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Monday, January 21, 2008

QPR's Hall on Manager De Canio: "He's definitely the most tactical manager I've played under"

Telegraph/Sam Green - QPR magnates net instant on-field return Queens Park Rangers (2) 2 Barnsley (0) 0
Talk of Champions League football and challenging Chelsea has made Loftus Road a giddy place of late. But while the directors' box has welcomed supermodels, an all-together less glamorous cast of footballers have been hired for the more prosaic job of keeping Queens Park Rangers out of League One.
Eight new signings featured on Saturday and two of them - Patrick Agyemang and Rowan Vine - scored the goals that put six points between QPR and the drop zone. Not a bad return for the £5.75 million new owners Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone have committed on players this month.
While the Formula One magnates are associated with Monte Carlo and Monza, Agyemang and Vine cut their teeth at Gillingham, Brentford and Luton. But that does not stop them sharing Briatore's aim of Champions League qualification within four years. "Something big is happening here and I wanted to be part of it," said Agyemang, a £350,000 signing from Preston. "The owners want Champions League football and the players go along with that. With the money they've got, anything is possible."
With Lakshmi Mittal, the fifth richest man in the world, also on the board, QPR have serious clout, yet the manager they have installed is hardly A-list. Luigi de Canio looks more like an Italian Gary Mabbutt than Gianluca Vialli, but the charming former Udinese and Napoli manager is clearly making an impression. "He's definitely the most tactical manager I've played under," said Fitz Hall.
Agyemang put Rangers ahead, exchanging passes with Dexter Blackstock before lobbing goalkeeper Heinz Muller, and though Barnsley responded with some neat passing, they were 2-0 down by half-time. This time Agyemang provided the link-up as Vine slotted home.

Match details:
Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): Camp; Connolly, Stewart (Lee 84), Hall (Mancienne 80), Delaney; Vine, Leigertwood, Rowlands, Buzsaky; Blackstock (Ephraim 89), Agyemang.
Subs: Crowther (g), Balanta.
Goals: Agyemang (5), Vine (45).
Barnsley (4-1-4-1): Muller; Van Homoet, Foster, Souza, Tininho; Hassell; Campbell-Ryce, Leon (Ferenczi 55), Howard, Devaney (Ricketts 70); Coulson (Odejayi 55).
Subs: Kozluk, Togwell.
Ref: R Beeby (Northants). Telegraph

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