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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Snippets...Briatore Q&A...Mancienne in England U-21 Squad

AutoSports.com - Q&A With Flavior Briatore

[Almost the entire interview is about the racing world (and can be read at Q&A

Q. Can you continue delivering as well as you have been in F1 and at QPR as well?
FB: Whatever you're doing, what's most important is the people managing the situation.
In Formula One I believe I have very good people with me, and exactly the same in football. What you need is to organise the club, and then it doesn't take away any time, because now we have everybody: a finance director, a commercial director, a sporting director, a coach, players, everything.
The results will go up and down – you never know – but it's not something taking my time out of Formula One." Q&A

Michael Mancienne Call-up
QPR's season-long loan from Chelsea, Michael Mancienne is again in the England U-21 squad.
England Under-21 squad: Joe Hart (Manchester City); Tom Heaton (Manchester United); Joe Lewis (Peterborough United); Craig Gardner (Aston Villa); Michael Mancienne (QPR); Joe Mattock (Leicester City); Nedum Onuoha (Manchester City); Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City); Steven Taylor (Newcastle United); David Wheater (Middlesbrough); Lee Cattermole (Middlesbrough); Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham Hotspur); Adam Johnson (Middlesbrough); Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur); James Milner (Newcastle United); Fabrice Muamba (Birmingham City); Mark Noble (West Ham United); Jamie O'Hara (Tottenham Hotspur); Andrew Surman (Southampton); Cameron Jerome (Birmingham City); Luke Moore (Aston Villa); James Vaughan (Everton); Theo Walcott (Arsenal). QPR Site

QPR's Brilliant England Winger, Dave Thomas - Profiled and Interviewed

Yet another great interview on the Official Site. (Although could have mentioned Gordon's Jago and Jim Gregory's very bold step in signing Thomas as a replacement for the terribly-injured Martyn Busby. QPR at the time, a second Division club, paid a Division record transfer fee for a player dubbed "the best young player in Europe." Also no note of Gregory's sale of Thomas to Everton just before the start of Frank Sibley's first season in charge

In our latest instalment of exclusive past player interviews on www.qpr.co.uk, R's legend Dave Thomas comes under the spotlight. Dave Thomas (1972-1977)

The fans at Loftus Road have always loved a winger. There is no greater sight than seeing a wide man race down the flank, take on a string of defenders and cross the ball at full pace.
One of the greatest exponents of this art was Dave Thomas. He was a real livewire in our marvellous team from the mid 1970's - a period he recalls with much affection.
Thomas said: "My spell at QPR was one of the best in my playing career. Happy days! Fantastic!
"Everything that happened to me was really nice. I was newly married in 1972 when I signed for Rangers. Then we had our children. So they were wonderful times.
"The Club started to take off and became successful in the top-flight. I enjoyed playing on the wing and it was good for me. I've always felt it is the best way to break defences down. The majority of goals come from wide areas with the most dangerous ball in football being whipped into the box.
"I was a two-footed player so I could cross from the right or the left wing. I was very fortunate in that respect and it never bothered me what area of the pitch I played on."
The Super Hoops just missed out on the League title by a point to Liverpool in the 1975/76 season. However, Thomas feels we should have been Champions that year.
He said: "Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but yeah we should have clinched it. We lost 3-2 at Norwich on Easter Monday and if we had won that game then we would have been there.
"I remember Liverpool playing Wolves in their final match after we had finished our fixtures. The whole QPR squad was out in Israel for an end of season tour just before that decider at Molineux. We stuck a load of messages in the Wailing Wall to see if they would bring us any luck but they didn't!
"Toshack and Keegan sealed victory for Liverpool and that was it. It would have been nice for everyone at Rangers to win the League but it wasn't to be. We were all very disappointed."
The R's played a potent brew of attacking football at the time. According to Thomas, our exciting style of play was masterminded by Manager, Dave Sexton.
"He was a great coach as well as being a gentleman and a genius. Dave just wanted you to become a better player. The quality of our passing was fantastic and it was all down to him.
"We believed in that way of playing. Maybe I am old hat but I feel that football has always been the same. It is all about passion and skill. It is a very, very simple game. We tried to entertain and I think the Rangers fans enjoyed the way we played.
"We had some very strong players in that side - from Phil Parkes in goal right the way through. Each of my team mates were excellent in their own right and we all respected each other - both as individuals and footballers.
"So we formed a good team that was quite difficult to beat. We were all different characters in every way and there was a great spirit in the camp."
Thomas won eight England caps during his time at Loftus Road and those international appearances were the icing on the cake for him.
"I was one of the very few who played for my country at every level. I went from schoolboy international all the way through to the full side and I was very proud of that.
"It was a real highlight for me to represent England. That is hopefully everyone's ambition when they start off as a footballer. It is the highest accolade one can get in an individual career."
Thomas, who is now 57 years-old and lives on the South Coast, still has an involvement in the sporting environment.
"I teach PE at a secondary school in Sussex. I've been there for 16 years now. I just work part-time - I do about 10 hours a week. I really enjoy it and there is a nice staff of people at the school. I also coach the young men at a local university for an hour a week. So life is good for me."
Not surprisingly, Thomas still follows all the fortunes at Loftus Road too - 'Once a Hoop, always a Hoop.'
"QPR were a great part of my life, so naturally I will never forget my days in Shepherds Bush.
"I look out for their results all the time. In fact, I was thinking of applying for the Manager's job before Mr De Canio got it!
"Seriously though, it has been very sad to see how Rangers have declined in recent years. But I am hoping things will pick up now with the new regime in charge. I would really love to see the Club do well." QPR

QPR Snippets: Bradford Extremely Unhappy..Injury Update...Kanyuka Debuts Versus Furlong..Jim Smith Celebrates Thirty-Five Years of Managing...Bancole

Bradford on Ricketts - Yorshire Post
"...Further down the football ladder, however, the transfer window continues to wreak havoc with Bradford City yesterday discovering the planned sale of goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to QPR had collapsed due to the Jamaican having his application for a work permit turned down – causing ramifications for the club.
Bradford joint chairman Mark Lawn said: "We were assured by his agent it would go through and that is why we used the wages we thought we had freed up to bring in two or three lads that we wanted to have a look at with regards possibly signing permanently in the summer.
"We also told Ady Boothroyd that Scott Loach (who joined on loan from Watford on Tuesday) would be first choice for the rest of the season.
"It is not a matter of life and death by any means, but it is something we could have done without. Donovan joined us in the Championship so is in the top three or four earners at the club.
"The transfer window is not popular in the game because it drives up wages and drives up transfer fees.
"We have been through two administrations at Bradford City so we adopt a sensible approach. But other clubs might be tempted to commit to spending money they cannot really afford and that is a worry for the game." Yorkshire Post

Head Physio Paul Hunter has reported mixed news from the treatment room this morning (Thursday).
R's defensive duo Matthew Connolly and Fitz Hall both limped out of Tuesday's 3-1 defeat to Cardiff City at Ninian Park, and while the former's injury isn't as bad as initially feared, former Wigan defender Hall will definitely miss Saturday's showdown against Bristol City.
"Matt sustained a heavy blow to his thigh which caused his knee to hyper-extend," Hunter told www.qpr.co.uk.
"We were initially quite concerned about the knee, so we sent him for a scan, but I'm pleased to report his knee is fine. Effectively he has just suffered heavy bruising.
"It is too early to say at this stage whether he will be fit for this weekend, but needless to say, we will be giving him intense treatment in order to give him the best possible chance.."
Hunter added: "Unfortunately Fitz suffered a torn groin muscle and will now require a period of rehabilitation.
"He will certainly be unavailable for Saturday's fixture, but it is just too early to say how long he will be out of action for." QPR

Swindon Advertiser - Kanyuka takes the hits for Town
PAT Kanyuka was given a painful introduction to the rigours of League One football but he insists he still will not be ducking out of any challenges as he bids to repay Swindon's faith in him.
The Congolese defender made an impressive debut at the heart of Town's defence in Tuesday night's 1-0 win at Luton, despite having to play the last quarter with a bandage over his head covering a deep wound.
Post-match he received six stitches - after being kicked in the head by old pal Paul Furlong, but the hurly burly nature of lower league football will not daunt the ambitious youngster.
Kanyuka was released by Championship outfit QPR just a fortnight ago, after injuries saw his obvious potential fail to live up to expectations at Loftus Road, before being picked up by Robins' boss Maurice Malpas.
Jerel Ifil's suspension handed him his chance sooner than was expected, and now he is just keen to help Town into the Championship and show Malpas he has made the right decision.
He said: "A lot of things happened in the game. I got a nice memory of my first game back.
"But it is good to get that first kick on the backside to make me know it is not going to be easy in this league so it is good experience.
"I wanted to stay on the pitch and wanted to repay the manager's faith in me, I was not going off and it was great to help get those three points.
"Swindon have given me my new chance and I am thankful for that. It is up to me show the manager, the fans and the other players what I can do and that I was not a mistake."
In a twist of fate, Kanyuka's debut saw him directly up against former QPR teammate Paul Furlong, right, as he was given a tough test for his first League One game.
Wily campaigner Furlong has scored goals throughout his career but Kanyuka dealt admirably with his pace and power, undoubtedly finishing the game the winner of that individual battle.
He said: "Funnily enough I used to tease Furlong at QPR for doing that.
"I used to say Furs you are sweet in the eye but a terrier on the pitch', and he showed me that today. I know how defenders felt like last season.
"It was good to play against him though because I knew all about his movement so it is good. I thought I did okay as well but I obviously need to continue that for the rest of the season, and improve."
While Kanyuka was impressing the away travelling at Kenilworth Road, skipper Hasney Aljofree was doing all he could to help the new man settle in - something that did not go unappreciated.
He said: "Hasney really helped me out. He is very experienced I have gained a lot already.
"It is strange for me to say that after just one game but I have gained from playing alongside him.
"He is a different sort of player, he is more vocal and I really appreciated his help.
"I got first hand experience of the challenges that do fly around in League One.
"You don't really get too much time on the ball and I have got the scars to prove that.
"It was not a very good game. Luton are battlers and the situation they are in now they were looking to impress the new manager. But we certainly matched them."
While Kanyuka & co stayed solid at one end, Christian Roberts' stunning solo strike won the game for Town on Tuesday with the Congo hopeful admitting the quality of the strike was no surprise.
He said: "I have seen Robbo score goals like that in training all the time.
"He did it on Thursday so it is natural to me already.
"I will see the physio and see what he has to say about Saturday. I will see how the cut heals but if he gives me the go-ahead I would love to play." Swindon Advertiser

Jim Smith - Thirty-Five Years of Managing Oxford Mail - The eagle has landed
THERE were no obvious signs, when he was a player, that James Michael Smith would go on to become one of our game's top managers - apart maybe from the leadership qualities he possessed, and his undoubted strength of character.
The young Yorkshireman had been a trainee at Sheffield United, but was unable to break into the first team, and he would embark on a path that would take him through the lower divisions, as a wing-half with Aldershot, Halifax Town and Lincoln City before eventually taking charge of a team for the first time at Boston United.

But he was in love with football, and listening to those who knew the game undoubtedly rubbed off on him, with a passion.

"I was pretty often the captain," he recalled.

"At school and then Sheffield United's youth team, and although I never captained Aldershot, I did at Lincoln and obviously Boston where I became player-manager."

There were many early influences in sharpening up Jim's mind about what made a good football team.

"I don't think there were many tactics in those days," he said. "It was all about players, and fitness. We were part-time, so we did it Tuesdays and Thursdays in the evenings - and the guy who took us was part-time.

"I didn't think then that's what I'm going to be - a manager - but obviously you start going out on courses and it sticks with you.

"It was a different era then. My first manager was Joe Mercer who was very influential, very smart, very correct, and very, very enthusiastic.

"After that I played under Vic Metcalfe and Willie Watson (at Halifax) - they were two of the nicest men you could ever meet.

"Jimmy Sirrel was another influence (at Aldershot) with his ideas and enthusiasm.

"I went to Lilleshall to get my coaching badges and that's when you learned things.

"You pick up bits and pieces, but you do it yourself mainly. It's always been in my blood."

After a year at Lincoln in which he made 54 appearances, Smith signed for non-League Boston United as player-manager, and made a good start, with his team invariably near the top of the very competitive Northern Premier League.

One of the players Jim signed at Boston was Howard Wilkinson, who would himself go on to become a leading coach. He is the last Englishman to have managed a top-flight-winning team when his Leeds side won the title in 1991-2.

"Howard was always very interested in the coaching side of the game," Smith added.

"He was doing his badges at college and then I left, and he took over from me."

Smith left Boston because his good record there led to Colchester United offering him the position of player- manager at Layer Road in 1972.

Success came quickly as Smith guided Colchester to the Fourth Division title in 1974.

His performance attracted the attention of bigger clubs, and in 1975 he quit, and hung up his boots, to join Blackburn Rovers as manager.

"That was my big break, yes," Smith admitted.

"As much as I loved Colchester and wanted to do well there, when a club like Blackburn Rovers come along - it may have been run-down - but it's a big club, a real football club.

"I got a really good team at Blackburn, probably as good a team as I've had. We just couldn't get a goalscorer and so missed out on promotion."

"After that I thought we ain't going anywhere here', and Birmingham approached me.

"It's the first time I've ever walked out really and the chairman, Mr Bancroft, never spoke to me for about two years!"

Smith took over from Sir Alf Ramsey at St Andrews, a hard act to follow anyway, but then injury problems conspired against him and Birmingham were relegated from the old First Division the next year.

However, Smith guided the Blues back into the top flight the following season.

These days, there aren't many managers who last after relegation from the top flight.

"Most don't survive ten games if they're losing", Jim laughed. "Ten or 11 and you've gone . . ."

In 1982, Smith parted company with Birmingham and joined Oxford United as manager.

He led them to the Third Division championship and the Second Division championship the following season, a feat never achieved before.

"They were some of my happiest times," he says.

"Of course, it's always happier when you're winning, ain't it?

"It was one of those things that happens very occasionally. It doesn't happen to every manager, that's for sure.

"Ian Greaves had done a great job before and I took it on.

"But to go on and win back-to-back promotions and championships was very special."

Despite the Bald Eagle's spectacular success at the Manor, in leading Oxford into the top flight for the first time, United chairman Robert Maxwell refused to improve his contract, which led to Smith's resignation and then being offered the job of manager at QPR, which he accepted.

In his first year at Loftus Road, Smith took Rangers to the League Cup final, but they lost 3-0 to his former club Oxford.

He continued to manage QPR until 1981 when he left to become manager of that perennial sleeping giant, Newcastle United.

However, the following year Newcastle were relegated and although they almost bounced back, finishing third and then losing to rivals Sunderland, who had finished sixth, in the play-offs, spelled the end for him at St James' Park.

"Newcastle was a nightmare time, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world," he said.

"That is the biggest club I've ever been involved with. If you could just get that right . . .

"When I was there - though I didn't get involved in it - there was an unbelievable battle for the club with Sir John Hall and Gordon McKeag. It was evil really.

"My job was impossible really and I resigned."

At Newcastle, though, they consider Smith was sacked. But it didn't take long for him to bounce back and he was appointed manager of Portsmouth the same year.

Jim had a successful four years at Portsmouth, which included reaching the FA Cup semi-finals in 1992 where they agonisingly lost on penalties to Liverpool.

They missed out on automatic promotion on goal difference, by just one goal, their Premiership dream ended by defeat in the play-offs, and Smith was sacked two years later after a gradual decline in the team's fortunes.

"We should have won the bloody FA Cup that year," he said.

"We lost in the semi-final to Liverpool, and the year after we lost in the play-offs. I've never won a play-off."

Smith then went into semi-retirement and became chief executive of the League Managers' Association in 1995.

But it wasn't really his cup of tea.

"I didn't find it very interesting," he admitted."We had no teeth then. I attended meetings at the FA on disciplinary or whatever, and we were asked for observations, but couldn't comment unless asked to.

Smith was offered the manager's position at Derby County and in his first full season in charge, the Rams came second in Division 1, gaining promotion to the Premier League.

And for three seasons Derby showed impressive improvements in the Premiership, finishing 12th, 9th and 8th.

"I took Steve McClaren from Oxford to be my assistant and it was a great combination," Jim said.

"I was talking to Paul Simpson the other day. He said he'd been around a bit, but the best two he'd ever seen were me and Steve, a good mix of age and youth, and it was good.

"Steve's a top coach and we had good times together.

"For obvious reasons we gelled and it was a bitter blow," he said with a chuckle, "when Alex (Ferguson) stole him off me!"

In the next two seasons Derby narrowly avoided relegation and Smith resigned in 2001 after refusing an offer to become director of football.

The next year, Smith was appointed assistant manager at Coventry, working alongside Roland Nilsson.

But after failing to clinch a play-off place, Coventry's entire management team was dismissed.

Later in 2002, his old club Portsmouth invited him back as assistant manager to Harry Redknapp and he accepted.

Smith helped Redknapp win the Division One title at the first attempt and went on to become a major part of Pompey's consolidation process in the Premier League.

In November 2004, both Smith and Redknapp resigned from Portsmouth after the appointment of a director of football which they felt threatened their authority and control in team matters.

Redknapp soon became boss at Southampton and Smith was appointed his assistant a few weeks later, having turned down the role of chief scout.

Going back to Fratton Park with Southampton that season necessitated some heavy-handed police protection for both men. Or so it was felt.

"Typical police, they thought we were going to get shot or something!" Jim said.

"They let all the burglars run around and spent a fortune on protecting us' at the game, but there was no problem."

Being No 2 is never the same as No 1, though.

"Assistant manager is a totally different role," he says.

"Only someone who's been a manager can understand that. The manager's the one who has to make the decisions. As an assistant, you've just got to support him and help him.

"But we had a great team at Portsmouth - Harry likes to play the game the same way.

"But it was a nightmare with the chairman, Milan Mandaric.

"For whatever reasons, I don't know why, it was just always confrontational.

"He hated the fans' song of Harry and Jim'. He wanted to be thought of as the reason for the success."

Smith's contract at St Mary's was not renewed in the summer of 2005 due to cost-cutting, but he returned to front-line management when he was appointed Oxford United boss again in March 2006, becoming a director of the club at the same time.

"It's a big disappointment to me that it didn't work out the second time at Oxford," he said.

"The biggest disappointment was not keeping them up, in all honesty.

"Looking back over those six or eight games, or whatever it was, and seeing the goals that we missed - that was been the story throughout.

"And I can see it now, in the play-off second leg here, all Rob Duffy has to do is put it in the back of the net, which he's been doing all season, but he tries to go around the goalkeeper and fell over."

But over 35 years of managing in the Premier and Football League, and nearly 40 years of management if non-League is also included, the Bald Eagle has many, many more good memories than bad.

And so he should, because it isn't just the promotions and titles that he's won, but the style of football he has tried to get his teams to play.

"I'm pleased that, wherever I've been, the football we've played has been good," he said.
"Everywhere I've been, at some given time, the punters will have said wow, that was some performance'.

"I remember going to watch the FA Cup final replay at Wembley between Man City and Tottenham when Tottenham won and it was quite exciting.

"I was in the stand and Tottenham fans afterwards were saying never mind that performance, the best game of the season was at Birmingham when you beat us 1-0'.
"Ossie Ardiles also said: That was such a game.' "I remember going into the press box for the interviews afterwards and I was still shaking. It was only 1-0 but it was some game.
"That's what I'd want to be remembered for . . . (he started chuckling because he knew, as I did, that it sounded like he was talking as though he was about to snuff it!).
"At some given time in that period that I was the manager, they would have had good football." Oxford Mail

Evening Star - U's recruit new goalkeeping coach [Ademola Bankole]
ADEMOLA Bankole has been recruited as Colchester United's new goalkeeping coach, while Aidan Davison recuperates from an exploratory operation on his troublesome shoulder.
Former Nigerian keeper Bankole, who featured in the World Cup Finals of 2002, will take Dean Gerken and Mark Cousins under his wing over the next few weeks.
The 38-year-old can draw on bags of experience in English club football with the likes of Crewe, QPR, Brentford and MK Dons.
Davison has been sidelined with a sore shoulder since the 1-0 defeat at Coventry at the end of October. He is currently resting at home....Report

Two Years Ago Today: QPR's Home Loss to Leicester - Ian Holloway's Last Home Game in Charge

January 31, 2006, was Ian Holloway's last time he was in charge of a game at Loftus Road as QPR lost 3-2 to Leicester. The following week, QPR played and lost at Leeds, with five players (three loans) making their debuts. It was announced that Ian Holloway had been placed on "gardening leave," after having expressed an interest in the Leicester City managerial job. (Prior to that Leeds game, Ian Holloway reportedly heard - not directy from QPR - that he was out. The official announcement was made a couple of days later)

That Last Home Game: January 31, 2006: QPR 2 Leicester 3
QPR - Royce, Bignot, Shittu, Santos, Rose - Ainsworth, Lomas, Langley, Cook - Furlong, Nygaard. (subs) Moore, Kus, Taylor, Donnelly, Baidoo.
Leicester - Douglas, Stearman, McCarthy, Kisnorbo, Johansson - Maybury, Williams, Gudjonsson, Hughes - Hume, Fryatt. (sub) Hammond, Wesolowski, Gerrbrand, Smith, O'Grady.
QPR: Ainsworth (6) Shittu (83)
Leicester Fryatt (10), Stearman (79), Hughes (88)
Match Details

Sporting Life - Match Report: QPR 2 Leicester 3
Stephen Hughes struck a late winner to hand managerless Leicester a crucial three points in their fight against relegation as they beat QPR 3-2.

Dan Shittu's 82nd-minute equaliser looked to have earned QPR a point after Richard Stearman had put Leicester 2-1 up, but Hughes' 88th-minute effort gave caretaker-boss Rob Kelly victory in his first Coca-Cola Championship match since replacing the sacked Craig Levein.

The game looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw thanks to first-half goals from Gareth Ainsworth and Matty Fryatt, but the game exploded into life, with the final three goals coming in the last 11 minutes to give Leicester only their second away win in the league this term.

Kelly's team - who won at Loftus Road for the first time since September 1986 - made the worst possible start to the match by going behind in the sixth minute.

Richard Langley played the ball left to Lee Cook, who was allowed the time and space to pick out Ainsworth, who had moved into the penalty area from the right and rose unchallenged to head into Rab Douglas' top-right corner from 10 yards.

Leicester looked dispirited - but they were gifted an equaliser four minutes later thanks to some awful Rangers defending.

Fryatt shook off Marcus Bignot on the left and got the better of Shittu inside the penalty area before firing past Simon Royce from eight yards.

In the 20th minute, Joey Gudjonsson robbed the dawdling Langley in midfield and fed Fryatt on the right.

The former Walsall player curled over a fine cross that Royce did well to push away from danger.

Neither defence looked comfortable, and in the 27th minute Alan Maybury cleared the ball from under his own bar after Paul Furlong had beaten keeper Douglas to another Cook cross.

Maybury was involved at the other end six minutes before half-time, striking a sweet effort that drew another smart stop from Royce.

Cook was proving QPR's main creative source, and in the 42nd minute he swung over a free-kick from the right that Furlong headed goalwards but that was deflected narrowly wide.

The game appeared to be going nowhere, until Leicester substitute James Wesolowski sent over a perfect right-wing cross for the unmarked Stearman to volley past Royce from five yards, 11 minutes from the end.

Three minutes later, Leicester were pegged back when Shittu headed in Cook's free-kick but, with time running out, Stearman collected Gudjonsson's through-ball and cut it back for Hughes to tap into the empty net. Sporting Life

Ian Holloway has labelled the defeat to Leicester City as 'totally unacceptable.'"It' s hard to express just how dissapointed I am. Tonight was totally unacceptable. There were some individual performances that were unacceptable.
"The back line were shocking. I stuck with them after Luton and have they have done well for me, but that was awful. I've never seen so many errors in all my life. I've made one or two acquistions, I'll work with them and think about changing it about because that was unacceptable.''
Holloway had seen his Rangers side take the lead through Gareth Ainsworth with just five minutes on the clock, but a quick response from Matty Fryatt five minutes later levelled the scores.Richard Stearman's 79th minute strike gave Leicester the lead for the first time in the game, but despite Dan Shitttu's header nine minutes from time, it was Leicester who went home with the three points.As the clock ticked down, Leicester struck again through Stephen Hughes to kill any chance Rangers may have had of stealing the three points."I think our expectations need looking at. We need to take a right good look at ourselves. What investment have we had? What have we spent? How many injuries have we got. Gallen, Bircham, Rowlands, they're all quality players and I think we need to get real.
"I don't make excuses for my team, but tonight was unacceptable. That's the worst I've seen a lot of my players play for this club. It was a terrible night.'' QPR

".... "I've never seen such a spate of mistakes," Holloway declared. "It wasn't just one person - nearly every single one of my players played the wrong pass and our clearances were diabolical.
"That was my back four, that I've had for a while and I've showed faith in. But on this showing, it was back to the drawing board. Mentally, they looked the weakest team I've ever had.
"I've asked them all to go home and work out why they were so nervous or frustrated. That wasn't acceptable and it'll have to be changed - we looked like the side who were 13 points behind the other.
"For the first time, I can probably pick a whole new back four, if I want.
We've got some new people and maybe I'm going to have to work with them and get them out there." Kilburn Times

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

QPR (Supposedly) Bid £1.5m for Preston's Simon Whaley...Routledge Supposedly Cost Aston Villa £1.25million

Daily Mail - The Screamer ... It's the talk of football
Last updated at 22:03pm on 30th January 2008

"...Aston Villa are hoping to snap up a second Tottenham player in the space of 24 hours today with a move for Kevin-Prince Boateng after Wayne Routledge signed last night for £1.25million. Routledge has made just five appearances for Spurs since his move from Crystal Palace in the summer of 2005, but Villa boss Martin O'Neill has seen enough to offer him an 18-month deal.
However, Megson has lost out in a bid to sign Robert Earnshaw on loan ...
Leicester and QPR bid £1.5m for Preston's Simon Whaley ... QPR failed to land Bradford's Donovan Ricketts ... " Daily Mail

Wikipedia/Whaley Profile

Hull's Manager on Walton Loan...Says For Rest of Season

QPR's site said he was on loan till the end of February.

Hull Official Site - Brown On Walton Loan
Phil Brown believes the versatility of Simon Walton will be a valuable asset during the remainder of the season.
Walton joined City on loan from Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday and was thrown straight into the starting line up for the victory against Coventry.
The former Leeds United man can play in a number of positions and Brown is glad to have him on board.
"Simon is a centre back who can also play in the middle of midfield as well as at right back," said Brown.
"I like players who can play in various positions because it's a sign that they've been educated the right way and that they understand the game.
"It's a loan signing with a view to a permanent deal but they always are, aren't they?
"If we go undefeated from now until the end of the season and Simon plays every game, the fans will be chanting his name and he'll be difficult to let go.
"At the moment, he's here for six months."
Brown admits he did question whether or not to throw Walton straight into the side but says his performance showed he was ready for the challenge.
"Simon did concern me because he'd been in a car for a few hours on his way up here yesterday morning.
"He picked his boots up, signed his forms and met the squad players at the training ground because they had a session yesterday afternoon.
"Then I found out that Ian Ashbee had the flu. I asked Simon whether he was ready to play and he told me to throw him in.
"He played his part in a really grinding performance." Hull

No Ricketts to QPR

Update: QPR Official Site
"...Meanwhile, we can also confirm Donovan Ricketts will not be joining the R's after his Work Permit application for QPR was refused.
The R's were granted permission to speak to the Bradford City custodian earlier this week, but the deal has now fallen through." QPR

Bradford Official Site
"Donovan Ricketts move to QPR falls through
Jamaican has Work Permit application refused

Bradford Official Site- Donovan Ricketts move to QPR falls through

Donovan Ricketts' proposed move to Championship side Queens Park Rangers has fallen through with the news that the Home Office has turned down the Jamaican's application for a Work Permit.
Due to the lack of competitive internationals played by Jamaica in the last two years, he does not meet the necessary criteria and Rangers failed with their appeal in London on Wednesday.
Ricketts is under contract with the Bantams until the end of the season when his current Work Permit expires.
Home Office rules do not allow a Work Permit to be transferred from one club to another.
The 30-year will now return to Valley Parade where he will have to fight for the number one goalkeeping place with City having signed Watford's Scott Loach on loan until the end of the season. Bradford

Bradford Telegraph and Argus/Mike Crowther - Lawn 'stunned' as Ricketts returns
Donovan Ricketts is back at City after being refused a new work permit following his proposed move to QPR
Donovan Ricketts' move to Queens Park Rangers has collapsed after his application for a new work permit was turned down.
The Home Office have rejected his bid in light of the lack of competitive fixtures played by Jamaica over the last two years so he has returned to Valley Parade.
It is also believed the fact that he was unlikely to have been first choice at Rangers was also a factor. England under-21 goalkeeper Lee Camp has been a regular at Loftus Road this season.
QPR's subsequent appeal was turned down and the news has left joint City chairman Mark Lawn stunned' - especially after Jamaican team-mate Omar Daley has just been granted a new work permit after agreeing a new contract with the Bantams.
He said: "Donovan's agent said he's done this lots of times and said it wouldn't be a problem so we are shocked and stunned."
The news came just two days after City brought in Scott Loach on loan from Watford until the end of the season as a replacement keeper. The Hornets were only keen to let Loach go out if he was getting regular first-team games.
Lawn added: "It is a blow as we've brought people on board to have a look at them to see whether we might be able to sign them at the end of the season.
"Obviously in doing that we had planned to make use of Donovan's wages."
But Lawn assured supporters that it would not put the club under big financial pressure.
Jamaica only played eight friendlies throughout 2007, with Ricketts playing just once. The Reggae Boyz have dropped to 98th in the FIFA world rankings.
Ricketts' current work permit expires at the end of the season when his contract with City runs out. Home Office rules do not allow a work permit to be transferred from one club to another.
Any move to QPR now looks dead in the water for Ricketts. Clubs are only allowed one appeal per player during the year regarding permits so would not would be able to come in for him at the end of this season.
Meanwhile, City are hoping to complete the permanent signing of Lee Bullock before the transfer window closes tomorrow. Bradford Telegraph and Argus

As posted earlier, from Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times
Rangers develop Ricketts problem
QPR's attempt to sign Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is under threat after problems relating to his work permit.
Rangers are still hoping to untangle the red tape in time to complete the signing of Ricketts, 30, before the transfer window closes tonight.
The club have already agreed a small fee with Bradford City, where Ricketts - an international team-mate of Rs defender Damion Stewart - has been playing for the last three and a half years.
This is not the first time the issue has held up Ricketts' move to an English club - Leyton Orient gave up after a prolonged campaign to sign the keeper in 2003.
Rangers had also earmarked Darlington keeper David Stockdale as a possible alternative back-up to Lee Camp, but any bid to sign him is likely to be rejected after second choice Andy Oakes was ruled out for the rest of the season.

QPR's "Discarding" of Home Grown Talent: Perspective of Kilburn Times' Ben Kosky....Gareth Ainsworth on Changing QPR

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - What about tomorrow, Flavio?
JANUARY 2008 may become renowned as the month when Queens Park Rangers transformed beyond all recognition - but not necessarily for the better.
At first glance, everything seems rosy in the Loftus Road garden. Rangers have reversed a decade of penury by embarking on a breathtaking buying binge during the transfer window.
Few would question the wisdom of adding players of the calibre of Akos Buzsaky, Rowan Vine and Fitz Hall to the squad, even though some of the other recent signings look superfluous and overpriced.
But it's all too easy for Rangers fans to be carried away by the influx of expensive players and ignore the alarming trend with regard to movement in the opposite direction.
A few years ago, the playing staff included several promising youngsters nurtured by the likes of Gary Waddock and Joe Gallen and knocking on the first team door.
Tragically, we will never know how Ray Jones might have progressed - but what about Scott Donnelly, Shabazz Baidoo, Pat Kanyuka and, even more recently, Kieron St Aimie?
None of them were wanted at QPR. Donnelly and Baidoo seemed to lose enthusiasm after being frozen out by John Gregory, but both had shown enough ability to suggest they were far from being lost causes.
By contrast, Kanyuka performed well under Gregory until injury ruined his season - and having missed the first half of the current campaign for the same reason, he was surely worthy of a chance to prove himself under new boss Luigi de Canio.
Apparently not. Nor was St Aimie, handed a pro contract only six months ago and now discarded without more than a single substitute appearance in the Carling Cup.
All this sends out the message that QPR are a club that no longer places any importance on homegrown talent - because they can now shell out a fortune for other teams' youngsters instead.
One of those is ex-West Ham forward Hogan Ephraim - who, in a recent interview with the Times, stressed the need for Rangers to copy his old club's blueprint and make sure they are planning for the future.
Ephraim said: "Fans love nothing more than seeing one of their own players breaking into the team. If QPR can get on that road as well as bringing in quality players from elsewhere, it'll be a great mix."
Fat chance. Neither Flavio Briatore nor any of his fellow investors have said one word to indicate that they have any intention of putting funds into the Centre of Excellence - or, for that matter, regaining the club's Academy status.
Even Chelsea, the detested enemy who Rangers fans dream of deposing one day, were building up their youth facilities at the same time they were lavishing £24m on Didier Drogba.
That's because they plan to be a serious player in world football for many years. It looks as if QPR's plan is to keep stockpiling as many players as possible, then buy some more next season.
Some may see that as ambition. Actually, it's better described as greed, recklessness and stupidity.
Remember the pride we felt when Gerry Francis, Clive Allen, Peter Hucker, Alan McDonald, Kevin Gallen and many others broke into the first team to carry our hopes and dreams?
Remember those days well... because it looks as if they're gone forever. Kilburn Times

Gareth Ainsworth/Kilburn Times
THERE'S an unwritten law in football that, if you're at the same club for three or four years, you're seen as something of an old pro.
Martin Rowlands and myself are the only ones who fall into that category now at QPR, people who remember the day we got promoted at Sheffield Wednesday.
It's inevitable that'll happen because team-mates come and go - and, with times changing rapidly at QPR, we've had several people leaving in the last couple of weeks.
Marc Nygaard's gone back to Denmark and I know he's hoping to be able to feature in European competition and maybe even nudge his way into the national team there.
Marc sometimes took some stick from the crowd but, if you look at his record of playing in games we've won, it's phenomenal. He always gave 100 per cent and he's going to be missed.
Like Biggy, he made a big input during the dark days for this club. They deserve as much credit as the lads who are hopefully going to get us into the Premier League.
Biggy's departure was a bit more gradual, but I know he will get a great reception if he comes back to Loftus Road. He always wears his heart on his sleeve and, like everyone else, I'm sad to see him go.
Tuesday's result at Cardiff was very disappointing. The game was basically over after an hour, which isn't nice, and there were signs of an old problem creeping back in. Paul Parry and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink linked up well and Cardiff's firepower was superb. But we got outfought physically and we can't afford to slip back into that habit.
The gaffer made it clear there's plenty of work to do and now we've got to pick ourselves up for Saturday's game against Bristol City.
We battered City on the opening day of the season, and I don't think many of the lads would have expected them to be where they are - so it's credit to Gary Johnson that they've done so well.
He's picked up some shrewd signings and, with the fanbase City have got, I consider them as one of the bigger clubs in this division - and certainly one of the better footballing sides.
It should be a game for the purists. We've been playing some good football ourselves at home of late, so hopefully we can be the better footballing side on the day. Kilburn Times

Ricketts Signing Problems

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Rangers develop Ricketts problem
QPR's attempt to sign Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is under threat after problems relating to his work permit.
Rangers are still hoping to untangle the red tape in time to complete the signing of Ricketts, 30, before the transfer window closes tonight.
The club have already agreed a small fee with Bradford City, where Ricketts - an international team-mate of Rs defender Damion Stewart - has been playing for the last three and a half years.
This is not the first time the issue has held up Ricketts' move to an English club - Leyton Orient gave up after a prolonged campaign to sign the keeper in 2003.
Rangers had also earmarked Darlington keeper David Stockdale as a possible alternative back-up to Lee Camp, but any bid to sign him is likely to be rejected after second choice Andy Oakes was ruled out for the rest of the season.
But the Loftus Road exodus continued to gather pace this week as five more players - including three strikers - departed the club.... Kilburn Times

QPR Supposedly Make Increased Offer for Nottingham Forest's Kris Commons

If actually true, sounds a little outlandish: Such a big increased offer for a player who will be out of contract in June.

Mirror - Rangers up the ante for Commons
Qpr have raised their bid for Nottingham Forest winger Kris Commons (above) to £1.5million.
Rangers had a £500,000 offer knocked back last week.
Commons will be available for free when his contract runs out in June, but QPR are worried that rivals Wolves and Leicester could get him in the summer." Mirror

QPR's League Position Compared to Year Ago....Ex-QPR Peter Crouch Turns 27

Snippet: Former QPR, Peter Crouch turns 27 today: Born January 30, 1981. (The Same age Rodney Marsh was, when QPR sold him) - Crouch

One year ago, QPR lost 0-2 at Barnsley with last minute goals in each half. QPR were in the midst of a terrible run with 2 wins and 10 Losses from their past 12 games. QPR's team against Barnsley: Royce, Rehman (Nygaard 85), Bolder, Lomas (Ainsworth 74), Cook, Stewart, Timoska, Furlong (Jones 70), Blackstock, Smith, Mancienne - Subs: Cole, Kanyuka
The table after their Barnsley loss a year ago:

Last season: January 30, 2007
Norwich 29 34
Leicester 29 33
Barnsley 30 32
Hull 30 31
Luton 30 31
QPR 30 30
Southend 30 27
Leeds 29 27

This season: January 30, 2008
Norwich 29 35
Leicester 29 34
Blackpool 29 34
QPR 29 33
Coventry 28 32
Sheff Wed 28 31
Preston 29 30
Scunthorpe 29 27
Colchester 28 26

QPR's Cardiff Defeat - Further Reports and Comments

Cardiff boss Dave Jones pointed to the club's fitness regime as the catalyst for Tuesday night's 3-1 Coca-Cola Championship victory over QPR.
Joe Ledley scored his seventh and eighth goals of a stellar season as the Bluebirds extended their unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was the principal creative force, expertly laying on the young midfielder's second of the evening and feeding Paul Parry for Cardiff's third.
The 35-year-old Dutchman produced a tireless performance as lone striker for 90 minutes until he gave way to Steven Thompson in stoppage-time.
"To put on a performance like that after playing on Sunday was excellent and a tribute to our fitness staff," said a delighted Jones, whose side reached the FA Cup fifth round at the weekend.
"Their fitness levels were superb and I can't praise them enough as some of our movements were up there with the best we have done this season.
"The only downside was conceding a goal and having Michael Oakes injured with a blow to the face but we have a great back-up team here and all our walking wounded will be well looked after."
With a three-goal lead established, Cardiff took their foot off the gas, and substitute Hogan Ephraim capitalised with a smart close-range finish after 76 minutes.
But it could not prevent the Bluebirds notching up their fifth straight home victory to move within a point of the play-offs.
Rangers boss Luigi Di Canio said: "Cardiff surprised us by the way they played and they took full advantage of our mistakes.
"We conceded an early first goal and that gave them the opportunity to play the way they wanted.
"They were very quick at making use of the space out wide and that caused us problems.
"We have many new players and it will take time to show any improvements."
Cardiff were on top from the opening whistle but the goal they deserved never came until the 12th minute when a back pass from Damian Delaney went astray. Parry raced on to the loose ball and made ground before crossing to Ledley, who slotted home from close range.
Only Lee Camp in the Rangers goal prevented the Bluebirds from improving the scoreline as he made a number of crucial saves to deny Peter Whittingham, Hasselbaink and Ledley.
Five minutes from the break, the hosts scored the goal they deserved when 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey floated a pass out wide to Hasselbaink.
The veteran slipped the ball through to Ledley and the Wales international made no mistake.
Twelve minutes into the second period, it was the busy Parry's turn to get on the score sheet.
A long through ball to Glenn Loovens was worked up to Parry and he made progress before beating Camp with a crisp shot.
Rangers had a small consolation when they pulled one back through Ephraim.
In the goalmouth scramble, City keeper Michael Oakes was injured and loan signing Peter Enckelman replaced him for his Bluebirds debut.
The home defence had one or two scares as the game drew to a close but City were well worth the victory. Sporting Life

Western Mail - City flair stuns nouveau riche QPR
IT was billed as the Championship princes v the paupers and like every good fairy story it was the down-trodden who eventually lived happily ever after.
In one of their finest showings of the season the Bluebirds demolished the nouveau riche Londoners in a fantastic team effort which keeps them very much in the play-off hunt.
Indeed prior to kick-off manager Dave Jones had urged his side to forget the glamour of the up-coming FA Cup tie with Wolves and concentrate instead on a top-six finish in their league campaign.
However, on this form, the Bluebirds are buzzing with such confidence that both dreams seem a reasonable proposition.
Rangers may have a the riches of Croesus at their disposal after a multimillion-pound takeover, but this game showed there is still a long way to go before the “hoops” are lording it with the likes of Chelsea in the big time.
Two first-half goals from Joe Ledley, simple finishes after some scintillating build-up play, put the home side in control and a second-half strike by Paul Parry sealed things.
Hogan Ephraim managed to force one home for the visitors, but it was too little too late in a game where Rangers simply found themselves out-classed in all departments.
It was a victory made all the more impressive by the fact Jones was forced into major change ahead of kick-off. Captain Stephen McPhail was ruled out after failing to recover from a hip problem and it meant a first ever league start for highly-rated 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey.
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink was reinstated in attack after being rested at Hereford, Steve Thompson dropped to the bench, and amongst the substitutes was veteran wideman Trevor Sinclair back after a long-term absence following knee surgery.
Rangers boss Luigi de Canio made just the one change from the team which overcame Barnsley in QPR’s last outing, Gavin Mahon came in and Dexter Blackstock found himself on the bench.
Blackstock found himself joined the action just before the half-time whistle as Matthew Connolly was stretchered off.
Cardiff went in 2-0 up at the break, but it could have been five with some better finishing after they carved out chance after chance.
But as Cardiff enjoyed all the play they got their deserved first from a Rangers defensive error, Damien Delaney under-hitting a back-pass which Parry was on to like a whippet, the Welsh-cap rolled the ball across goal and Ledley tapped home from just a few yards out.
On 22 minutes the Bluebirds had two successive guilt-edged chances to extend their lead. The ball fell to Peter Whittingham eight yards out and the midfielder smashed it at goal only to see ’keeper Lee Camp pull off a good save diving to his right. Back came the ball and this time Hasselbaink thundered at goal only to see Camp pull off a carbon copy of his earlier save.
It was one way traffic, really breathless stuff from Cardiff and fabulous entertainment from a City perspective.
On the half-hour a Cardiff free-kick fell to Johnson this time in the box, the centre-half lashed at goal, but again Camp made the save. There were a string of good stops from Camp, but he really should not have been given the chance to make them.
You wondered if these misses were going to come back and haunt Cardiff particularly when they had a little wobble moments later.
Rangers skipper Martin Rowlands got to the byline, the ball flashed across goal, but Loovens, magnificent with Johnson again in the heart of the Cardiff, was across to boot it out for a corner.
City failed to clear their lines and Damion Stewart’s low shot flashed skidded across goal only requiring a touch to guide it into the net, but City escaped.
Then normal business was resumed as Cardiff went straight up the other end and should have scored. Hasselbaink, having his best game since arriving at the club, went rampaging down the left. He cut it across goal, Parry shot and again Camp saved. It was worked out to Hasselbaink again on the left, again it came across and this time Whittingham turned it wide.
You could hardly keep track of the Bluebirds’ dominance. You were afraid to go to the toilet in case you missed something.
A Ledley corner was volleyed into the ground by Johnson and bounced over and then City got their second. Ramsey, neat and tidy in midfield and very much looking the part, played in a nice ball to Hasselbaink who had beaten the off-side trap, he laid it across to Ledley who again tapped it home.
The Bluebirds second half never quite lived up to the first, but then again it was a tough act to follow.
The first meaningful action, appropriately, was Cardiff scoring again. Loovens punted out of defence, Hasselbaink played a fortuitous one-two with a Rangers defender, it fell into Parry’s path and he stroked it home. Moments later Parry was through again, but Camp got his fingertips to the attempted lob.
Cardiff then turned off the ignition and went to sleep.
This culminated in Rangers’ striker Ephraim poking home a consolation for the visitors after Oakes had saved Agyemang’s shot.
No one realised Rangers had scored, not even their own fans, and Oakes had to go off injured giving Peter Enckelman his first taste of action for ages.
And Enckelman had to be alert with three minutes left when he tipped an Agyemang header on to the bar.
The jubilant Cardiff supporters summed it up best with the taunt: “You’re rich and you are still not very good.”
Cardiff meanwhile may be lacking funds, but on this showing they have no shortage of guts, commitment and downright flair. Western Mail

Also: Previous compilation of reports and comments of Cardiff 3 QPR 1

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

QPR's 3-1 Loss at Cardiff - Reports and Comments

QPR Official Site - De Canio Post Match
Luigi De Canio was at a loss to explain QPR's below-par display after the 3-1 defeat to Cardiff City.
A brace from Joe Ledley and a Paul Parry goal put the Bluebirds in control, and although Patrick Agyemang pulled one back for the R's late on, a 3-1 defeat flattered Rangers.
"I'm very disappointed. We could and we should have played a better game," De Canio told www.qpr.co.uk.
"We simply got it wrong on the night. We didn't have the right attention on the pitch, or the right determination.
It was not the real QPR out there, but credit to Cardiff. They really surprised us and took full advantage of our mistakes.
"The first goal was a very disappointing one to concede and we never recovered."
To compound Rangers woes, Fitz Hall and Matthew Connolly both limped off with injuries in the first half. De Canio added: "We will assess the injuries in the morning, but at this stage they look like they could be serious.
"The two injuries summed up our night, but we need to re-group ahead of the match against Bristol City on Saturday." QPR

BBC - Cardiff 3-1 QPR
A Joe Ledley brace helped Cardiff to a comfortable win over woeful QPR.
An awful back pass from the visitors gave Paul Parry the chance to lay on the opener for Ledley with a fine feed.
Aaron Ramsey, making his full league debut, then found Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who delivered the pass for Ledley to stroke in his second.
More weak defending saw Hasselbaink set up Paul Parry for a well-taken third, before Hogan Ephraim's late consolation slipped under an injured Michael Oakes.
The Bluebirds are now just one point off the Championship play-offs, having extended their unbeaten run to nine games. BBC

League Table
17 Leicester 29 1 34
18 Blackpool 29 -1 34
19 QPR 29 -9 33
20 Coventry 28 -15 32
21 Sheff Wed 28 -5 31
22 Preston 29 -8 30
23 Scunthorpe 29 -17 27
24 Colchester 28 -8 26


QPR Official Site - Cardiff 3 QPR 1

In-form Cardiff City continued their march to the top-six with a domineering display against out-of-sorts Rangers.

On a night when the R's lost defensive duo Fitz Hall and Matthew Connolly to first half injuries, the Bluebirds totally orchestrated proceedings, to leave Luigi De Canio's men contemplating a third successive away defeat in all competitions.

In a first period totally dominated by the hosts, Joe Ledley opened the scoring in the 13th minute, before the midfield maestro doubled the Bluebirds' advantage four minutes before the break.

Rangers were indebted to the outstanding Lee Camp for keeping the scoreline down to just two goals at half-time, with the R's number one on hand to make a series of stunning saves, most notably from the inventive Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink.

But there was nothing Camp could do to prevent Paul Parry making it three early in the second half, as the forward coasted through unmarked to notch the Bluebirds' third.

To their credit, Rangers continued to plug away as the clock ticked down, and they were rewarded when Patrick Agyemang fired home his third in as many games after Michael Oakes dropped Hogan Ephraim's cross under pressure from Dexter Blackstock.

In the only change to the side which won 2-0 against Barnsley ten days ago, De Canio welcomed back Gavin Mahon from illness.

Blackstock dropped to the bench as a result, while young goalkeeper Reece Crowther was again amongst the substitutes, deputising for the injured Jake Cole.

Just 48 hours after their FA Cup fourth round victory against Hereford United, Cardiff gaffer Dave Jones was forced into two changes.

Aaron Ramsey and Hasselbaink returned to the starting XI, at the expense of Stephen McPhail and Steve Thompson.

After an equally contested opening ten minutes, it was the hosts who created the first chance of note in the 11th minute.

Ledley's speculative 12-yard drive appeared to be heading goalwards, before Hall's outstretched leg diverted the ball to safety.

The danger signs were there from the hosts, but the R's failed to heed the warning and when Damien Delaney's blind back pass fell horribly short of Camp, Rangers paid the ultimate price.

Parry seized upon the loose ball, before delivering a precise ball across the six-yard box, which the unmarked Ledley tucked home with ease.

Stunned by the nature of the goal, Rangers looked alarmingly disjointed at the back and Hasselbaink very nearly doubled the Bluebirds' advantage a minute later, only to fluff his lines from 15-yards.

It was all Cardiff by now and but for the heroics of Camp, the R's could have been down and out.

The R's number one made two stunning saves in a minute; first to deny Peter Whittingham and then to thwart Hasselbaink.

City centre-half Glenn Loovens glanced a ten-yard header wide midway through the half, as Cardiff continued to lay siege on the R's goal.

Loovens' fellow centre-back Roger Johnson was next to test Camp, firing a thunderous volley on target, which the R's stopper again punched to safety.

It took Rangers 30 minutes to create their first chance of note, but Damion Stewart - who had earlier been booked for a mistimed challenge on the lively Hasselbaink - blazed wide from an acute angle.

Cardiff's free-flowing counter-attacks left Rangers chasing shadows at times and from their very next foray forward, Whittingham, with the goal at his mercy, somehow skewed his shot wide from six-yards out.

The R's were forced into a change seven minutes before the break, when Hall limped off and was replaced by Michael Mancienne.

That prompted a defensive reshuffle, with Connolly moving to centre-back and Chelsea loanee Mancienne filling in at right-back.

The new-look R's back four were powerless to prevent the Bluebirds from doubling their advantage moments later though, as Hasselbaink evaded the R's offside trap with ease and squared for Ledley, who tapped home unopposed from close range.

As if a two-goal deficit at the break wasn't a big enough mountain to climb, De Canio's men suffered a further blow on the stroke of half-time, when Connolly left the field on a stretcher and was immediately replaced by Blackstock.

Undeterred, the R's began the second period on the front foot, forcing two corners in a matter of minutes; the second of which was glanced wide by Blackstock.

But it was Cardiff who notched the all-important third goal of the contest in the 58th minute, as Hasselbaink - looking marginally offside - played provider for Parry, who steered the ball beyond the outstretched dive of Camp from 15-yards.

Camp was in the right place, at the right time, to deny the roaming Ledley again on the hour, sprinting from his line to deflect the left-sided midfielder's looping effort wide of the upright.

Rangers pulled a goal back 13 minutes from time when Oakes - under pressure from Blackstock - failed to gather Ephraim's cross from the right and Agyemang was on hand to continue his rich vein of scoring form.

It proved to be a mere consolation though, despite Mikele Leigertwood forcing replacement keeper Peter Enckelman into a fine save and the woodwork coming to the hosts' recue, when Delaney's back post header was deflected onto the crossbar before being hacked to safety.

Cardiff City: Oakes (Enckelman 78), McNaughton, Capaldi, Rae, Loovens, Whittingham (Blake 88), Parry, Johnson, Ledley, Ramsey, Floyd-Hasselbaink (Thompson 93).

Subs: Purse, Sinclair.

Scorers: Ledley 13 & 41, Parry 58


Red Cards:

QPR: Camp, Delaney, Mahon, Stewart, Buzsaky (Ephraim 62), Rowlands, Connolly (Blackstock 45), Agyemang, Vine, Hall (Mancienne 38), Leigertwood.
Subs: Lee, Crowther.
Scorers: Agyemang 76
Bookings: Stewart 25, Buzsaky 48
Red Cards:
Referee: Mr P Walton QPR

CARDIFF OFFICIAL SITE - Report: Sean Wozencroft

Snapshot: City moved into seventh position, just one point off the play-offs, with an excellent 3-1 win against QPR. City were in thrilling form for the first hour, tearing Rangers apart and looking good value for their three goal advantage. The first came on 12 minutes, Paul Parry racing to the byline and finding Joe Ledley in the centre. The midfielder comfortably converted from closerange.

Youngster Aaron Ramsey created the second, finding unmarked Hasselbaink in the area. The striker could have scored himself but showed great awareness to lay off for Ledley to bag his second. The game was won on 57 minutes. Again Hasselbaink was involved, knocking down for the progressing Parry to fire low past Camp. A bizarre goal for the visitors gave them some hope, but City comfortably played the game out to give our promotion chances another huge boost.

Team News

Dave Jones made two changes to the side that won at Hereford on Sunday. Starlet Aaron 'Rambo' Ramsey replaced Steve McPhail, suffering with a hip problem, in central midfield. It was the 17-year-old's first league start for the Bluebirds after impressing during 89 minutes at Chasetown in the FA Cup.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink returned to the fray upfront alongside Paul Parry. Steve Thompson suffered with cramp on Monday after playing nearly a full match at Edgar Street. There was no place in the QPR squad for Chris Barker, who is recovery from a minor hernia operation.

Chronological Report

In a lively start with drizzle drifting in and out, Partrick Agyemang's pace took him beyond City's last defender early on but his first touch took him wide of goal and Roger Johnson recovered.

The first real chance fell to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on nine minutes. Joe Ledley's in-swinging corner found the Dutchman on the front post but he couldn't connect properly. It was only cleared as far as Johnson though, but he couldn't scramble it home. Agyemang was playing on the last man and was looking a real handful with electric pace, but City took the lead on 12 minutes.

Paul Parry picked the ball up inside the Rangers half, took it to the byline and easily found the unmarked Joe Ledley in the centre. Ledley couldn't miss, side-footing past Camp from no more than five yards. The 'keeper dived the right way but the pace of the shot was enough to give the Bluebirds a vital lead.

Cardiff City 1 - 0 QPR

"What a waste of money" was the taunt of choice for the home supporters, and it was nearly 2-0 four minutes later. With the Rangers defence at sixes and sevens, Hasselbaink's flick-on header was met by the progressing Paul Parry, but his shot from closerange was blocked by the legs of the 'keeper.

Soon after Parry nearly connected with Peter Whittingham's intelligent ball on the increasingly greasy surface. Camp was forced into a brilliant double save on 21 minutes. First Gave Rae did well to battle in midfield and collect the ball, playing it forward to Loovens who shot well and the 'keeper was equal to it. It came out to Whittingham who forced an equally fine save from Camp, diving to his left at waist height.

With QPR repetitively trying the ball over the top, it was City playing all the football. On 24 minutes Hasselbaink superbly turned Damion Stewart, used his strength to power forward and won a freekick on the edge of the area. The setpiece was straight off the training ground. A short ball was played to Peter Whittingham, who took it a step wide and crossed. Defender Glenn Loovens rose highest only to see his header miss the upright by inches.

Rangers were desperately unlucky not to level the scores five minutes later. Martin Rowlands drilled over a low cross and Loovens' clearance nearly found his own net but instead went out for a corner. From Akos Buzsaky's resulting cross it went all the way into the six yard area and was somehow cleared with plenty of red shirts waiting when it looked inevitable that a goal would follow. City nearly hit QPR immediately on the counter. Hasselbaink rolled back the years, sprinting forward in possession and playing a lovely ball for Parry but his shot was saved.

Again in came back in for City but Whittingham contrived to miss from closerange when he should have scored. Some neat play in the centre by Aaron Ramsey seconds later gave Hasselbaink a chance in the area. His touch took it past his man but his side-footed effort was deflected over the crossbar by Camp.

City were two goals to the good five minutes before the interval following more imaginative play. Ramsey showed the composure to play in a pinpoint ball into the inexplicably unmarked Hasselbaink. You would have backed the striker to score himself but he unselfishly and perfectly knocked it down for Ledley to easily half volley into the net from eight yards, his second of the game.

Cardiff City 2 - 0 QPR

With the visitors' defence rocking and Stewart unable to deal with Parry came close again as the half concluded. City were threatening to turn it into a rout with lightening fast attacks in a thrilling game.

Half time - Cardiff City 2 - 0 QPR

The first goal of the second half was always going to be important. City had it and secured the points on 57 minutes. Whittingham chipped it into Hasselbaink inside the area from a central position. His head down for the on rushing Parry was perfect and the Welshman bagged his seventh of the season, stroking the ball past Camp with ease.

Cardiff City 3 - 0 QPR

Ninian Park sensed a demolition. On 62 minutes sublime skill from McNaughton set Whittingham on his way down the right flank. His cross should have been held by the 'keeper, but he thumbled and Hasselbaink nearly took advantage.

On 66 minutes Gavin Rae sent a long ball straight down the throat of the Rangers defence. Camp came charging out but Parry still beat him to it but his attempted lob bounced just wide via a deflection.

Rangers were having more possession in the second half and threatening from corners, but City remained the more dangerous.

Rangers pulled one back in the most bizarre of circumstances. Even the travelling QPR fans stood silent until the referee marched play back to the centre circle unaware that the ball had trickled beyond Michael Oakes. Oakes was then replaced by new boy Peter Enckelman after seemingly colliding with the post. Substitute Hogan Ephraim was credited with the goal.

Cardiff City 3 - 1 QPR

The game was stopped for several minutes and suffered a lull as a consequence. Plenty of oxygen was sharply sucked by the home supporters on 83 minutes when Rowan Vine's fine cross found Agyemang in space but his header was straight into the arms of Enckelman. We may have had some nervous closing minutes if he had scored, as he probably should've.

Rangers continued to cause problems late on. Martin Rowlands' freekick was headed on by Damien Delaney, Roger Johnson touched it on towards his own goal and Enckelman had to make a fine save to tip it onto the crossbar. Another heart attack moment.

The fluency of City's play had completely gone and there were minor concerns when six minutes of injury time were announced. But City were troubled no further and recorded the home victory that our fantastic first 60 minutes so richly deserved.

Full time: Cardiff City 3 - 1 QPR

City: Michael Oakes, Kevin McNaughton, Tony Capaldi, Roger Johnson, Glenn Loovens, Joe Ledley, Gavin Rae, Aaron Ramsey, Peter Whittingham, Paul Parry, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Subs: Peter Enckelman, Darren Purse, Trevor Sinclair, Steve Thompson, Darcy Blake

QPR: Lee Camp, Damien Delaney, Gavin Mahon, Damion Stewart, Akos Buzsaky, Martin Rowlands, Matthew Connolly, Patrick Agyemang, Rowan Vine, Fitz Hall, Mikele Leigertwood. Subs: Michael Mancienne, Dexter Blackstock, Kieran Lee, Hogan Ephram, Reece Crowther Cardiff

QPR Goalkeeper Liam O'Brien Trialing With Arsenal

QPR's highly-ranked goalkeeper Liam O'Brien, whose reported unhappiness was noted in the press a few weeks ago, is listed as a trialist with Arsenal.

Arsenal Academy 2-3 Ipswich - FA Premier Academy League
Under-18s Saturday, January 26, 2008Report

Liam O'Brien (TRIALIST) Anton Blackwood Sam Byles 75 Cedric Evina Luke Ayling Kyle Bartley Tom Cruise Craig Eastmond Emmanuel Frimpong Luke Freeman Jonas Rasmussen Ahmed Abdulla 70 Jay Emmanuel-ThomasAcademy Report

From an Arsenal blog, Young Guns " Decision Close On Arsenal Trialist O’Brien" Arsenal are expected to make a decision on Goalkeeper Liam O’Brien before the end of the week.
O’Brien [16] played 90 minutes on Saturday as a young Under 18s team lost 3-2 to an impressive Ipswich side .... Manchester United and Tottenham are also keen on the QPR goalie but Arsene Wenger and his coaching staff have managed to bring him in on trial, he featured last week for the Under 16s another story we broke first....Young Guns

From a few weeks ago:

Skysports December 22, 2007Sky Sports/Graeme Bailey - Eight eye R's starlet
Premier League sides battle for R's youngster

Up to eight Premier League clubs are looking to lure Queens Park Rangers starlet Liam O'Brien away from Loftus Road, skysports.com understands.
The 16-year-old goalkeeper is already playing for the club's Under 18s and has made his debut for the reserves, and is rated by many as one of the brightest talents for his age in the country.
Scouts have been alerted to O'Brien - who is still on schoolboy terms at the club having rejected the chance to sign scholarship forms.
The likes of Arsenal, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Manchester United and Newcastle are believed to be amongst those showing an interest in O'Brien.
QPR know they face a real battle to keep O'Brien and realise if he did leave he could do so at the end of the season with only minimal compensation due to the Championship club. Skysports

Teams for QPR vs Cardiff

Tonight's Teams for QPR at Cardiff

QPR: Camp, Delaney, Mahon, Stewart, Buzsaky, Rowlands, Connolly, Agyemang, Vine, Hall, Leigertwood.
Subs: Mancienne, Blackstock, Lee, Ephraim, Crowther

Cardiff City: Oakes, McNaughton, Capaldi, Rae, Loovens, Whittingham, Parry, Johnson, Ledley, Ramsey, Floyd-Hasselbaink.
Subs: Enckleman, Purse, Sinclair, Thompson, Blake.


Teams for QPR vs Cardiff

Tonight's Teams

Posted on: Tue 29 Jan 2008

Cardiff City: Oakes, McNaughton, Capaldi, Rae, Loovens, Whittingham, Parry, Johnson, Ledley, Ramsey, Floyd-Hasselbaink.

Subs: Enckleman, Purse, Sinclair, Thompson, Blake.

QPR: Camp, Delaney, Mahon, Stewart, Buzsaky, Rowlands, Connolly, Agyemang, Vine, Hall, Leigertwood.

Subs: Mancienne, Blackstock, Lee, Ephraim, Crowther.

Simon Walton Joins Hull: QPR Say Till End of February...Hull Say For Rest of Season

QPR midfielder Simon Walton has joined fellow Championship side Hull City on loan until the end of February.
The 20 year-old, who joined Rangers from Charlton Athletic in the summer, has been restricted to just a handful of appearances since breaking his leg against Fulham in a pre-season friendly.
Walton is in line to make his Tigers debut against Coventry City tonight (Tuesday). QPR

HULL OFFICIAL SITE - City Agree Walton Loan
The Tigers have signed midfielder Simon Walton on loan from Queens Park Rangers.
Should the relevant paperwork be completed in time, Walton is expected to be available for selection for tonight's game against Coventry City and will be with the club until the end of the season. Walton began his career with Leeds United before earning a £500,000 move to Charlton in July 2006.
Loan moves to Ipswich and Cardiff followed before a £200,000 switch to QPR last summer. He has made five appearances for Rangers in the Championship this season. Walton is set to be allocated squad number five. Hull

Ex-QPR John Hollins Appointed Manager of Weymouth

UPDATED: John Hollins now confirmed as manager of Weymouth

BBC Hollins revealed as Weymouth boss
Weymouth have confirmed the appointment of former Chelsea boss John Hollins as their new manager.
The 61-year-old replaces Jason Tindall, who was sacked on Monday with the Terras languishing in 19th place in the Blue Square Premier.
"I've been patiently waiting for the right job and the chance to take over at Weymouth was too tempting a challenge to turn down," said Hollins.
"It's clear that Weymouth is a club with lots of potential and ambition."
Former Chelsea, Arsenal and QPR midfielder Hollins has previously managed at Swansea and Rochdale and in the Blue Square Premier at Crawley Town.
Weymouth chairman Malcolm Curtis said: "After speaking to numerous candidates John was absolutely our first choice for the post.
"His appointment is tremendous in every way for the club. Not only does he bring us experience, professionalism and a passion for the game, but he's also a great ambassador." BBC

Snippets: Ex-QPR John Hollins Reportedly Managerial Favourite

This is Dorset/Ky Capel - Hollins at the helm?
By Ky Capel
MARCUS Browning admits the sacking of Weymouth manager Jason Tindall was "a sad day" but remains keen to stay at the Wessex Stadium.
Browning was brought to the club during the summer by former Bourne-mouth team-mate Tindall, who installed the 36-year-old as his right-hand man as well as being part of the playing staff.
But the midfielder, who would like to continue as assistant boss, is unsure what will happen with the expected arrival of John Hollins as the new Terras chief at a press conference later today (3pm).
Browning told Echosport: "It's a sad day for us but we have got to move on and deal with what life throws at you.
"I would like to carry on as an assistant but I will have to wait and see what the new man wants to do and he may well bring in his own people. I'm in the dark at the moment.
"I took training yesterday and we tried to keep things as normal as we could and we shall do the same today.
"I'm happy to stay, I've got a family to look after and I can't really afford to just pack up and leave."
Tindall was dismissed yesterday morning on the back of a 3-2 defeat at Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday,...
The club are expected to announce the 30-year-old's replacement this afternoon, who is believed to be former Chelsea legend Hollins.
Hollins' last managerial role saw him in charge at league rivals Crawley Town, a post he left in October 2006. Before that, the man who made over 450 appearances for the Blues also managed Swansea City and Rochdale with caretaker stints at QPR and Stockport County.

The Changing Face of QPR

Much has been made in the press about QPR's "big spending" and signing of some nine or ten players. But QPR have also released a slew of players. Added to the players they released last summer (and the year before), and there's been an ongoing turnover of players at Loftus Road. With 60+ hours to go before the transfer window closes, more departures (and arrivals) remain possible. (QPR lead the Championship in the number of players used this season.)

In recent weeks, a number of QPR players have been released - with further players rumoured to be departing. Among those who have left QPR: Dominic Shimmin, Marc Nygaard, Marcus Bignot, Danny Cullip, Nick Ward, Shabbaz Baidoo, Daniel Nardiello, John Curtiss, Steffan Moore, Pat Kanyuka, Kieron St. Aimie. Also: Loans Ben Sahar, Malcolm, Jarrett and Scott Sinclair have returned to their clubs

Others released in the Past Year
A year ago, QPR saw a number of players depart in the weeks leading up to the January transfer window closing: Adam Czerkas, Ian Evatt, Egutu Oliseh, Ugo Ukah (again), Scott Donnelly, Matthew Hislop, Matthew Rose, Jonathan Munday. In addition Tommy Doherty, Sean Thomas and Kevin Gallen went out on loan till the end of the season. After the window closed, Dean Parrett moved to Spurs. And in the summer, Lee Cook of course was sold to Fulham.
At the end of the season, Marc Bircham, Paul Furlong, Kevin Gallen, Paul Jones, Steve Lomas, Mauro Milanese, Simon Royce and Armel Tchakounte were all given free transfers.

Pre-Season: QPR OFFICIAL SITE - June 29, 2007 - NUMBERS UP
2. Marcus BIGNOT
3. Chris BARKER
4. Danny CULLIP
5. Damion STEWART
7. Adam BOLDER
11. Gareth AINSWORTH
12. Jake COLE
14. Martin ROWLANDS
15. Dominic SHIMMIN
16. Ray JONES
17. Lee COOK
18. Stefan MOORE
20. Kieron ST AIMIE
22. Shabazz BAIDOO
23. Stefan BAILEY
27. Samspa TIMOSKA
28. Zesh REHMAN
29. Nick WARD

1. Simon Royce
2. Marcus Bignot
3. Mauro Milanese
4. Ian Evatt
5. Dan Shittu
6. Tommy Doherty
7. Matthew Rose
8. Marc Bircham
9. Nick Ward
10. Kevin Gallen
11. Gareth Ainsworth
12. Jake Cole
14. Martin Rowlands
15. Dominic Shimmin
16. Steve Lomas
17. Lee Cook
18. Stefan Moore
19. Tchakounte-A
20. Scott Donnelly
21. Paul Jones
22. Shabazz Baidoo
23. Stefan Bailey
24. Pat Kanyuka
25. Damion Stewart
26. Sean Thomas
29. Paul Furlong
30. Marc Nygaard
34. Matthew Hislop
35. John Munday

Today, following talks with Gary Waddock, several players have been released from Queens Park Rangers.
Those who still have contracts outstanding will be placed on the transfer list and those who have come to the end of their deals will be released.
Georges Santos, Richard Langley, Sammy Youssouf, Marcin Kus, Ryan Johnson and Luke Townsend will not be offered new deals by the club.
Stefan Moore, Tommy Doherty, Ian Evatt, Ugo Ukah, Marcus Bignot, Steve Lomas, Matthew Hislop and Marc Bircham will all be placed on the transfer list. QPR

Ricketts Reportedly Passes QPR Medical, Will be Signing Three and a Half Year Contract

Jamaica Gleazer/Howard Walker - Ricketts moves to QPR
Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is on his way to League Championship team Queens Park Rangers (QPR) after passing a medical yesterday at Loftus Road.
Ricketts, 30, is expected to sign a three-and-a-half year contract today
with the West London club which play one division below the premier league - a step up of two divisions from his former club Bradford City. The club is expected to apply to the British Home Office for a work permit on Thursday, and according to his agent Phil Graham, it should not be a problem.
Ricketts, whose contract at Bradfod City expires at the end of the current campaign, is not guaranteed a starting place, but Graham told the Observer yesterday that it is a positive move at this time.
Said Graham: "He won't be guaranteed a starting position, but I know he is capable. He has always wanted to play in the League Championship and I have always believed he has the ability do so."
Ricketts, who joined Bradford City in 2004 and made 118 appearances, while keeping 32 clean sheets, has left fellow Reggae Boy Omar Daley at Bradford, but will team up with another Jamaican, Damion Stewart, at his new club.
QPR, who are currently 17th in the 24-team league, have agreed to an undisclosed fee with the League Two outfit Bradford City for the stopper's services.
Bradford City are struggling in 16th place on 32 points from 26 games.
Last August QPR was bought by Formula One tycoons, Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, but the club continues to struggle and is languishing just six points above the relegation zone.
Ricketts started his club career with Village United before he moved to Bradford City where he served as understudy to Paul Henderson until Henderson left for Leicester City.
Ricketts, at age 21, was a part of Jamaica's squad to the 1998 World Cup in France as the third-string goalkeeper behind Warren Barrett and Aaron Lawrence. Jamaica Observer

Bradford Official Site - Stuart McCall sad to see Donovan Ricketts go

Donovan Ricketts was finalising a move to QPR on Tuesday after City made it clear he would have to drop his wages to stay.
The Jamaican keeper was in London for talks on Monday and a deal has been agreed for a "minimal" fee.
City have moved quickly to replace Ricketts by snapping up teenage prospect Scott Loach from Watford for the rest of the season. And he will be in goal against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night, providing the Rangers deal goes through.
Stuart McCall admitted he was sad to see the back of Ricketts, who played 118 games for City with 32 clean sheets.
"Donovan's had a couple of sticky spells but he's always bounced back and I still think he's a smashing lad," said McCall while talking to the Telegraph & Argus. "He's done well for this club and people should look back and think of the penalty saves and acrobatic moments rather than the negatives.
"We spoke to his agent the same time as we were discussing Omar Daley's new deal. The simple fact was we weren't going to be able to give Donovan the money next season that he's on.
"The agent thought he could get more elsewhere and spoke to QPR, who were interested in taking him before the deadline. We get a minimal fee, something we wouldn't in the summer when he'd be out of contract, and also get Donovan off the wage bill now.
"The deal was all ready to go and we couldn't stand in his way, though we would have stopped it if we hadn't got somebody else in."
Ricketts, who joined City from Jamaican club Village United in August 2004, follows former Valley Parade team-mate Damion Stewart to Loftus Road.
McCall has been tracking Loach for some time. The 19-year-old is third choice at Vicarage Road behind Richard Lee and Mart Poom but has earned rave reviews during a brief loan spell with Morecambe.
McCall said: "He's got a good pedigree and comes highly recommended to us. I spoke to Aidy Boothroyd, their goalkeeping coach Alec Chamberlain and Martin Hunter with his Bradford links and they all said good things about him.
"We wanted to bring Scott in a couple of months ago to put pressure on Donovan but Watford would only let him out if he was playing games.
"He's one we've been monitoring since and we're delighted that he's come in now.
"He went to Stafford early on and did ever so well and had a few games with Morecambe, where I saw him play against Macclesfield the other week and save a penal

Telegraph and Argus/Simon Parker City to receive 'minimal' fee for Ricketts
Donovan Ricketts was finalising a move to QPR today after City made it clear he would have to drop his wages to stay.
The Jamaican keeper was in London for talks yesterday and a deal has been agreed for a "minimal" fee.
City have moved quickly to replace Ricketts by snapping up teenage prospect Scott Loach from Watford for the rest of the season. And he will be in goal against Shrewsbury tonight, providing the Rangers deal goes through.
Stuart McCall admitted he was sad to see the back of Ricketts, who played 118 games for City with 32 clean sheets.
"Donovan's had a couple of sticky spells but he's always bounced back and I still think he's a smashing lad," said McCall. "He's done well for this club and people should look back and think of the penalty saves and acrobatic moments rather than the negatives.
"We spoke to his agent the same time as we were discussing Omar Daley's new deal. The simple fact was we weren't going to be able to give Donovan the money next season that he's on.
"The agent thought he could get more elsewhere and spoke to QPR, who were interested in taking him before the deadline. We get a minimal fee, something we wouldn't in the summer when he'd be out of contract, and also get Donovan off the wage bill now.
"The deal was all ready to go and we couldn't stand in his way, though we would have stopped it if we hadn't got somebody else in."
Ricketts, who joined City from Jamaican club Village United in August 2004, follows former Valley Parade team-mate Damion Stewart to Loftus Road.
McCall has been tracking Loach for some time. The 19-year-old is third choice at Vicarage Road behind Richard Lee and Mart Poom but has earned rave reviews during a brief loan spell with Morecambe.
McCall said: "He's got a good pedigree and comes highly recommended to us. I spoke to Aidy Boothroyd, their goalkeeping coach Alec Chamberlain and Martin Hunter with his Bradford links and they all said good things about him.
"We wanted to bring Scott in a couple of months ago to put pressure on Donovan but Watford would only let him out if he was playing games.
"He's one we've been monitoring since and we're delighted that he's come in now.
"He went to Stafford early on and did ever so well and had a few games with Morecambe, where I saw him play against Macclesfield the other week and save a penalty." Telegraph and Argus

Also "Bradford and QPR Agree Fee for Jamaican Goalkeeper, Donovan Ricketts...Player in Talks with QPR

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cardiff Preview "Moneybags Queens Park Rangers" Match

Cardiff Official Site HOME TO THE RANGERS
Moneybags Queens Park Rangers visit Ninian Park on Tuesday night as City return to league action. With a near full midweek Championship fixture list, City will be desperate for the three points to put pressure on those top six spots.
City's eight game unbeaten run has seen us fly up the league table and progress to the last sixteen of the FA Cup. The optimism is back amongst supporters.
Rangers are also enjoying better times, making a steady rise away from the relegation zone. They currently occupy 17th position in the Championship, six points clear of Preston in 22nd. But they are far from safe yet and will be eager to reach the magic fifty points sooner rather than later.
Their upturn in fortunes has coincided with Lakshmi Mittal's arrival in West London. Mittal, the fifth most minted man on the planet bought a 20 per cent stakeholding in the R's in December. The Indian steel magnate topped last year's Sunday Times Rich List with a near £20bn fortune - almost double that of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. He has joined Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone at Loftus Road and already the spending has started.
So far they have parted with over £3.5m during the January transfer window for three players and have brought in a further four on free transfers. One of those additions, Hungarian attacking midfielder Akos Buzsaky, has already bagged six goals in 16 appearances since moving from Plymouth.
Other notable faces added to their squad include defender Fitz Hall who moved from Wigan for a free transfer and striker Rowan Vine who put pen to paper from Birmingham for a cool £1m.
Their last game finished in a comfortable 2-0 victory at home to Barnsley. New signing Patrick Agyemang opened the scoring, latching onto Dexter Blackstock's tidy cross to head home from six yards early on, his second in as many games. Vine then secured the three points from Agyemang's tempting cross in the closing stages of the first half.
Prior to that they were beaten at Sheffield United and were unlucky to lose at Chelsea in the Cup from an own goal by 'keeper Lee Camp.
QPR midfielder Gavin Mahon will return to their squad after he missed their Barnsley fixture through illness. Club captain Adam Bolder also missed that match due to personal reasons but will return to the fray. Former City fullback Chris Barker may feature following a successful hernia operation, but goalkeeper Jake Cole is likely to be sidelined with a bruised thumb.
Also amongst the QPR ranks is former City midfielder Gareth Ainsworth. Ainsworth made just nine league appearances over two months during our successful play-off season of 2002/03 but is fondly remembered by the City faithful for his frantic efforts and rock and roll celebrations.
A number of City players picked up knocks and bruises during our 2-1 win at Hereford on Sunday so Dave Jones will wait until Tuesday morning before evaluating the fitness of his men. Steve Thompson has been suffering with cramp and might not be ready for a second game in three days. Loan goalkeeper Peter Enkelman may have to continue to wait for his chance to impress following a decent display by Michael Oakes at Edgar Street. There may be a place on the bench for Trevor Sinclair returning from injury.
Speaking ahead of the game, Jones told CCWorld: "There's no easy games in this division. QPR have invested a lot of money and brought in plenty of good players they're on a little good run themselves, expectations are high so it becomes a very difficult game. But again, if we can play to our maximum and keep the performance levels high then hopefully we can come away with maximum points."
City faced Rangers in the second league game of the campaign and came away with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Steve MacLean and Paul Parry. Trevor Sinclair's corner was helped across the box by Parry and MacLean was there to swivel the turn the ball home on half hour. Paul Parry put the Bluebirds 2-0 up after a great move down the right culminated in McPhail putting an inch perfect cross into the six yard box and Parry headed past Camp. Cardiff

There were some tired legs after the tough Cup tie at Hereford, but Dave Jones is hoping that everyone will be fit to face QPR.
"I'll just see how they all feel today," he said. "Johnson was struggling to walk and McPhail was feeling his hip. Thommo had cramp which is to be expected as it was his first full game since the Bristol game. We'll get them down the gymnasium, get them on the bikes and in the pool and see how they feel. They're in again tomorrow before the game, so we won't know until then.
"There're no easy games in this division. QPR have invested a lot of money and brought in plenty of good players - they're on a little good run themselves and expectations are high, so it becomes a very difficult game. But again, if we can play to our maximum and keep the performance levels high then hopefully we can come away with maximum points.".....
"If you were going to get one of the big four financially you would want to play away as you get triple the money. It is an old cliché but we will look at the Wolves game when it comes around and the most important game for us is the next one which is QPR on Tuesday night Cardiff

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