns to the rigours of the Premiership and a must-win game with Manchester City at Vicarage Road tomorrow (Saturday).

"We are going to approach the game on Saturday with the same application and focus that we have every game this season.

"Until it is mathematically impossible we are not relegated and we are going to go out and try to win that game all guns blazing."

With so much pressure about which teams will stay up and who will go down, it must be easy to feel the pressure but Carlisle, who has come through adversity before, is an expert in this situation, "We have to maintain our focus. Our goal is to win that game and we will approach it in that manner."
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