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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Snippets: Ex-QPR Yesterday...Two QPR Birthdays..Cullip on QPR and Other Clubs

Yesterday's games: Gary Waddock's Aldershot moved 8 points clear...Stefan Moore got the only goal as Walsall won 1-0 away to Paul Furlong's and Mick Harford/Warren Neil's Luton...Pat Kanyuka went off injured in the first half as Swindon lost 0-1 at home to Leeds. Shabbaz Baidoo did not feature in the 16 as Dagenham won their fifth straight. Simon Walton remained on the bench as Hull lost 2-1 to Bristol City. Nardiello played the first hour for Barnsley against Sheffield Wednesday, while Bolder played the entire game (and was booked, leading to a ban), for Sheffield Wednesday as teams drew 0-0. Ben Sahar came on as a sub for Sheffield. Royce, Cullip, Oli Miller and Griffiths all played for Gillingham who drew 0-0 with Yeovil and Forbes (No Rose or Bircham). Dominic Shimmin played the first 20 minutes for Crawley who lost 3-1. No Kevin Gallen in the MK Dons 16 who beat Chester 1-0. Defeat for Alan McDonald's Glentoran losing 1-2 at home to Donegal Celtic.

QPR's Former England Winger, Trevor Sinclair Turns 35...QPR summer signing, Chris Barker turns 28

Trevor Sinclair Turns 35: Born March 2, 1973.
Signed by Gerry Francis from Blackpool in August 1993 for 600,000 pounds (to replace Andy Sintdon). Sinclair made his QPR debut that same month. Part of QPR's relegation team under Ray Wilkins (which also contained youngsters Gallen, Dichio, Impey, Quashie and Murray). Capped by England Joined West Ham in "a steal" transfer in January 1998. Now at Manchester City. Sinclair at QPR and subsequent career

Chris Barker, QPR's defender signed in the summer from Cardiff after Colchester loan, turns 28. Career

The Argus - Cullip admits he should never have left Albion

And the ex-skipper has revealed how close he came recently to teaming up again with the Seagulls on the training ground.

Cullip quit for Sheffield United in December 2004 after three promotions and one relegation in five years.

The talismanic centre half clashed with Neil Warnock and lasted only eight months at Bramall Lane before moving to Watford on loan, then Nottingham Forest and Queens Park Rangers.

Cullip, poised to return to Withdean for the first time on Tuesday with his latest club Gillingham, said: "It was not so much a fall-out, we just had a clash of personalities.

"At the time I thought it was the right thing to do. Looking back on it now I wouldn't have done it.

"I went from an environment that I was happy in but at the time Sheffield were pushing for the Premiership.

"It's just a chance you take. It didn't work out but that's life. It is not so much about regret for me as regretting uprooting my family."

Cullip's acrimonious exit from the Blades had repercussions when he moved on to Forest. Out of Warnock's plans and resigned to leaving, he hardly played during pre-season and was ill-prepared when he first switched to the City Ground.

He got on much better with Forest chief Gary Megson but was hampered by hamstring trouble and, after 18 months in the East Midlands, took the opportunity to move his family back to Mid Sussex and link up with former Seagull John Gregory at QPR.

He helped Rangers to Championship survival last season but, like Gregory, became a victim of a big money Italian takeover at Loftus Road.

It was after parting company with QPR a few months ago that Cullip, 31, came close to joining forces with Albion once more.

He explained: "I left QPR in November, outside the transfer window, so I couldn't sign for anyone until January 1. I phoned up Brighton to see if it was possible to come down and train, just to tick over, not to play any games.

"For one reason or another it didn't happen. They said no, so in the end I went to Millwall. They were the next closest club and Kenny (Jackett) let me train there for six weeks, which was really good of him.

"Then someone from QPR got in touch with the Gillingham manager and it just went from there.

"I had offers from a couple of northern clubs in the Championship and some League One clubs but I had just moved the family back down here so I just waited until the right offer came along."

Relegation fights are nothing new to Cullip. As well as his experience with QPR last season, he suffered the agony of going down from the Championship on the final day with Steve Coppell's Seagulls in 2003.

That low point came in-between the highs of consecutive title triumphs under Micky Adams and Peter Taylor and leading Mark McGhee's side to promotion via the play-offs.

Now he is relishing the challenge of trying to keep the Gills in League One following a clean sheet debut in a home victory over Huddersfield.

He said: "A relegation fight is not a problem. We all worked hard when Steve was at Brighton and we got some great results.

"Even when I was at Brighton and doing really well we were never the so-called favourites. It was always the clubs with bigger budgets than us, like Reading, Wigan and Tranmere. I don't think we really got the respect we deserved."

Fitness, availability and form permitting, Cullip will be back on the Withdean pitch on Tuesday for the first time since his departure from Albion, among one or two familiar faces and with a warm welcome from a full house surely guaranteed.

He said: "I've played against Brighton twice, once at Sheffield and once at Forest. The fans were magnificent and gave me a great reception.

"It's not really something I think too much about. We have got three very tough away games, starting with Brighton, because we have also got Hartlepool and Doncaster away.

"I see Michel (Kuipers) all the time. He is in Haywards Heath and I drive through there every day. He is Costa Coffee's best customer! We were in there on Tuesday actually.

"I still speak to people in and around the club as well. I have got a lot of time for the people who run the club. They have done a fantastic job and I have got a lot of good friends there behind the scenes." The Argus

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