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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ainsworth and Bignot Proving Their Character...Stefan Moore Leaves QPR

Update: Stefan Moore departs QPR
Striker Stefan Moore has today (Wednesday) had his contract terminated by mutual consent with immediate effect....Queens Park Rangers Football Club would like to place on record its thanks to Stefan for his contribution during his time at Loftus Road and wish him all the best for the future." QPR

Gareth Ainsworth/Kilburn Times- Step on the Gaz 23 January 2008
I ALWAYS thought it would really hurt the day I was fully fit and left out of the squad on matchday.
Last Saturday was the first time that had happened in my career - but, although I'd obviously rather be playing, I felt fine about being out of the 16.
That's because the gaffer's made it clear that he wants me involved. He's told me to be in the dressing room before the game, at half-time and after the final whistle, whether I'm playing or not.
As the senior player in the squad, I enjoy trying to get the younger lads up for the challenge and inspire them. I'm pleased that the gaffer feels I can contribute off the pitch as well as on it. That's something I'd like to think about doing in the future too.
It also says a lot about the gaffer's man-management - and even though his speeches are through a translator, the words are always poignant and from the heart.
When you're younger and left out of the side, there's a tendency to hope someone else will have a bad game, but when you're a bit older you get behind the lads 100 per cent and egg them on as much as anyone else.
I think the squad's really showing its strength in depth - plus we had probably the youngest subs' bench I've ever seen and that bodes well for the future of the club.
We looked comfortable for most of the game and it was good to see two of the newer signings scoring, particularly Pat Agyemang, who I knew from our Wimbledon days.
Even I raised my eyebrows when we signed Pat - he'd never been a 15 to 20 goals a season player - but I can see he's matured and may be the regular scorer that you need if you want to get promoted.
There have been massive changes since the last time we played Cardiff - but maybe the biggest of those has been attitude and spirit.
The gaffer's been instilling a mentality that makes you stop counting how far above the bottom three we are. Now we're looking at the table and working out how many teams we could overtake next week, or how many wins will put us into the top 10.
I think we can definitely pick up another at Cardiff next Tuesday. At the start of the season they looked one of the favourites in this league, but maybe they have talented individuals instead of a team.
We are a team - and I feel very much part of it, whether I'm wearing the shirt or not. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Biggy backs Rs for the big time
MARCUS Bignot is predicting Premier League football for QPR - as he begins life after Loftus Road with the familiar scenario of a relegation battle.
The popular full-back captained Rangers as they escaped the drop into League One last season and believes that achievement has paved the way for future success.
Bignot, who signed for Millwall on a free transfer last week, told the Times: "I take great satisfaction from what we achieved last year and I look on it as such an important part of the club's history.
"The manner in which we stayed up was very satisfying, playing some good football - and, if we hadn't, I don't think there would have been a club to kick off the new season before the new investors came in.
"I feel it was the springboard for what's going on now and it's only a matter of time before QPR are back in the Premier League.
"I'll be delighted when that happens because it's something everyone at the club has been craving for so long."
Now Bignot, 33, is aiming to repeat the trick as he - along with several familiar faces - strives to lift Millwall out of the bottom four in League One.
Former QPR number two Kenny Jackett took charge at the New Den earlier this season, while Joe Gallen and Bobby Bacic have since joined the backroom staff.
Bignot spent two months on loan with the Lions before signing a two and a half year contract and admitted: "My agent worked hard, talking to other clubs - that's his job - and there was interest from elsewhere.
"But if I was going to leave QPR, the only club I wanted to play for was Millwall.
"There's a lot happening in this part of London, especially with the Olympics in 2012, and I didn't want to flit around for the rest of my career.
"I want to get myself up to 500 appearances and I want to do that in the Championship.
"Kenny was so instrumental alongside Ollie when we won promotion at QPR and, having worked with him before, I can only see him doing good things for Millwall.
"We want to get into the Championship, but first and foremost we've got to stay in this division.
"Hopefully that can be the start of things and I've seen it, done it, worn the T-shirt!"
It seemed Bignot's QPR career - totalling four and a half years in two separate spells - would at least continue until the end of this season after he agreed a one-year contract extension last summer.
But the former skipper made just one appearance this season, as a second-half substitute in Rangers' Carling Cup defeat by Leyton Orient, and added: "I wish I'd had a final game, to say goodbye to the supporters.
"I had a great career at QPR and I'd like to thank the supporters, as well as everyone I worked with - players, staff and everyone else.
"I'm a realist and I don't bear any grudges, but I went out the back door, so to speak, and that's my only regret. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times re Leigertwood "- Mikele glad to be mixing it again
MIKELE Leigertwood has vowed he will not change his style of play just to avoid collecting another lengthy ban this season.
The combative midfielder finally returned to the QPR side last Saturday for the 2-0 win over Barnsley, having served a five-match suspension after his Boxing Day red card at Plymouth.
That dismissal, which came after Leigertwood launched a verbal volley towards referee Steve Bratt at the end of a controversial match, was his second since joining Rangers in late August.
Athird in the coming months would land Leigertwood in serious trouble, but the player insisted: "I don't smash people. I just make honest tackles, and that's an important part of my game.
"What I said to the referee at Plymouth was just my passion for the game coming out and, if you don't have that, there's no point in being involved in football.
"Of course I was annoyed with myself because I knew I'd be missing the FA Cup game against Chelsea - and then I couldn't play in the next game against my old club Sheffield United, which I was really looking forward to."
In Leigertwood's absence, QPR have embarked on the biggest spending spree in their history, with eight permanent signings joining the squad at an estimated cost of around £6m.
Among the new arrivals was defensive midfielder Gavin Mahon, while Simon Walton has returned to the squad after missing four months with a broken leg.
That meant Leigertwood's return to the starting line-up against Barnsley was by no means guaranteed and the ex-Wimbledon and Crystal Palace man admitted: "There's always that doubt at the back of your head.
"We're trying to build a strong squad at the moment and there are a lot of fresh faces, so there's always someone to come in when there are injuries and suspensions.
"That means that nobody is missed, but I want the club to do well and I wouldn't rant and rave if I hadn't been back in the team.
"It felt like a very long time and, having not played for a few weeks, I found the adrenaline was buzzing - it got me chasing around and trying to close down the goalkeeper, which is something I don't normally do.
"Barnsley came and set up with one up front, which showed their intentions, but they passed the ball well without really hurting us. The main thing was that we got the three points."
Now Leigertwood - who played for Palace during their incredible spring surge of 2004, when they went from the relegation zone to winning the play-offs, is aiming to nudge his current club up the Championship table as quickly as possible.
With a blank Saturday due to the FA Cup fourth round, Rangers return to action next Tuesday when they travel to face Cardiff at Ninian Park.
Leigertwood observed: "We have to respect Cardiff - they almost beat West Brom in their last league game - but we have to approach this in a positive manner, that's what Luigi de Canio has made clear to us.
"With the squad we've got now, I don't think we should be fearful of anyone. Only a few weeks ago, people would be looking at fixtures and thinking 'QPR are going to lose'.
"But now I think people can see there's a bit more quality from the way we've been approaching games. Everything's changing quite quickly, but hopefully for the better. Kilburn Times

Also: Richard Pacquette hopes to return to the Football League
"...I look at every game as being in the shop window - hopefully I can show people I'm still about, still hungry and I want to get back into the league.
"I've never lost hope of getting back there and seeing what people like [ex-Yeading striker] DJ Campbell have done has given me more drive to keep going....
"[The Millenium Final]t was definitely the highlight of my career at QPR.
"I was so happy the day before when Ollie told me I was starting in the final. We had a tight unit at QPR and Cardiff was a great experience - it was just a shame about the result.
"I still speak to Paul Furlong quite a bit - he was always someone who helped me and gave me advice, and I'm also in contact with people like Terrell Forbes and Marcus Bean.
"But every footballer wants to play at places like Liverpool and I think the opportunity to be part of this is just going to edge it over the play-off final..." - Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times

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