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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

QPR John Curtis and Mikele Leigertwood Interviewed

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times interview with John Curtis and recent signing Mikele Leigertwood

Interview with John Curtis - Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Rangers must find winning formula

QPR full-back John Curtis admits every player is under pressure for his place following the arrival of multi-millionaire Flavio Briatore at Loftus Road.
The club's new owner has made clear his intention of restoring Rangers to the Premiership as soon as possible and met manager John Gregory last week to discuss transfer targets. Although Gregory has been frustrated so far in his efforts to delve into the loan market, which opened on Monday, Curtis accepts it is only a matter of time before new faces arrive.
"The new owners are successful men who are going to want more success and we're very lucky that they've come along," said the Rs defender.
"They want to see QPR in the Premiership as soon as possible and that means winning games. We all want to be part of it and if we're not performing, we're not going to be there - it's as simple as that.
"The gaffer knows what he wants - everyone has to give 100 per cent on a Saturday and if they don't, they won't be in the team."
Curtis knows all about the pressure of playing for an ambitious foreign owner - he was a Portsmouth player during the eventful chairmanship of Milan Mandaric,.....
"Leicester are basically a new team, with all the players they've brought in, and maybe it hasn't gone as well as they would have liked, but it's still a tough place to go."
With just one point from their first three league matches, Rangers cannot afford to return empty-handed from Leicester on Saturday.
Most of the squad attended the funeral of Ray Jones last week and Curtis added: "The manager gave us a couple of days off after the funeral and I think we needed it.
"But we won't use the tragedy as an excuse for our failings - we need to start winning. Saturday is anybody's game, but it's definitely winnable. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - September 12, 2007 Mikele's move won't come at a huge price
MIKELE Leigertwood has dismissed suggestions that he might have stumbled into a relegation battle after becoming QPR's most expensive signing for 10 years.
The midfielder's arrival from Sheffield United, in a deal that could total £800,000, made him Rangers' costliest player since they forked out a record fee of £2.75m for Mike Sheron a decade ago....
"People might look and think I've gone from a potential championship-winning side to a relegation battle, but I don't see it that way, not at all," Leigertwood told the Times.
"I believe anyone can beat anyone in this league, there are a lot of good players here and the new guys coming in want the club to do well, so I can't see it being a problem.
"Everybody knows there's going to be money pumped into the club and hopefully we can be successful as a result of that.
"It was quite a big fee for a club who didn't have any money, but that isn't something that worries me at all."
In fact, QPR have only paid a larger sum of money for six players throughout their history - Sheron, John Spencer, Ned Zelic, Mark Hateley, Roy Wegerle and Gavin Peacock.
Nevertheless, the arrival of the former Wimbledon and Crystal Palace man should plug a midfield void left by the injury to summer signing Simon Walton.
Like most of his new team-mates, the 24-year-old north Londoner failed to sparkle against the Saints, but he declared: "I want to add the strength and steel that we need and, although that hasn't shown yet, I believe it'll come.
"For my age, I haven't played as many games as I'd like, so if I can stay injury-free, I know I can do well for QPR. Being back in London is a bonus, but my main concern was that I wanted to play regularly.
"I started off at the back, but I prefer to play in midfield now and I want to get some consistency rather than being moved all over the place.
"We didn't play particularly well against Southampton and perhaps the circumstances were difficult, but we've got to knuckle down, train well and make sure we get the next one right."
Leigertwood, who helped Palace win promotion to the Premiership in 2004, moved to Bramall Lane in a £600,000 transfer just over a year ago and made 23 appearances for the Blades.
United boss Bryan Robson said: "I wasn't particularly looking to let Mikele go, but QPR came in with a good bid and it was down to the player to make the decision. Kilburn Times

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