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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ian Holloway Looks Forward to Tonights's QPR vs Plymouth

Plymouth Official Site - Ian Holloway: SECOND TIME LUCKY
Ian Holloway is looking forward to making only his second trip back to Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night, eighteen months after being placed on gardening leave by the London club.
The Argyle boss admitted that he did not enjoy his first return to Loftus Road when a controversial goal and Lilian Nalis's dismissal helped Rangers secure a slightly fortunate 1-1 draw.
Ollie fell out with Rangers' chairman Gianni Palladini in February 2006 after being linked with the then-vacant Leicester City job.
Palladini reacted by placing Ollie on gardening leave - a move that ended up with the charismatic Bristolian becoming Argyle's new manager in June 2006.
"I didn't enjoy the first one, but I can't wait for this trip," said Ollie.
"This time I can assure you that I am not going to get too Whitney Houston, which is 'so emotional'.
"The hard thing about being a manager is that you suddenly lose your relationship. She won't speak to you and then it is as if she is telling all the neighbours.
"I was not allowed in the house. I was not allowed to talk about why I was not allowed in the house; otherwise I would not get any of the belongings or any money.
"Some things were said about me and the style of football I played that were not true. The fella who said those things is no longer at the club.
"I have written a book now and it is all out there, and on sale. I will be doing a signing in Shepherds Bush, which I will be delighted to do because my side of it is out there. It is all how I saw it."
Former Aston Villa manager John Gregory is now manager at QPR and Ollie is expecting a very difficult game.
He said: "John Gregory has now taken over and, for me, everything is done.
"They are improving all the time. John Gregory certainly knows what he is doing, so it going to be one formidable obstacle for us.
"We have got to go there and be at our best to get anything, but we can be, and we will be.
"I shall be out there nice and early, thanking some of the wonderful people who put up with me for five years.
"I am going to take my Green Army there and see if we can get an away win because, at the moment, they are difficult to come about at home.
"We are a different proposition away from home. We beat Hull and lost to Barnsley, but, let's be fair, some of the other games so far we could have got more points from and we are going to need to get them."
Ollie is expecting the home crowd to be in buoyant mood with Formula One bosses Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone poised to take over the reins at Loftus Road.
It is a richly deserved boost for the club after the tragic loss of 18-year-old striker Ray Jones in a car accident in August.
Ollie said: "This is a game I am really looking forward to. I hope there is an awful lot of optimism around. If their [Briatore and Ecclestone] take over goes through, they are going to be a big club again.
"We all looked on in horror at what they had to put up with the other week; me more than most because Ray [Jones] was a wonderful kid.
"I wish them all the very best, but not against us." Plymouth

Plymouth Herald - OLLIE RELISHING RETURN TO QPR Chris Errington
Manager Ian Holloway has insisted he can't wait to take Plymouth Argyle to play his former club, Queens Park Rangers, at Loftus Road tonight (8pm).It is now more than 14 months since Holloway took the helm at Home Park and the pain and hurt over his dismissal by QPR chairman Gianni Paladini has subsided - although it has not gone completely, as his new autobiography confirms.
Holloway returned to Loftus Road for the first time in February, when Argyle held on for a 1-1 draw after the dismissal of midfielder Lilian Nalis for two bookable offences.
It was an emotional occasion for Holloway, who waited until after the kick-off before taking his seat in the dug-out.
The 44-year-old did not enjoy the experience at all, but it will be totally different tonight as Argyle bid for their first win in five Championship matches.
"I can't wait, to be fair," said Holloway. "I'm really looking forward to it.
"This time I can assure you I'm not going to get too Whitney Houston. Remember her song? So Emotional.
"I shall be out there nice and early, thanking some of the wonderful people who put up with me for five years.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm going to take my Green Army there with pride and see if we can get an away win, because they are difficult to come by at home at the moment."
QPR, who were rocked by the death of 18-year-old striker Ray Jones in a car accident last month, have not won any of their four games in the Championship this season.
Rangers are in 23rd position with only two points, but Holloway believes they will soon start to move up the table, especially if a proposed takeover by Formula One bosses Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone goes ahead.
Holloway said: "They are improving all the time. (Manager) John Gregory certainly knows what he's doing, so it's going to be one formidable obstacle for us.
"We have got to go there and be at our best to get anything, but I'm confident we will be."
Holloway told his players the starting line-up for the clash against QPR before they set off on their coach trip to London yesterday afternoon.
He would not reveal it to the media, but there are likely to be at least a couple of changes to the team from the 2-2 draw at home to Cardiff City on Saturday.
There could be a recall for 35-year-old Nalis, who was rested at the weekend.
And Holloway also had to consider whether to pick striker Barry Hayles, also 35, to play in his second game in four days.
Holloway said: "My players already know what the team is, which is good.
"It's about slicing up the pie and giving out the pieces, not necessarily to those who deserve it but to those who I need to do things."
He added: "Barry Hayles might not start all three, but we have only played one at the moment, so there we go."
Holloway was encouraged by Argyle's defence against Cardiff, even though they threw away a 2-0 lead, and wants his players to build on that tonight.
He said: "I think I'm slowly getting back the sort of focus we need and the sort of whole-hearted performances we need.
"When we lost at Barnsley, I felt we looked like: 'Aren't we great? We are going to win'. Well, that isn't Plymouth. I have to say that, and we dropped some points there. Where could we be now?"
The answer is that had Argyle won at Barnsley instead of losing 3-2, they would be fifth in the table instead of 18th.
Meanwhile, French defender Larrys Mabiala is close to returning to training after a knee injury.
Mabiala, 19, was hurt shortly after signing for Argyle on a season-long loan from Paris St Germain last month.
Holloway said: "He's getting better slowly. It has been disappointing for him but at least it has given him a chance to see what Plymouth is like and settle in.
"Luckily, I haven't got any injuries to (Paul) Connolly or anybody else. I don't know when he will start training, but it won't be long." Plymouth Herald

Striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is brimming with confidence as Argyle prepare to take on Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road tonight.The 21-year-old netted twice in the Pilgrims' 2-2 draw against Cardiff City at Home Park on Saturday, taking his goal tally for the season to five.
That means Ebanks-Blake is the joint top scorer in the Championship with Burnley's Andy Gray....
It is illustrious company to be in, but Ebanks-Blake is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and wants to play his part in Argyle returning to winning ways against QPR.
The Pilgrims beat Hull City 3-2 at the KC Stadium in their Championship season-opener but, since then, have drawn three games - all at Home Park - and lost the other one, 3-2 at Barnsley.
Ebanks-Blake said: "I was pleased with the finishes (against Cardiff) but I was also pleased with the team performance.
"Maybe we were a bit guilty of taking our foot off the gas towards the end but if we keep playing like that I think we will start to win games sooner rather than later."
Argyle are 18th in the Championship going into the game against QPR, but they are only two points behind fifth-placed Charlton Athletic.
Ebanks-Blake said: "I think we have been a bit unlucky with the draws at home, but let's not forget we have had two wins here in the Carling Cup, so it's not doom and gloom.
"We have just got to keep focused and try to get another win tonight."
Argyle have only played twice away from home this season, following their victory over Hull with a 3-2 defeat by Barnsley at Oakwell.
Ebanks-Blake said: "We are going to QPR to win the game. We will be trying to get an early goal and press on from there."
Tonight's Championship clash sees former QPR boss Ian Holloway, now the Argyle manager, return to Loftus Road for the second time since leaving the west London club in 2006.
Ebanks-Blake said: "Although he (Holloway) won't say much about it, I think it's an important game for him and all his staff. It's a game we all want to win as well."...
"That's what we are looking towards and I'm confident we will do that with the way we are performing."
Argyle and QPR have developed a keen rivalry ever since the Pilgrims pipped Rangers to the Division Two (now League One) title in 2003/04.
Ebanks-Blake said: "We had a brief meeting yesterday morning and talked about their players, but a lot of the lads here know about QPR already from last season, and seasons before.
"We know what sort of job we have got to do there and it's not going to be easy. It's a tight ground where the fans are on top of you, and it's going to be a high-tempo game, but it's nothing we aren't used to."

While Ebanks-Blake has scored five goals this season, his regular strike partner Barry Hayles has netted only once.
But the Pilgrims' young hot-shot said: "Baz is a seasoned professional, he knows his job and he's good for all the players. He's an excellent captain." Plymouth Herald


John Gregory is hopeful Michael Mancienne will return to his squad for the Championship fixture against Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night.
Mancienne missed the trip to The Walkers Stadium on Saturday due to a back complaint, but the Chelsea loanee could be in line to return to the starting XI for the visit of Ian Holloway's men to W12.
"Michael has got a bit of a back problem which has restricted his mobility a little bit with his right hamstring,'' Gregory told www.qpr.co.uk.
"Because we're so close with Chelsea he's able to pop back to Cobham every now and now then and get some treatment, which he did last week.
"He saw their Club doctor and he had an injection to try and speed up the healing process in his back.
"We felt it was too much to risk him on Saturday, but he's got a good chance of being back in the squad on Tuesday night."
Gregory is still minus the services of long-term injury victims Simon Walton (fractured leg) and Pat Kanyuka (thigh), but Gareth Ainsworth has resumed light training and is nearing a first team return. QPR

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