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Monday, December 31, 2007

The New QPR: QPR's Watford Victory - Further Reports and Comments


Alternatively,you have the Watford perspective!

Harrow Times/Simon Mail - DeMerit baffled by defeat
JAY DEMERIT described the team's performance at the start of the match on Saturday as "fantastic" despite Watford going on to lose 4-2 at home to QPR.
The Hornets were 3-0 down at half-time and goals from Damien Francis and Danny Shittu could not prevent another defeat at Vicarage Road. The reverse leaves Watford without a win at home for seven matches dating back to October 20.
But the Watford skipper said: "I felt for the first 20 minutes we were fantastic. I don't think they even got in our half. When they did they got a penalty and had the advantage. And unfortunately for us we found ourselves again in that situation where we are down.
At the moment we are finding it hard to come back from those. It's disappointing but there is obviously a long season left to play.
"It was funny. You look at that, we lost 4-2, but we totally dominated the game. They scored their four goals in their first five shots. We bombarded them and created all the chances but they scored the goals. But that's football sometimes.
"Sometimes balls don't bounce your way, and things like that happen. It was kind of an eerie feeling, it's not like we came in and had been played off the park. It was exactly the opposite..." Harrow Times

MIRROR/Ann Gripper - -Rangers grab a great win.. and a rollocking!

Luigi De Canio gave his triumphant Rangers side a telling-off despite seeing them run out convincing winners against promotion contenders Watford.
Rangers may still be in a relegation fight but the investment from Formula One gurus Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, plus the involvement of billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, means Rangers have their sights set high.
A flood of new arrivals is expected when the January transfer window opens tomorrow, but De Canio gets results with his current squad. They have now collected 11 points from their last six games.
Rangers stunned Watford by taking a 12th-minute lead from the penalty spot, Martin Rowlands converting after Jordan Stewart felled Dexter Blackstock.
Damion Stewart's header made it two and Rowlands added a third on 40 minutes.
Damien Francis' closerange finish got Watford back in the game seven minutes after the break but substitute Akos Buszaky - on loan from Plymouth but set to officially join in a £500,000 deal in the window - soon replied.
Danny Shittu grabbed a second for Watford six minutes from time but it was scant consolation to a Vicarage Road crowd who have not seen their team win at home since October 20. Rangers have had more than their share of problems this season but now the future looks bright - and Buszaky revealed the demands De Canio is making on his squad.
He said: "The gaffer was a little bit upset afterwards because of the second half.
We lost the second half 2-1 and he doesn't want to concede goals like we did.
"He's a perfectionist. Never satisfied. After the 2-1 defeat at Plymouth he said: 'Well done boys, you did everything to win the game'. Today we won 4-2 against the No.1 team in the Championship and he was upset. We were all surprised. But we do need to learn from our mistakes.
"The players in the squad have the quality and if we keep learning, QPR won't be at the bottom for long.
"The owners have the financial power that makes us really optimistic. But we, the players, have to put the performances in on the pitch."
If any of the other teams at the top of the Championship had shown consistency, Watford would be in a lot more trouble than they are.
As it is, their away form has kept them in the automatic promotion spots, Yes, Rangers scored with almost every chance and had luck on their side in defence, but Watford never looked like a side bidding for a return to the Premier League.
Hornets boss Aidy Boothroyd said: "Obviously we need some additions and the money is there. But I don't think you need to throw the baby out with the bathwater - there's a lot of good things." Mirror

GUARDIAN/Sachin Nakrani De Canio's Rangers revival evokes Mourinho effect
The fans who filled the away end here on Saturday will grimace at the thought but it can no longer be ignored: Queens Park Rangers are the new Chelsea. Geography has linked the west London rivals for generations but now there are other distinctive similarities, notably wealthy ownership and an ambitious foreign manager.
Luigi De Canio has yet to refer to himself as the "Special One" but, judging by the players' assessment of the QPR manager, the Italian certainly has a Jose Mourinho-like quality about him. "He's a perfectionist and he's never satisfied. Today we won 4-2 against one of the top sides in the Championship and he was upset," Akos Buzsaky said. "The gaffer was unhappy that we had lost the second half 2-1."
It is too early to tell if De Canio can affect QPR in the way Mourinho did Chelsea but the signs are encouraging and, as Buzsaky suggests, the man brought in by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore in October to help revolutionise the club will certainly try to instil ambition and drive into his players.
Those qualities were on show at Watford where QPR secured the most impressive result of De Canio's 13 matches in charge. Against the second-placed side in the division the visitors' attacking ruthlessness brought them a deserved 3-0 lead at half-time. Damien Francis's goal early in the second half raised the possibility of a comeback but that was eventually snuffed out by Buzsaky's effort on 80 minutes.
It was the Hungarian's sixth goal since he signed on a two-month loan deal from Plymouth Argyle. That contract expires tomorrow but the 25-year-old has seen enough promise at QPR, especially after the steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal said he too was investing in the club, to commit his future to them. "I'm on loan until January 1 but then I'm staying here. I've signed a 2½-year contract," said Buzsaky, who signed for Porto in 2001 when Mourinho was the manager there.
QPR now sit 19th in the Championship, a long way from Watford who, after a seventh home league game without a win, are on the slide. The manager, Aidy Boothroyd, is trying to quell talk of a crisis but the captain, Jay DeMerit, admits the club's hopes of going straight back into the Premier League are fragile. "We are a little bit nervous at home - it feels as though there is more pressure," he said. "A team that is near the top of the table should be winning at home. Our jobs aren't safe; we have to play well in order to keep them."
Watford's next home match is on Saturday against Crystal Palace in the third round of the FA Cup. QPR also play a Cup tie that day. Their opponents? Chelsea.
Man of the match Martin Rowlands (Queens Park Rangers) Guardian

Watford 2 Queen's Park Rangers 4: Boothroyd unfazed by 'schoolboy' homework

Aidy Boothroyd's team had just suffered a fifth defeat in their last seven home matches in the Championship, but the Watford manager refused to be downcast. "The fact that we're second to top and have this abysmal home form is a big blessing," he said after Saturday's reverse at Vicarage Road. "I just thank God for our away form."
Indeed, Boothroyd took this performance as evidence that his team have not developed a psychological problem about playing in front of their own fans. Watford attacked with verve throughout, only to be hit regularly on the break. Boothroyd's assessment that the three first-half goals conceded were down to "schoolboy errors" did not do justice to Queen's Park Rangers' slick passing and movement, but there was little to fault about Watford's attacking.
Boothroyd has money to spend in the transfer window but will resist any temptation to make sweeping changes. "As Arsène Wenger says, sometimes you can have £100m to spend and it doesn't make a difference," he said. "I have to be very measured in my thinking for January because we obviously do need some additions to the squad, but I don't think you should throw the baby out with the bathwater.
"I always believe that results follow performances and we need to keep playing like we did in the first half, which is back to what Watford are all about. We put them on the back foot but conceded three very stupid goals. That's disappointing. If we can eradicate that, we'll win a lot more than we lose at home," Boothroyd insisted.
With just two points from the last seven home matches, Watford's form is in stark contrast to Rangers'. Luigi De Canio's men would have been on a six-game unbeaten run had they not conceded an injury-time goal at Plymouth on Boxing Day and this result took them out of the relegation zone.
For long periods here Rangers were at full stretch, but De Canio's deployment of a three-man central defence was a masterstroke and when his team broke forward their fluid passing and running created frequent scoring opportunities. Martin Rowlands, who scored twice and made the other two, epitomised their enterprising play.
Two of the first-half goals were from set pieces – a penalty after Jordan Stewart had brought down Dexter Blackstock and a Damion Stewart near-post header from a corner – but Rowlands' second finished off a lovely move through the middle of the Watford defence. Damien Francis bundled home from close range to give Watford some hope early in the second half, but Akos Buzsaky restored Rangers' lead from another Rowlands pass and Dan Shittu's goal came too late to affect the outcome.
"I think the team is playing better and better," De Canio said afterwards. "Today we took our chances, which meant the losses of concentration we sometimes have didn't cost us."
Bob Malcolm, who is on loan to QPR until tomorrow, was selected despite having been suspended by his club, Derby County, after being charged last week by police with a drink-driving offence. "Derby have suspended Bob from when he returns," De Canio said. "We haven't condemned Bob. We asked him to explain himself and his explanation satisfied us."
Goals: Rowlands (pen, 13) 0-1; Stewart (29) 0-2; Rowlands (40) 0-3; Francis (52) 1-3; Buzsaky (80) 1-4; Shittu (84) 2-4....

TELEGRAPH/STEWART JACKSON - Aidy Boothroyd laments Watford's home form
Watford (0) 2 Queens Park Rangers (3) 4
Watford's hopes of an immediate return to the Premier League are in grave danger. With results in freefall at Vicarage Road, they look bereft of ideas going forward and are suffering a severe lack of confidence.
To be turned over with relative ease by a Queens Park Rangers side working their way up from the bottom of the table was their most damning defeat yet in a run of seven home games without a win.
Aidy Boothroyd's side need to turn a corner soon. And with top scorer Marlon King rumoured to be Premier League-bound once the transfer window opens, things might get worse before they get better. If another team joins West Brom in putting a run of form together, Watford could be left behind, as Boothroyd admitted.
"People are where they are in the league for a reason at this point," he said. "And one thing's for sure: to be second with our abysmal home form is a big plus. If we don't get our home form sorted then we won't be here for much longer."
Psychologically there is clearly a problem among the Watford players, however much the manager denies it. But more tellingly, Boothroyd's dogged refusal to stray from his beloved percentage football means that every team visiting Vicarage Road knows exactly what to expect. There are a number of talented attacking players but, crucially, there are no surprises.

"Coming in at half-time," Boothroyd said, "statistically that's as well as we've started for a very long time. We dominated for long periods in the first half and end up coming in 3-0 down." What does that tell you? Of course the home team dominates - they generally do. The headline statistic is the scoreline.

For all Watford's alleged "dominance", the closest they came to scoring in the first half was a Lee Williamson pot-shot that hit the post. When they did break their duck they had a fortuitous own-goal to thank. This was not exactly a lucky 4-2 win for QPR.

By contrast, Luigi de Canio's players oozed confidence, hunger and no little flair. But the Italian was, apparently, unhappy that Rangers 'lost' the second half. Akos Buzsaky, who rounded off the victory with his sixth goal of the season, said: "The gaffer was a little bit upset afterwards because we lost the second half 2-1. We had won 4-2 so the players were surprised. He's a perfectionist and he's never satisfied."

He must have come close to satisfaction with the first-half performance, however. Rangers took the lead through a Martin Rowlands penalty after Jordan Stewart had clumsily collided with Dexter Blackstock.
The lead was doubled when Damion Stewart lost his marker at a corner to head home and, just to prove Rangers could score a pretty goal, too, Rowlands rounded off an incisive move to give them an unassailable lead.
Watford clawed one back when Zesh Rehman fired a clearance straight into goalkeeper Lee Camp, but Dan Shittu's late strike was a mere consolation as QPR had four by then.
De Canio and Boothroyd both confirmed they would be strengthening their squads in the transfer window. For one manager, the shake-up is rather more urgent. Telegraph

DAILY MAIL/Phil Gradwell - FootballWatford boss Aidy won't plunge through transfer window Watford 2 QPR 4
Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd says he will not be rushed into wholesale changes after his side were booed off at Vicarage Road.
They have not won at home for seven games but Boothroyd insists he will stay calm in the transfer window.
"I've got to be be very measured in my thinking for January because we do need some additions to the squad but I don't intend throwing the baby out with the bath water," he said.
"I've always been supported by the board and we do need to make one or two changes, I know for definite that money is available."
QPR, who included on-loan defender Bob Malcolm even though he was suspended by parent club Derby after being charged with drink driving, lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with this win.
Watford endured a nightmare first half in which QPR took a 3-0 lead with two goals from Martin Rowlands - the first a penalty - and one from Damion Stewart.
They pulled one back just after half-time when Zesh Rehman's clearance cannoned in off Damien Francis. Akos Buzsaky scored a fourth for Rangers before Danny Shittu scored late on for Watford.
Boothroyd could be forgiven for casting an envious glance at his opposite number Luigi De Canio, who will have plenty of money at his disposal thanks to owners Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Lakshmi Mittal.
According to Buzsaky, who has just signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, there is a belief at Loftus Road that Briatore, Ecclestone and Mittal can move the club forward and bring in new faces.
He said: "The owners have the financial power to make us really optimistic. But we are the players who have to put the performances in on the pitch.
"I don't know who's going to come in but of course we've heard a few players are coming here. We need a few players." Daily Mail

Also: Earlier compilation II of Reports and Comments of QPR's Win at Watford

- Compilation I of Reports and Comments of QPR's Win at Watford

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