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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

QPR Players in England U-21 Squad

England U-21 squad announced for the May 15 England U-21 games against Wales: Matt Connolly and Dexter Blackstock named to the squad. Also Michael Mancienne and Cranie and Martin Cranie - Full England U-21 Squad

Rangers trio Dexter Blackstock, Matt Connolly and Michael Mancienne have been called up to the England Under-21 squad for the forthcoming friendly international against Wales.
Following the draw with Poland in Wolverhampton in March, the Young Lions will be hoping to taste victory at The Racecourse Ground on Thursday 15th May, as they continue their build up towards the last European Championship qualifier against Portugal in September.
Former R's loanee Martin Cranie has also been named in Stuart Pearce's squad, after missing the majority of the season owing to the injury he sustained against Coventry City in November.
The squad in full is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Hart, Heaton, Lewis.
Defenders: Connolly, Cranie, Dann, Fox, Mancienne, Shawcross, Taylor, Wheater.
Midfielders: Cattermole, A Johnson, M Johnson, Kightly, Leadbitter, Muamba, Noble, O'Hara.
Forwards: Agbonlahor, Blackstock, Campbell, Walcott

Looking Back and Looking Forward:- Perspectives of Gavin Mahon, Mikele Leigertwood & Gareth Ainsworth

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Gavin Mahon: "Gav can get back on that bus"

GAVIN Mahon believes QPR need a change of attitude next season to meet the expectations that will be heaped upon the club.
Rangers' owners have made clear their ambition to oversee a promotion challenge from a club who have floundered in the lower regions of the Championship - and below - for most of the last decade.
Mahon is familiar with the sudden transformation in a club's fortunes, having spent three years battling relegation with Watford prior to the arrival of Adrian Boothroyd.
"I remember Adie's first words were 'get this season out of the way, then we'll get promoted next year'," Mahon recalled. "Everyone thought 'hang on a minute!'
"I'll never forget the first day we came back for pre-season, he had a room at the back of the training ground with 30-odd chairs in two or three lines and one at the front.
"He sat at the front and said 'this is the bus to the Premiership, does anyone fancy getting on board?' He gave us that belief, even though we didn't have the best players and we had the confidence to keep doing what we were doing.
"As the season went on, we realised we could achieve something special. That's what we need at QPR - we've definitely got the talent, we just need to have that belief.
"We all know what needs to be achieved at this club and I've said the squad of players we've got here is better than the squad when Watford got promoted."
And since his move to Loftus Road at the turn of the year, the combative midfielder has noticed a mental fragility that manifests itself all too often in the QPR side.
Rangers have surrendered a total of 10 points through last-minute goals since Luigi de Canio took charge and, but for their inability to defend a lead, might well have been able to mount a genuine play-off challenge.
"Half-time in the game against Burnley summed it up for me," said Mahon. "We were 2-1 up at home and the lads' heads were down. I was thinking 'this shouldn't be happening after we've played 40 minutes of good football'.
"We've talked about fitness levels and concentration, which maybe we need to work on, and belief we can pull a result through. Even when you're not playing so well, you have to be hard to beat.
"We want teams coming off the pitch knowing they've been in a game and maybe that means experienced players taking more responsibility to keep the youngsters going.
"Whether it's ugly or scrappy, just see the game out and move on to the next one. If we go one down, it's not the end of the world and that's the mentality we need to get through to all the players."
If Mahon can help to bring that change about, his one-season love affair with the Premier League could yet be rekindled in a Rangers shirt. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Mikele Leigertwood -Mikele aims to match Baggies next year
MIKELE Leigertwood believes QPR can set down a marker for next season by ending the campaign on a high against promoted West Brom this weekend.
Three points for the Baggies at Loftus Road on Sunday would clinch the Championship title, but Rangers are anxious to bounce back from the disappointment of a 3-0 thumping at Norwich.
That defeat ended Rangers' seven-game unbeaten run and midfielder Leigertwood told the Times: "We wanted to stay undefeated for the rest of the season, but that's gone now.
"West Brom will be looking to win the league, but we're at home and we've got to give a good account of ourselves against the top players and in front of our own fans.
"We need to show that we can be up there next season. We haven't got anything to play for apart from our pride, but everyone's passionate about putting on the shirt and giving their best."
Leigertwood was serving a suspension when the Rs last met West Brom, but the embarrassing memory of a 5-1 defeat that prompted the dismissal of manager John Gregory still rankles.
And the former Crystal Palace and Sheffield United man has no doubts about the positive transformation Rangers have undergone since that miserable September afternoon.
He added: "We owe West Brom one after getting beaten heavily at their place, so we'll be looking to turn that around on Sunday and end the season on a high.
"From that day, we've come a long way, with a change of management and changes in the playing staff, and of course we've had our ups and downs.
"We've been on a few unbeaten runs and probably haven't got as many points as we'd have liked overall, but we're going to stay positive and I hope next season we can really push for the top."
QPR will be without defender Damion Stewart for their final game of the season after their appeal against his red card at Norwich was turned down by the FA.
Referee Phil Joslin sent Stewart off after a minor challenge on Norwich's Ched Evans, who was then sent flying by what looked a much more forceful one from Lee Camp.
But the decision was upheld and Stewart will also be banned for the first game of next season as the red card was his second this campaign. Kilburn Times

Kilburn Times - Gareth Ainsworth
WEST Brom might be going for the title on Sunday, but we don't want to give them anything - instead we want to send out a message to the entire Football League.
Our opponents are on their way to the Premier League, but we want to be in their shoes this time next year. It's a great opportunity to look at West Brom, respect what they've achieved and think about where we want to be.
It's only seven months since the last time we played West Brom, but it feels like an eternity because so much has changed since then.
This is the new QPR and we want to be successful. I believe we've got even more potential than West Brom and the key to realising it, in my eyes, is desire more than skill.
Congratulations to West Brom, though. There are one or two aggressive, long-ball merchants in the top six this season, but Tony Mowbray's boys have consistently been the best footballing side and it's one of the rare occasions when the cream has risen to the top.
Whoever else goes up this season, I'd say West Brom are the most likely to survive because of their style.
We've played some good football ourselves since the gaffer arrived and one thing I'm certain of is that you'll see a different game from the one at the Hawthorns.
Of course, it'd help if we can keep 11 men on the pitch - a problem that made life very difficult at Norwich last Saturday.
Like thousands of others, I couldn't understand why Damion was sent off - he did push the guy, but surely the referee couldn't construe it as a professional foul.
I don't understand why we lost the appeal either. Maybe it's a case of not wanting to undermine the referee, but I really feel for Damion.
I feel for Reece Crowther as well - he was getting ready to come on for his debut because we all assumed it was Campy who'd be off.
It also meant I broke a personal record when myself and Hogan were sacrificed - that's certainly the quickest I've ever been substituted!
The supporters deserve a mention for the way they sang all afternoon despite the way the game was going.
I take my hat off to them - it's easy to go and see your team just round the corner, but travelling long distances is another matter and I can't wait for us to give those fans something to really cheer. Kilburn Times

Ex-QPR (and Arsenal!) Frank McClintock Profiled and Interviewed "They were four of the best years of my life..."

Yet another very fine profile and interview from the QPR Official Site. This time, QPR's Championship Winning (almost) Defender Frank McClintock.
Signed by Gordon Jago after we won promotion, McClintock helped QPR consolidate in the (old) First Division, and then under Dave Sexton, almost win the Championship, and almost win in Europe. A sign of how much on-the-field leadership, QPR in those days had, was that Mclintock was not actually captain of QPR (That was Terry Venables and then Gerry Francis)

QPR Official Site BLAST FROM THE PAST - Frank McClintock
In our latest instalment of exclusive past player interviews on www.qpr.co.uk, former R's legend Frank McLintock comes under the spotlight.
Few players achieve legendary status at more than one Football Club - Frank McLintock is the exception to the rule.
When McLintock arrived at Loftus Road in 1973, he was already a legend of the beautiful game on the back of his memorable nine-year spell with North London giants Arsenal.
When he retired from professional football in 1977, his glowing reputation had reached arguably even greater heights in W12.
Described by former R's boss John Gregory as 'the first player I'd buy if I had the pick of any QPR players past and present,' McLintock joined Rangers for a paltry £20,000 in the summer of 1973.
"Bertie Mee (the Arsenal Manager) didn't think I was capable of playing in the top flight any more, but I knew I could still produce the goods at the highest level,'' McLintock told www.qpr.co.uk.
"It (joining QPR) was a simple choice to make - I didn't want my family to leave London.
"I knew very little about QPR as a Club, but they'd recently got promoted so I saw it as a great opportunity, a great challenge if you like.
"I didn't go there expecting much, but I received one of the biggest surprises of my life.''
Indeed, having carved out a successful playing career down the road at Highbury, many viewed McLintock's move to Loftus Road as a step in the wrong direction.
However, in a QPR side full of flamboyance and guile, McLintock embodied the desire and will-to-win that saw Rangers - in Frank's own words - emerge as one of the 'greatest teams in the land.'
"The quality within the QPR squad was something else. It took me totally by surprise,'' he told www.qpr.co.uk.
"Gordon Jago was a real gentleman and Bobby Campbell the coach made me feel really welcome.
"I arrived at QPR intent on proving a point to Bertie Mee and as it contrived a few years later, Arsenal dropped down the table and we were up there competing for the title.''
After finishing eighth and eleventh respectively in McLintock's first two seasons in W12, Rangers mounted a serious charge for title in the 1975/76 campaign.
"We were the best football team in the country that year, probably in the whole of Britain. It was a magnificent team to play for.
"There was a great spine to the side. Phil (Parkes) was probably the number one keeper in the land at the time, up there with (Gordon) Banks as the best ever.
"Myself and Webby (Dave Webb) formed a nice little partnership at the back and Don Masson and Dave Thomas were class too. Don made the step up from division three side Notts County look so simple - it was amazing.
"And then we had Gerry (Francis) and Stan (Bowles) - two of the best players ever to have graced the game. Gerry was just a fraction behind Stan, but they were both absolute class - a joy to play with.
"It was a joy to behold playing in that team and the team spirit at the time was as good as I'd known throughout my playing career.''
With just three matches of the season remaining, Rangers held a slender one point advantage over fellow title contenders Liverpool.
Victory in all three fixtures would guarantee them the coveted Championship - but as fans of the beautiful game know only too well - football is anything but straightforward.
Easter Saturday 1976 presented Rangers with a tricky away trip to Norwich City - and as R's fans now know - it was an afternoon which saw their title dreams all but evaporate.
"We just made a mistake against Norwich in our final away game,'' recalled McLintock.
"Dave Clement didn't get enough weight on his header back to Phil (Parkes) and their striker nipped in to score.''
For the record, Norwich ran out narrow 3-2 victors, while Liverpool thumped Stoke City 5-2 at Anfield.
Rangers now had to win their last two matches and hope that Liverpool lost one of their two remaining away games.
The R's did all they could by beating Arsenal on Easter Monday, but the Reds also produced the goods, scoring three without reply against Manchester City.
On the last Saturday of the season, QPR were at home to Leeds United and in front of their largest gate of the season - 31,002 - eased to a 2-0 win.
Unbelievably though, Liverpool weren't playing their all-important final match of the season until ten days later due to international commitments. The wait was almost unbearable: "It was a crazy situation really - the type that wouldn't happen in the present day,'' recalled McLintock.
"I owned a pub at the time. There were about 35-40 journalists down there for Liverpool's final game of the season against Wolverhampton. They'd all come along to get my reaction to winning another piece of silverware, or so I hoped!
"We were all listening to it on the radio. They were one down with 15 minutes to go, but scored three to win the Championship and the rest is history.
"It was such a disappointment, but so typical of that Liverpool side.''
Despite that setback, McLintock insists he has nothing but fond memories of his time in W12.
"They were four of the best years of my life,'' he said.
"I was so happy during my time at QPR and that's me speaking straight from the heart
.'' QPR

QPR "Bad Boys" Update

With one game remaining , QPR are "chasing" Coventry and Plymouth to be the "baddest" club in the Division. Plymouth are currently leading QPR with 647 fouls to QPR's 642. And Coventry have 88 yellow cards and 4 to QPR's 86 Yellow and 5 red. (Given that Coventry are striving to avoid relegation, one would think that would ensure a number of additional yellow cards in their final game!) Burnley have 83 Yellow and 8 Red. And a special place for Scunthorpe who "earned" only 64 yellow cards but have a division record 10 Reds. Given that promoted West Bromwich Albion have 53 yellow cards and 3 red and a couple of other promotion chasers also have a comparatively low number of yellow cards, clearly fouls and yellow cards are not necessary to win promotion.

QPR's record is actually a vast improvement over last season. In the last few seasons, QPR have consistently ranked near the top in having a poor disciplinary record. Last season, in 2006-2007, QPR had 105 yellow cards and 3 Reds. In 2005-2006, QPR had 79 Yellow and 8 Red cards In 2004-2005, QPR's disciplinary Record: 71 Yellow, 3 Red - Disciplinary Stats

Football League Club Discipline

Club F Y R P

Coventry City 622 88 4 6
Plymouth 647 73 2 3
Sheffield Utd 592 74 4 6
Leicester City 616 71 4 5
Charlton 613 75 6 4
QPR 642 86 5 3
Burnley 611 83 8 6
Barnsley 565 80 6 4
Hull City 592 73 4 1
Wolves 563 62 0 7
Stoke City 577 79 2 4
Crystal Palace 593 68 1 3
Norwich City 547 78 7 5
Scunthorpe 581 64 10 6
Southampton 554 54 3 3
Watford 529 67 4 2
WBA 462 53 3 3
Preston 529 76 4 5
Bristol City 538 63 3 4
Cardiff City 468 55 3 5
Ipswich Town 502 54 5 6
Sheffield Wed 468 72 3 3
Blackpool 461 48 4 7
Colchester 482 55 5 6
Football League

Martin Rowlands 10 Yellows and Mikele Leighterwood 8 Yellow and 1 red battling it out. (Rowlands of course having played more games!) Adam Bolder with 7 yellows from 20 games + 4 as sub gets special mention. QPR

Player F Y R P F Y R P F Y R P
Martin Rowlands 72 10 0 0 1 0 0 0 73 10 0 0
Mikele Leigertwood 68 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 68 8 1 0
Dexter Blackstock 61 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 61 2 1 0
Rowan Vine 53 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 53 6 0 0
Damion Stewart 50 7 2 1 1 0 0 0 51 7 2 1
Michael Mancienne 37 5 0 1 1 0 0 0 38 5 0 1
Adam Bolder 36 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 36 7 0 0
Akos Buzsaky 33 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 33 6 0 0
Marc Nygaard 29 3 0 0 3 0 0 0 32 3 0 0
Gareth Ainsworth 23 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 2 0 0
Damien Delaney 19 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 5 0 0
Chris Barker 18 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 18 3 0 0
Zeshan Rehman 15 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 17 2 0 0
Hogan Ephraim 15 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 16 1 1 0
Gavin Mahon 15 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 16 0 0 0
Matthew Connolly 15 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 4 0 0
Fitz Hall 13 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 15 3 0 0
Patrick Agyemang 13 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 15 0 0 0
Robert Malcolm 12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 1 0 0
Stefan Moore 10 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 12 0 0 0
F = Fouls Commited
Y = Yellow Cards
R = Red Cards
P = Penalties Conceded
FLC = Coca-Cola Football League Championship
CUPS = The FA Cup,Carling Cup

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ex-QPR Snippets: Nikki Bull's First Born...QPR's Ex-Nigerian Player Perspective....Paul Murray Recovery

Aldershot Official Site Date: Fri 25 Apr 2008.

Congratulations to the Bull Family
Congratulations to Nikki and Rebekah Bull after the safe arrival of their daughter and first child Darcy Rose on Friday. The new born baby weighed 7lbs 8oz.

{Perhaps that's why Bull was on the Aldershot bench for their last game!} Aldershot

[We knew him - in his very brief period at QPR - as Egutu Oliseh]

Nigerian Daily Sun - REBUILD EAGLES
•Oliseh tasks Amodu
By COSMAS OMEGOH Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nigerian-born Montpellier Sports Club of France midfielder, Egwuatu Oliseh has charged Super Eagles new Head Coach, Shuaibu Amodu to rebuild the team.

While commending Amodu’s recent appointment, he said the Edo-born tactician must take a cue from other Africa’s indigenous coaches that featured at the last Nations Cup in Ghana, and pull the Eagles out of the woods.

"I wish to commend the NFA for their recent appointment of Shuiabu Amodu as Eagles chief coach,” Oliseh who is the younger brother of Azubuike and former Super Eagles’ captain, Sunday Oliseh said.

"Amodu is coming at a time there is increasing call for an indigenous coach for the national team. I think his appointment was appropriate. An indigenous coach is sure to do his best to rebuild the team.
"I watched the last Nations Cup in Ghana, and was pleasantly surprised that the Egyptian team that lifted the tournament’s trophy had an indigenous coach. Even countries like Sudan and Angola came to the championship with indigenous coaches, and they played excellent football.

In fact, what we all saw at that championship was an eye opener that football in other lands is on the up swing. And we cannot which that away. If that feat could be achieved by indigenous coaches, one only hopes that our own coaches can do better, if they are encouraged.

"And for Amodu, the onus is on him now to rebuild the team. He needs to work hard now so that the Super Eagles can take their rightful place on the continent. If he is able to achieve that within a short time, that will go a long way to show that the Ghana 2008 debacle was indeed a mistake," he said.
He told Saturday Sunsport that sad memories of Super Eagles outing at Ghana 2008 still hunts him. He said he could not see major reasons for Eagles quarter final ouster by Ghana. He noted that the Super Eagles were always a star-studded side, but regretted that the team paraded in Ghana lacked cohesion.

"As a Nigerian, I follow every game involving the Super Eagles. I watched every game played by the team at the last Nations Cup. What can anyone say about a defense that featured Joseph Yobo, Danny Shittu, Taiye Taiwo with Austin Ejide in goal. What about the midfield where Mikel Obi played and the attack involving Obafemi Martins, Nwankwo Kanu and Yakubu Aiyegbeni. All these are tested and talented players. But one thing that let them down was cohesion. This is very important in the success of every team," he noted.

As Amodu steps forward to rebuild confidence in the team, he said team work was a vital aspect he must work on.
"One of the big tasks before Amodu now is to work on team spirit. That is the strength of any team," he said.
Commenting on the recent 27players invited by Amodu to face Austria in an international friendly match, Oliseh said that was good but tasked the coach to look further and see more Nigerians doing well in other leagues across the world.

"Nigeria is a big country with so many talented players within and outside. Such players need to be invited to fight for shirts and prove themselves. They need to show what they can do, and where they impress, they can contribute to the good of the team."

The former Queens Park Rangers of England player further tasked Amodu to investigate why some players refuse to honour national call-up. He said it was the desire of every player to play for his country, but if the contrary was the case, it meant that there was something wrong.

"Every player enjoys playing for his national team. When you are ill-treated in your club, there is always a place to return to and that is your national side. But if we have players refusing national call-up, that means there is something wrong somewhere. Perhaps, they are not treated well. That is what the coach needs to find out," he concluded. Sun

Gretna's Ex-QPR Paul Murray, still recovering from broken Ribs.

The De Canio Era: Marking His First Six Months at QPR

Today marks the six months point since Luigi De Canio was officially announced as QPR's new manager (rather than the reported to be Francesco Guidolin), replacing Caretaker Manager Mick Harford (who himself replaced John Gregory who in turn had replaced Gary Waddock who had replaced Ian Holloway who had replaced...and so on!) At the time of the appointment, there were a number of messageboard posters expressing discontent that Harford had not been given a longer period to prove himself.

De Canio's record thus far (taking over a relegation-doomed looking team): is 47 points from 33 league games. With one game remaining QPR currently have 58 points from 45 games (Home: 10 wins, 6 draws, 6 defeats. Away 4 wins 10 draws, 9 defeats - League Table - Also: QPR Stats in 2007-2008

SITUATION AT THE TIME of De Canio's Appointment
When De Canio took over, QPR had 11 points from 12 games, one place off the bottom and 9 points away from the playoff spot - 15 points behind second place Bristol City (Home: 1 win out of 6; away: 1 win out of 6). But for the last unbeaten 4 games under Mick Harford (2 wins and 8 points) the situation would have looked even worse. 1 point from 2 games in August; 2 points from 5 games in September; 8 points from 5 games in October. Rowlands was QPR's top scorer with 2 goals.

Flashback QPR's team for their opening game at Bristol City, back in August:
QPR: Camp, Rehman, Stewart, Mancienne, Curtis, Rowlands, Bolder, Bailey, Moore, Blackstock (Nygaard 69), Nardiello (Ephraim 59). Subs: Bignot, Cullip, Cole.
[Ben Sahar had appendicitis just prior to the game.)

And QPR's team for Harford's game in charge: Their win at Charlton:
QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Mancienne, Bolder, Rowlands, Ephraim, Vine, Nygaard, Leigertwood, Cranie. Subs: Cole, Bignot, Ainsworth, Sahar, Moore

League Table
P GD Points
1 Watford 13 12 32
2 Bristol City 13 8 26

3 West Brom 13 12 23
4 Ipswich 12 5 21
5 Wolverhampton 13 2 21
6 Stoke 13 2 20

7 Plymouth 13 2 20
8 Charlton 13 2 19
9 Scunthorpe 13 0 19
10 Southampton 13 -3 19
11 Coventry 13 -3 18
12 Burnley 12 1 17
13 Barnsley 13 -3 17
14 Hull 13 2 16
15 Leicester 12 3 15
16 Colchester 13 0 14
17 Cardiff 13 -1 14
18 Preston 13 -1 14
19 Sheff Utd 13 -2 14
20 Blackpool 13 -3 13
21 Sheff Wed 13 -9 12
22 Crystal Palace 13 -4 11
23 QPR 12 -11 11
24 Norwich 13 -11 8

Since De Canio took over, QPR, blessed with their new money, have brought in a number of players who obviously weren't available to previous manager John Gregory. But the style of football has vastly improved. A considerable number of players have left the club including Curtis, Bolder, Moore, Nygaard, Nardiello, Bignot, Cullip, Ben Sahar, Sinclair.
The first De Canio era signing: October 30, 2007 (although obviously the signing itself was not made by De Canio as may be true of all the signings) - Buzsaky Signs for QPR...Given #10 Shirt Others who have joined either permanently or on loan: Delaney, Connolly, Agyemang, Hall, Mahon, Pickens, Lee, and Vine and Ephraim signing permanently.
Already in this first six month period, there have been media reports - denied by the club - questioning the length of De Canio's stay at QPR.

Monday, October 29, 2007: Luigi De Canio Appointed Manager of QPR- Official Announcement
De Canio has been officially appointed QPR manager on a 2 1/2 year contract. Mick Harford leaves QPR immediately. And theQPR Directory is already updated.

Queens Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Luigi De Canio as First Team Coach.
The contract period runs until the end of the 2009/10 season.
The 50 year-old has an extensive coaching pedigree having taken charge of Udinese, Napoli, Reggina, Genoa and most recently Siena in Serie A - who he helped keep in the top-flight for two consecutive seasons before leaving.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, De Canio said: "I am very excited at this fantastic opportunity to join Queens Park Rangers as their First Team Coach.
"For me, it will be an honour to work for Queens Park Rangers, a Club which is backed by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, two businessmen with an incredible track-record of success in sport and other fields.
"I would like to thank them and tell them I will not disappoint their expectations. I am fully committed to the project and I am looking forward to getting to work with the players in preparation for our forthcoming home fixture against Hull City on Saturday."
On behalf of the new management of QPR, Chairman Gianni Paladini expressed his delight at the capture of De Canio, commenting: "The Club is going through a phase of total restructuring and for us the appointment of Luigi De Canio is the first important step ahead in our long-term strategy.
"De Canio is a highly motivated professional, whose dynamic and aggressive approach fits perfectly with the image and philosophy of the new Management."
Paladini added: "De Canio is fully aware of the high standards and objectives that the new Management has set for the future of the Club, and he is ready and eager to take up the challenge"
Mick Harford, who has acted as Caretaker Manager since the departure of John Gregory in early October, has left the Club with immediate effect.
Paladini added: "We offered Mick a role within the new set-up and we're disappointed that he has turned this down. He has done a fantastic job since he arrived here in the summer and his contribution will never be forgotten.
"We all wish him the very best for the future."
*The Club will be making no further comment at this stage. QPR

De Canio Profiled - QPR Official Site
After a ten year playing career in the Italian lower leagues, Luigi De Canio started his coaching career in the late nineties with Pisticci, who he guided to Serie D.
He spent four more seasons with the Club, before joining Serie C outfit Savoia during the 1993/94 campaign.
De Canio enjoyed a successful start to life at his new Club, leading them to promotion, albeit via the play-off's, in his first season in charge.
A switch to Serie C1 side Siena followed in 1995/96, with De Canio achieving an eighth place finish in his first season in charge of the Robur.
Short stints at Carpi and Lucchese followed, before De Canio showed his undoubted managerial credentials at Pescara.
He led the Club to the brink of promotion to Serie A, which led to interest from a number of top-flight Clubs in the Italian league, including Udinese, who secured his services in 1999/2000.
De Canio adjusted to life in the top-flight accordingly, guiding the Biaconeri to an eighth place finish and a place in the UEFA Intertoto Cup.
UEFA Cup football duly followed after a successful Intertoto campaign, but despite an encouraging start to the new season, a dreadful run of form, which culminated with a home defeat to Parma, resulted in his departure in March 2001.
Napoli swooped to secure his services in 2001/02, but a fifth place finish in Serie B was deemed a failure and De Canio consequently parted company with the Azzurri.
Serie A Club Reggina was his next port of call, before De Canio replaced the legendary Roberto Donadoni at the helm of Serie B side Genoa.
Despite staving off the ever-looming threat of relegation with a 16th place finish, De Canio was sacked on the eve of the 2004/05 campaign.
He spent six months out of the game before re-joining Siena, whom he managed a decade earlier. Fourteenth and seventeenth placed finishes followed, prior to the appointment of Mario Beretta for the start of the 2006/07 season.
Today, in his 28th season in the professional game, he joins Queens Park Rangers as First Team Manager, succeeding Caretaker Manager Mick Harford. QPR

See Also: Wikipedia Profile of De Canio Wikipedia on Luigi De Canio
Teams managed
QPR Report

Warren Neil Leaves QPR

Italian duo Iuri Bartoli and Paolo Pavese have joined the QPR backroom team.
Bartoli, 37, and 50 year-old Pavese met the Rangers first team squad this morning, ahead of Luigi De Canio's first training session in the QPR hot-seat.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, De Canio welcomed his two new coaches to Loftus Road, commenting: "I'm very happy to have them both with me.
"I've worked with them both before and I know they are both very capable coaches.
"They are very enthusiastic and looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead."
Former Rangers defender Warren Neill, who joined the R's coaching staff midway through the 2006/07 campaign, has followed in Mick Harford's footsteps by leaving the Club. QPR

Also: Photos from the First Day of the New "regime" - QPR Training Photos

How De Canio's Appointment was Announced and Reported at the Time (Six Months Ago!)
Guardian "Former Napoli and Siena manager Luigi De Canio has been given the laughably easy task of doing a better job at QPR than his predecessor, John Gregory. "For me, it will be an honour to work for QPR, a club which is backed by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, two businessmen with an incredible track record of success in sport and other fields," said De Canio with one eye on his Christmas bonus. Caretaker manager Mick Harford has left after turning down a coaching role at the club. Guardian

TELEGRAPH - De Canio steps in as QPR look to future
By Jeremy Wilson
Queens Park Rangers hope the "dynamic and aggressive approach" of new manager Luigi de Canio will help lift the club from the bottom three of the Championship.
De Canio has spent almost 20 years as a coach in Italy, most recently in Serie A with Siena, whom he helped keep in the top flight for two consecutive seasons before leaving last year. The 50-year-old former Udinese, Napoli, Reggina and Genoa manager yesterday agreed a contract with QPR until the end of the 2009-10 season.
"For me, it will be an honour to work for Queens Park Rangers, a club which is backed by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, two businessmen with an incredible track record of success in sport and other fields," De Canio said.
"I would like to thank them and tell them I will not disappoint their expectations. I am fully committed to the project and I am looking forward to getting to work with the players."
QPR chairman Gianni Paladini believes De Canio will fit in with the club's ambitions and new management structure. "The club is going through a phase of restructuring and the appointment of De Canio is the first important step in our long-term strategy," he said.
"De Canio is a motivated professional, whose dynamic and aggressive approach fits perfectly with the image and philosophy of the new management.
"He is aware of the high standards the new management has set for the future, and he is ready to take up the challenge."
Mick Harford, caretaker manager since the departure of John Gregory four weeks ago, turned down a role with De Canio and has left the club.
"We offered Mick a role within the new set-up and we're disappointed that he has turned this down," Paladini said. "He has done a fantastic job since he arrived in the summer."
Gregory was sacked after QPR picked up only three points from seven league matches. Harford has since gained two draws and two wins.
Briatore and Ecclestone have had a £14 million takeover bid recommended and hope to take QPR into the Premier League within four years. Telegraph
QPR Report

Mail -QPR ditch Harford and give job to De Canio
QPR have appointed former Napoli and Siena boss Luigi De Canio as their new first-team coach, according to the club's website.
Caretaker manager Mick Harford has left the Championship club.
The 50-year-old succeeds John Gregory, who was sacked four weeks ago today, and has agreed a contract at Loftus Road until the end of the 2009-10 season.
Mick Harford, who led Rangers to two wins and two draws as caretaker manager to guide them off the foot of the Coca-Cola Championship table, turned down a coaching role at the club and has left with immediate effect. Mail

Goal.com - Luigi De Canio Takes Charge At QPR
Former Siena and Napoli manager Luigi De Canio has been named as the new boss of English second-tier outfit Queen's Park Rangers...
Queen's Park Rangers have announced that Luigi De Canio has taken over as first team manager.
The Loftus Road club confirmed this morning that the ex-Napoli coach will take immediate charge of the struggling outfit, with the Italian boss eager to get started.
He remarked to the official club website, "I am very excited to have this fantastic opportunity - it will be an honour.
"I am looking forward to getting to work with the players in preparation for our game against Hull on Saturday."
The Championship strugglers are currently second bottom of the table with 11 points from 12 games, although a win against Hull City could potentially lift them into the safety zone.
John Gregory was fired as boss at the Shepherd's Bush team earlier in the season, with Mick Hartford now leaving the club after being relieved of his caretaker managerial duties in favour of De Canio.
The experienced 50 year old has penned a three year deal at Loftus Road for his first management job since leaving Siena in 2006.
Previously, he served clubs including Genoa, Reggina, Napoli and Udinese as boss, having had an undistinguished career as a player with clubs ranging from Serie C2 to Serie B.
The Italian connection at QPR runs as far as presidential level, the current club chief being Gianni Paladini. Goal.com

BBC - Former Napoli boss takes QPR role
De Canio is the new first-team coach at Loftus Road
Queens Park Rangers have confirmed the appointment of Italian Luigi de Canio as first team coach.
The 50-year-old has led Udinese, Napoli, Reggina, Genoa and more recently Siena. He has signed a three-year contract at Loftus Road.
Mick Harford, who had been in caretaker charge following the recent sacking of John Gregory, has left the club.
"I am very excited at this fantastic opportunity. It will be an honour," De Canio told QPR's website.
"I am looking forward to getting to work with the players in preparation for our game against Hull on Saturday."
The incoming new owners at QPR - a group fronted by Formula One magnates Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone - were keen to appoint an Italian.
They turned to De Canio after a bid to install former Palermo and Monaco boss Franceso Guidolin stalled.
"De Canio is fully aware of the high standards and objectives that the new management has set for the future of the club," said chairman Gianni Paladini.
"He is ready and eager to take up the challenge."
Paladini added: "We offered Mick Harford a role within the new set-up and we're disappointed that he turned it down.
"He has done a fantastic job and his contribution will never be forgotten.
"The club is going through a phase of total restructuring and for us, the appointment of Luigi de Canio is the first important step ahead in our long-term strategy." BBC

The Times - October 29, 2007 Luigi De Canio confirmed as QPR coach Times Online and Agencies
Queen's Park Rangers have appointed Luigi De Canio as their new first-team coach.

The former Napoli and Siena manager succeeds John Gregory and has agreed a contract at Loftus Road until the end of the 2009-10 season. Gregory was sacked a month ago.
Mick Harford, who led Rangers to two wins and two draws as caretaker manager to guide them off the foot of the Coca-Cola Championship, turned down a coaching role at the club and has left with immediate effect.
De Canio has also managed Udinese, Reggina and Genoa and notably kept unfashionable Siena in Serie A for two seasons before leaving last summer.
"I am very excited at this fantastic opportunity to join Queens Park Rangers as their first-team coach," De Canio said.
"For me it will be an honour to work for QPR, a club which is backed by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, two businessmen with an incredible track record of success in sport and other fields.
"I would like to thank them and I will not disappoint their expectations. I am fully committed to the project and I am looking forward to getting to work with the players in preparation for our forthcoming home fixture against Hull City on Saturday."
Gianni Paladini, the QPR chairman, said: "The club is going through a phase of total restructuring and the appointment is the first important step in our long-term strategy.
"De Canio is a highly-motivated professional whose dynamic and aggressive approach fits perfectly with the image and philosophy of the new management."
Harford left his role as assistant manager at Colchester in the summer to become Gregory's No 2, and had expressed his desire to take on the permanent job. "We offered Mick a role within the new set-up and we're disappointed he has turned this down," Paladini said. "He has done a fantastic job since he arrived and his contribution will never be forgotten." The Times

Telegraph - Luigi De Canio named as new QPR coach By Patrick Nathanson and agencies
QPR have appointed former Napoli manager Luigi De Canio as their new first-team coach.
De Canio, 50, succeeds John Gregory, who was sacked four weeks ago today, and has agreed a contract at Loftus Road until the end of the 2009-10 season.
Mick Harford, who led Rangers to two wins and two draws as caretaker manager to guide them off the foot of the Coca-Cola Championship table, turned down a coaching role at the club and has left with immediate effect.
De Canio has also managed Reggina and Genoa and notably kept unfashionable Siena in Serie A for two seasons before leaving last summer.
"I am very excited at this fantastic opportunity to join Queens Park Rangers as their first-team coach," he said.
"For me it will be an honour to work for QPR, a club which is backed by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, two businessmen with an incredible track record of success in sport and other fields.
"I would like to thank them and I will not disappoint their expectations. I am fully committed to the project and I am looking forward to getting to work with the players in preparation for our forthcoming home fixture against Hull City on Saturday."
QPR chairman Gianni Paladini said: "The club is going through a phase of total restructuring and the appointment is the first important step in our long-term strategy.
"De Canio is a highly-motivated professional whose dynamic and aggressive approach fits perfectly with the image and philosophy of the new management." Telegraph

AP - Queens Park Rangers appoints Luigi de Canio as coach on contract until 2010
LONDON: Queens Park Rangers appointed Luigi de Canio as its first team coach on Monday on a contract until 2010.
De Canio replaced John Gregory who was fired a month ago by the League Championship side.
De Canio, 50, has coached Italian clubs Udinese, Napoli, Reggina, Genoa and Siena. He left Siena at the end of the 2005-06 season — after twice helping the club avoid relegation from the Serie A — and hasn't coached since.
De Canio said he was lured to QPR by new owners, Formula One heavyweights Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore.
"I would like to thank them and tell them I will not disappoint their expectations," De Canio said. "I am fully committed to the project and am looking forward to getting to work with the players."
De Canio's first game in charge is against Hull on Saturday.
QPR chairman Gianni Paladini said De Canio's appointment was part of a total restructuring of the west London club.
"De Canio is a highly motivated professional whose dynamic and aggressive approach fits perfectly with the image and philosophy of the new management," Paladini said.
Mick Harford, who led Rangers to two wins and two draws as caretaker manager, left the club Monday after turning down a coaching role.
QPR is in 23rd place out of 24 teams in the League Championship — the division below the Premier League — with 11 points from 12 games. AP
QPR Report

Monday, April 28, 2008

Snippets: Ex-QPR Jon Munday Released by Harriers...Watford on Shittu Award...QPR's Stewart Appeal

As the season comes to an end, clubs are announcing the names of players being retained or being released

Harriers offer six new deals
HARRIERS are waiting for six players to sign new deals after offering them contracts for the 2008-2009 season in the Blue Sqaure Premier.
Manager Mark Yates has offered Iyseden Chrstie, Matthew Barnes-Homer, Brian Smikle, Simon Russell, Andy Ferrell and keeper Dean Coleman new deals to stay at Aggborough.
The sextet have yet to put pen to paper as Harriers try to rebuild the squad for next season.
Yates is also still in talks with defender Gavin Hurren and keeper Chris MacKenzie about new deals.
Former Queens Park Rangers defender Jon Munday and left-back Johnny Harkness have been released by Harriers.
Northern Irish born Harkness has joined Irish League side Linfield.
Michael Blackwood, who has spent the last four months on loan at Oxford United, has also left the club.
"We wish these players good luck in their future careers," said Yates.
"We'd like to thank them for all their efforts during their time with the club...."
. Report

DAN Shittu has capped his impressive season by making it into the PFA Championship Team of the Season.
The defender has also enjoyed his best season to date in front of goal with a staggering nine goals to his name so far.
With 37 appearances so far this campaign, Shittu has been a man mountain at the back for the Hornets.
He was also recently instilled into the Show Racism the Red Card Hall of Fame for his work with the organisation. Shittu is in the team alongside ex-Hornets Kevin Phillips and Paul Robinson. Watford

QPR have formally lodged an appeal to the Football Association following Damion Stewart's sending off against Norwich City on Saturday.
The Jamaican international was giving his marching orders inside the opening five minutes at Carrow Road, as ten-man Rangers slumped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat.
Speaking after the defeat, R's First Team Coach Luigi De Canio bemoaned the decision to send Stewart off, commenting: "I didn't think Damion deserved to go.
"Referees have to make split-second decisions, and it can be difficult for them, but I feel we were unlucky." QPR

Snippets: Safety for Tony Roberts' Dagenham...Memorial for Robbie James...Simon Royce Award...Gianni Paladini's Fourth Anniversary

BBC - Still hails Daggers 'fairytale'
Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still says the feeling of surviving relegation from League Two on Saturday was even better than winning promotion.
The Daggers came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Darlington to ensure safety.
Still told BBC London 94.9: "They've been fantastic all season, and the achievement of staying up far outweighs coming up last year.
"The boys that came up were legends last year, and the boys that have kept us up are even bigger legends."
He added: "On our resources, we are a million miles behind the worst off club in this league, it's an absolute fairytale." BBC

See also Dagenham Official Site

Wales on Sunday/Lisa Jones - Legend Robbie’s bust is unveiled
A BRONZE bust of former Wales and Swansea football legend Robbie James was yesterday unveiled to a crowd of the city’s faithful.
The midfielder’s teenage son Luke did the honours at the club’s Liberty Stadium, surrounded by many of his dad’s team-mates from the late 1970s and early 1980s, ahead of the Swans’ last home match of the season against Leyton Orient.
James, who won 47 Welsh caps, collapsed and died while playing for Llanelli in 1998, aged 40.
The bronze bust (right) was the brainchild of his son Luke and will stand near the stadium’s ticket office.
He said: “I just wanted something so everyone would remember him. At the start I did not know how it would go but many people have really helped and I would like to say a big thank-you to them.
“I’ve seen it (the bust) and I’m really pleased with it. When I saw it I was gobsmacked – it looks exactly like him.”
Swansea-born James played almost 400 games for Swansea and did stints with Cardiff, Stoke, QPR, Leicester and Bradford.
He’s contributed to Swansea’s rise from the Fourth to the First Division between 1978 and 1981. Wales on Sunday

The son of Swansea and Wales soccer legend Robbie James said he just could not get over the likeness to his father of a bust unveiled at the Liberty Stadium this weekend. ..... The bust, which was unveiled before the Swans thumped Leyton Orient 4-1, is a fitting tribute to the sporting legacy left by one of Vetch Field's all-time greats, a man who played in all four divisions of the Football League during the Swans' epic rise to the heights of the old Division One during the glory years of the 1980s.
Kind-hearted fans, including some who were too young to be among those who were thrilled to witness Robbie's surging runs and rocket shots, raised around £7,000 for the unique memorial..... Report

Simon Royce - Gillingham Official Site - Royce Wins Sponsors' Player Of The Year
Gillingham goalkeeper Simon Royce has won the 2007/08 Sponsors' Player of the Year award.
The 36 year old beat off the challenge of defender Simon King and midfielder Adam Miller for the award chosen by the staff of KRBS.
Gillingham Official Site

Four Years Ago, today came the announcement: Gianni Paladini Bought into QPR

BBC - Paladini buys stake in QPRItalian businessman and agent Gianni Paladini has bought a 22% stake in Queens Park Rangers.
Paladini, who has represented Fabrizio Ravanelli and Benito Carbone, has invested around £650,000 and more cash may follow in the future.
QPR have been seeking investors since coming out of administration in 2002....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Former QPR Defender Makes PFA Championship Team of The Year

Congratulations to Danny Shittu! Linked on the messageboards to a return to QPR.

"When you've had a fans' song penned in your honour, you know you're on the way. 'Chim chimeny, Chim chimeny Chim, chim, cher-oo, who needs Sol Campbell, when we've got Shittu? - the chant of the Watford fans say it all about the player who made his name at QPR."

Players Football Association (PFA) -
In addition to voting for the Players' Player and Young Player of the Year, PFA members are also asked to select their star performers in each of the four divisions of the best league in the world. Here are the players the pros have named in their Divisional Teams of the Year....

For the second season in a row a Wolves' keeper has made the Championship team of the year with brilliant, young Welsh international Wayne Hennessey unseating Matthew Murray at club and divisional level alike. Made his name on loan at Stockport, and now doing likewise back at Molineux.

Bradley has had a few scrapes, on and off the field, during his career so far but, having established himself as first choice right back at Bristol City, he is enjoying his best footballing spell ever. City are on course for promotion and the former Newcastle player is now an award winner.

Having spent the early part of his career at Manchester United and, having had a successful loan spell at Royal Antwerp in Belgium, Ryan is now making great strides with promotion-chasing Stoke City - and in January of this year he also celebrated winning his first England Under 21 cap.

When you've had a fans' song penned in your honour, you know you're on the way. 'Chim chimeny, Chim chimeny Chim, chim, cher-oo, who needs Sol Campbell, when we've got Shittu? - the chant of the Watford fans say it all about the player who made his name at QPR.

Albion fans love 'Robbo' for his 'never-say-die' attitude and he has been a key figure in the Baggies' push for promotion after a £1.5million possible move to Wigan fell through. He has learned to add discipline to his endeavour and will be a big player during the run-in.

Whatever he achieves in the rest of his career, Barnsley skipper Brian will always be remembered as the man who scored the dramatic late, winning goal at Anfield to beat Liverpool in the FA Cup, so setting up a quarter final showdown with Chelsea the Tykes also won.

As a Millwall player, Marvin appeared in the 2004 FA Cup Final team that lost to Manchester United before moving on to Bristol City at the start of what is proving to be a memorable one for the Robins - he's chipped in with a few goals too!

Having started his career at Mansfield and developed his talent at Sunderland, Liam has become a firm favourite at the Britannia Stadium, winning over the fans with his committed, determined style - and an eye for scoring the odd spectacular goal or two.

The Albion midfielder has been described as 'a player who can spray the ball around like a quarterback' and that ability has made him a popular and influential figure at both West Brom and Middlesbrough, who he joined from Manchester United. A former England Under 21 international with 17 caps at that level.

Crystal Palace, Hearts (loan), Preston, Portsmouth, Southampton and Ipswich (loan) have all been on the Jamaican international's ports of call, but he seems pretty settled at Stoke where his goals have helped fire the club into promotion contention.

They don't call him 'Super Kev' for nothing and the former England striker who broke the Sunderland record for most post-war goals - including 30 in one Premier League season - is still doing the business for the Baggies with a goal-every-two-games ratio. - PFA

Also: PFA Players of the Year for All Four Divisions - PFA Teams of The Year

"QPR Richer than Chelsea"

Obviously not! But the wealthiest person in England, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List" is the part-owner of QPR, Lakshmi Mittal and Family. (#2 is Chelsea Roman Abramovich) Same #1 and #2 as last year. Slipping to #24 (last year #20) is another part-owner of QPR, Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone.

Sunday Times Rich List 2008 - Top 150

Sunday Time

And the Mittal Family stands at #6 in the "WORLD's Richest List
" - World Richest List

QPR's Norwich Loss - Reports and Comments

Reports on QPR's 0-3 loss at Norwich. QPR have 58 points with one game remaining. Updated Table

Sunday Mirror/Dave Smith - Canaries get safe

Norwich preserved their Championship status thanks to a spirited display, a passionate home crowd - and a helpful referee.
Rangers were unlucky to have defender Damion Stewart sent off after just five minutes and Norwich took full advantage.
Two minutes later, man-of-the-match Ched Evans scored from an unmarked position - where Stewart might have been - and there was no way back for the Luigi De Canio's side.
Norwich skipper Mark Fotheringham made it 2-0 and, with other results going their way, it was celebration time for the Carrow Road faithful.
Darel Russell made sure of the win with a clever lob from some distance as QPR keeper Lee Camp went on a kamikaze mission.
Norwich boss Glenn Roeder said: "We don't really want to be celebrating just staying in the Championship, but it is a great achievement.
"To have had eight points on the board in November and be where we are today is unbelievable."
Rangers must have known it wasn't going to be their day when a series of early incidents went against them.
Just moments after Angelo Balanta had seen his shot saved by David Marshall, the visitors were reduced to 10 men.
Stewart was adjudged to be the guilty party following a three-man collision also involving Camp and Evans. But it was no more than a tangle of bodies, and Rangers were rightly aggrieved.
Evans quickly piled on the agony when he volleyed home in stunning fashion.
Darren Huckerby, Ryan Bertrand and Evans then went close and it was only a matter of time before the Canaries struck again.
The second goal finally came on 56 minutes when Fotheringham fired home with the aid of a kind deflection. Then Russell but the icing on the cake seven minutes from time.
Qpr boss De Canio said: "To lose a player so early on was always going to make it difficult, but I have to accept the referee's decision."
The Norwich fans paid special tribute to veteran Dion Dublin, who came off the bench for a late cameo on his last home game before retiring.
Roeder said: "It has been an honour to be Dion's manager. Our fans voted him their player of the year, and rightly so."
Marshall 6, Otsemobor 7, Shackell 6, Huckerby 7, Cureton 6 (Dublin 5), Fotheringham 7, Gibbs 6 (Russell 6), Bertrand 7, Pattison 6 (Chadwick 4), Doherty 6, EVANS 8.
Manager Roeder 8
Camp 5, Delaney 6, Mahon 6, Stewart 4, Mancienne 7, Blackstock 6, Ainsworth 4 (Leigertwood 5), Rowlands 6, Connolly 6, Ephraim 4 (Rehman 5), Balanta 6.
Manager De Canio 6
Referee P Joslin 5
A class act up front Sunday Mirror

SUNDAY PEOPLE - Mel Henderson

Glenn Roeder hailed his fine achievement of keeping Norwich in the Championship as the highlight of his managerial career.

Ten-man Rangers, one defeat in their previous 12 games, got off lightly.

Goals by teenager Ched Evans, skipper Mark Fotheringham and substitute Darel Russell made it mission accomplished.

Roeder, who took charge six months ago with the Canaries four points adrift at the bottom of the table, said:

"We don't want to celebrate because we've stayed up. But such was the position we found ourselves in when I came here, it's only right that we do.

"You tell me the last team to have just eight points in November and stay up.

I've had good and bad days in football management but this is probably the best of the lot."

Rangers looked in the mood from the kick-off as Colombian youngster Angelo Balanta forced Canaries keeper David Marshall into a fine one-handed save.

But the Londoners never recovered from the fifth-minute dismissal of Jamaican international defender Damion Stewart for a professional foul.

Boss Luigi De Canio said: "The referee only has a split second to decide and therefore we accept it. It's not my job to judge the referee - my thoughts on him I will keep to myself.

"Being a man down and a goal down, the task ahead was really hard."

The Hoops could have suffered a real drubbing. Norwich missed a host of chances after Evans, on loan from Manchester City, fired them in front in the seventh minute. But Matty Pattison, Darren Huckerby, Kieran Gibbs, Jamie Cureton and Evans were all off target as Rangers looked in complete disarray.

The one-way traffic continued after the restart when Matt Connolly's goal-line clearance denied Evans a second.

But Norwich eventually extended their lead when Fotheringham's low shot struck the heel of sub Zeshan Rehman to wrong-foot Lee Camp.

And then keeper Camp made a suicidal dash from his area to gift the Canaries one of the most bizarre goals of this, or any other season. He made three fruitless attempts to win the ball before it ran free for substitute Russell to float it 40 yards into an empty net.

Norwich: Marshall 7 - Otsemobor 7, Doherty 6, Shackell 6, Bertrand 7 - Huckerby 7, *FOTHERINGHAM 8, Pattison 7, Gibbs 6 (Russell, 78mins) - Evans 7, Cureton 6.

Qpr: Camp 5 - Delaney 5, Mancienne 5, Stewart 4, Connolly 5 - Ainsworth 4 (Leigertwood, 8mins, 5), *ROWLAND 6, Mahon 5, Ephraim 4 (Rehman, 8mins, 5) - Balanta 5, Blackstock 5. Ref: P Joslin 6.
Sunday People

Norwich City win to secure safety

DION DUBLIN narrowly missed out on providing the ultimate fairytale finish to his career – but Norwich supporters will have happily settled for the victory that secured their Championship status for another season.

The Canaries had this match by the scruff of the neck as early as the seventh minute. By that time they were one up, courtesy of Ched Evans’s 10th goal of the season, and were also playing against 10 men after the dismissal of Rangers defender Damion Stewart.

Glenn Roeder’s side, who were bottom of the table when he took over six months ago, went on to win at a canter, with second-half goals from captain Mark Fotheringham and substitute Darel Russell completing the job after a string of missed chances.

By then the stage was set for Dublin, who entered the fray to a rapturous reception with a little under 15 minutes remaining to make his final appearance at Carrow Road.

The 39-year-old striker, who will retire at the end of the season, almost made it a sensational finale when he tried his luck from inside his own half with as cleanly a struck volley as you are ever likely to see. Sadly for his adoring fans, QPR keeper Lee Camp, who had gone walkabout to give Norwich their third goal, saved it.

Norwich did not look back from the moment Stewart saw red in the fourth minutes for a shove on Evans as the Welshman chased a clearance from goalkeeper David Marshall. Camp also clattered into the on-loan striker, but referee Phil Joslin decided it was Stewart who had to go and the Rangers back four was still at sixes and sevens a few minutes later when Darren Huckerby’s cross fell for Evans to volley home.

As has been the case so often this season, Norwich were wasteful in front of goal after that, with Matty Pattison, Huckerby and Jamie Cureton all failing to hit the target and Ryan Bertrand firing against the upright.

Any possibility of a nervous finale for Norwich disappeared 11 minutes after the restart when Fotheringham tried his luck from outside the area and was delighted to see a deflection off substitute Zesh Rehman divert the ball into the net past the wrong-footed Camp.

The Rangers keeper had no chance with that one, but he was at fault with City’s third goal in the 82nd minute. He had raced out of his area and Russell was on target with his 40-yard effort to make Camp look rather stupid.

Star man:
Ched Evans(Norwich)

Player ratings.

Norwich City:
Marshall 7, Otsemobor 7, Shackell 7, Doherty 7, Bertrand 8, Huckerby 7, Pattison 6 (Chadwick 63min), Fotheringham 7, Gibbs 7 (Russell 77), Cureton 6 (Dublin 77min), Evans 8.

Camp 5, Mancienne 6, Stewart 5, Connolly 5, Delaney 7, Ephraim 5 (Rehman 28min 6), Mahon 6, Rowlands 7, Ainsworth 5 (Leigertwood 32min, 6), Balanta 5, Blackstock 5


Norwich:Evans 7, Fotheringham 55, Russell 83 Sunday Times

Posted on: Sat 26 Apr 2008
Luigi De Canio was left ruing referee Phil Joslin's fifth minute decision to dismiss R's defender Damion Stewart as QPR went down 3-0 at Norwich City.

Stewart's sending off stunned the Rangers First Team Coach, who told www.qpr.co.uk afterwards: "The referee made some crucial errors, and that cost us today.

"Maybe Norwich would have won the match even if the sending off hadn't happened.

"They had far more to play for than we did, but we will never know that now because of that early decision."

"We have to accept the judgement of the referee, even if we don't necessarily agree with it.

"Referees have to make split-second decisions, and it can be difficult for them, but I feel we were unlucky with an important one today."

Moments after Stewart's departure, Ched Evans opened the scoring for the hosts, forcing De Canio into a double substitution in the eighth minute.

Hogan Ephraim and Gareth Ainsworth were replaced by Mikele Leigertwood and Zesh Rehman.

"We needed to keep two up front to give us any chance," De Canio explained, "but when the deflected effort gave them their second goal in the second half, we ran out of options.

"The red card and the deflected goal rather summed up our day.

"We did what was possible. The task was really difficult after the sending off, but I am pleased with the players' efforts.

"They never stopped running and we kept fighting until the end." QPR


PROUD City boss Glenn Roeder today saluted the collective effort by everyone at the Club to battle to secure Championship status for next season.

The comfortable 3-0 win over Queen's Park Rangers at Carrow Road means City are mathematically safe from the threat of relegation to League One - and Roeder said this was a magnificent achievement considering the situation he inherited when he took over in November.

"I can't think of too many other teams who have had eight points in November and managed to achieve safety at the end of the season. At times we were one defeat away from needing snookers!

"All of the lads and the staff deserve so much credit for ensuring we stayed up this year, they really do. What they have achieved is magnificent taken in the right context. I'm not saying we should celebrate staying up in the grand scheme of things for this Club because we should be aiming a lot, lot higher than that.

"But in the context of where we were in November I think the fans, who were wonderful again today by the way, are entitled to spend a couple of days celebrating today's result and what that means.

"I thought they played superbly well under pressure today. Don't forget we had three teenagers out there today and they will have learned a lot from the experience of playing in such a massive, massive match for this football club."

Roeder also saluted Dion Dublin, the subject of emotional support from City's biggest crowd of the season before, during and after the game when the players walked around Carrow Road to acknowledge the best supporters in the Championship.

"I have known Dion since '97 and he is a fantastic player and a wonderful human being. I just don't think there is another Dion Dublin out there, just as there isn't another Alan Shearer out there. These kind of players are different class and it's been a real pleasure to work with Dion," he commented.

Finally asked to comment on speculation regarding Darren Huckerby's contractual situation, Roeder said: "It would be totally wrong for me to start talking to the media about players' futures before I've sat down and talked to them about it. When the time is right we'll talk to the media about it, but not now." Norwich

- Report

The QPR-Real Madrid agreement

Sunday Mirror Rory Smith - Exclusive Football: Real deal to boost Rangers

Real Madrid are set to help turn Queens Park Rangers from Championship also-rans into Champions League material.
The Spanish giants have agreed to send youth team players and reserves to the Loftus Road outfit on loan after a meeting between club co-owner Flavio Briatore and Real supremo Ramon Calderon.
But there is just one catch - QPR have to be promoted to the Premier League before the deal kicks in.
Calderon met Briatore - as well as partner Bernie Ecclestone and chief executive Alejandro Agag - at the start of qualifying for today's Spanish Grand Prix.
He visited the Renault base in the paddock at Montmelo and then had lunch with Agag and the Italian.
And it is thought they have agreed in principle a deal which would allow Real to blood their prospects in the hurly-burly of English football whhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifile giving QPR use of some of the best young talent in Europe.
Real would allow QPR first refusal on stars of the Madrid side's feted youth teams or senior players who find themselves surplus to requirements.
That would mean QPR having access to players of the quality of ex-Liverpool keeper Jerzy Dudek, Argentine international Javier Saviola or Italian striker Antonio Cassano.
Briatore sees the deal as the perfect way to boost QPR's chances of becoming a side capable of challenging for the Champions League places. Sunday Mirror

Also This from Yesterday re QPR and Real Madrid QPR-Real Madrid

Note: Get Familiar with Real Madrid!
Real Madrid's English language Website

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Norwich vs QPR - Teams

Defensive subs bench!

QPR: Camp, Delaney, Mahon, Stewart, Mancienne, Blackstock, Ainsworth, Rowlands, Connolly, Ephraim, Balanta. Subs: Barker, Lee, Rehman, Leigertwood, Crowther

Norwich City: Marshall, Otsemobor, Shackell, Huckerby, Cureton, Fotheringham, Gibbs, Bertrand, Pattison, Doherty, Evans. Subs: Croft, Dublin, Chadwick, Pearce, Russell.

QPR and Real Madrid!

AFP - Renault chief Briatore in talks with Real Madrid over QPR

Renault team chief Flavio Briatore and his fellow-director of English soccer club Queens Park Rangers, Bernie Ecclestone, the ring-master of Formula One, held two hours of talks with Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon late Friday.
The trio, all friends and fans of twice Formula One drivers world champion Fernando Alonso and major investors in modern European sport, were locked in the upstairs office of the Renault F1 team motor home at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Sources close to the Renault team said the three men are believed to have discussed possible cooperation between Real Madrid and Queens Park Rangers, an English league club, relating to the loan of players and exchange of technical information and possibly coaching staff.

Briatore and Ecclestone took over as owners of QPR three months ago and after clearing the club's debts declared an ambition to gain promotion to the English Premier League and qualify for the UEFA Champions League by 2012.

Calderon's Real Madrid are the most successful club in the history of the European Cup and not only have a huge squad of international players, but are also very influential in Spanish soccer.

A tie-up between the two clubs in which they help each other with player loans - young Madrid players being loaned to QPR and developed in London in readiness to force their way into the star-studded Real first team - is widely expected.

Briatore, one of the richest men in Formula One, has operated as the chairman of QPR since their takeover along with Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. The director general of QPR is Alejandro Agag, a close friend of Alonso who is a football fan and a life-long supporter of Real Madrid.

Calderon stayed at the Renault motor home and then joined Briatore in the Renault garage for most of the practice sessions while multi-billionaire Ecclestone busied himself with his 'day job' in the paddock at the Circuit de Catalunya.

"We had a nice meeting," was the only comment Briatore would make. Report

Flashback One Year - Fan Forum with Gregory, Paladini and Bignot

One year ago today, April26, 2007, a QPR Fan Forum was held with Chairman Paladini, Manager Gregory and Captain Bignot which was broadcast live on BBC London and QPR World.

Last night saw another successful Fans Forum take place at Loftus Road.
Chariman Gianni Paladini, Manager John Gregory and Captain Marcus Bignot fielded a host of questions from supporters on a variety of topics, ranging from out-of-contract players to the new pricing structure for season tickets."

Two very comprehensive reports/transcripts of the Fan Forum were posted:

- Dave's Queens Park Rangers Site Dave's Queens Park Rangers Site - Fan Forum Report

Clive Whittingham/QPR Rivals - Fan Forum Report/Transcript on Rivals is no longer operative. But the Official Site also posted Clive Whittingham Forum Transcript (with a few minor edits and without the commentary) - QPR Official Site

More From Ex-QPR's Dave Clement Son on His Father, Daughter and QPR


Promotion hat-tricks in football are as rare as bus passengers with the correct change, but Neil Clement is on the brink of a unique treble. By tonight, West Bromwich Albion defender Clement could be celebrating his third elevation to the PremierLeague in five years with the same club under different managers....
In a nostalgic twist, Clement could clinch the Championship title in his 300th game for Albion next Sunday at Queens Park Rangers, where Clement's late father Dave is still a Hoops legend, with his five-year-old daughter Olivia as mascot.
Dry your eyes
, settle down and pay attention. The Baggies are not there yet. But even chocoholic manager Tony Mowbray knows only the crumbliest, flakiest defence would blow it now. The only player who comes close to matching Clement's achievement is Malky Mackay, who went up to the Premier League three years running with Norwich, West Ham and Watford. But Clement's feat would be something special for a footballing family in which his brother, Paul, is academy coach at beaten FA Youth Cup finalists Chelsea.
Neil, 29, said: "This time promotion would mean more to me, simply because I've had to come through a serious injury and some difficulties off the pitch. I would love to seal the title at QPR because of the emotional aspect. I hope my little girl will come out on the pitch with me because I have pictures on the wall at home of me running out at Loftus Road when I was only three years old.
"It would be nice if we could make it three generations of the Clement dynasty who have kicked a ball on that pitch. If my dad's looking down onus, I hope the last two games of the season will make him proud. He's sorely missed by the whole family, but his name lives on.
"Even 25 years later, QPR fans come up to me and say: 'Your old man was a legend' - which is a great tribute to him in itself. But what makes it even more special is when people tell me what a nice fella he was.
"People say his QPR team of 1975-6, who were pipped to the title by Liverpool, were the best side never to be champions so I'm just proud to be following in those footsteps.... Mirror

Times- Neil Clement hoping to celebrate two promotions in one season
Peter Lansley

"...Talking of going back home, Clement can envisage clinching a first title medal next week away to Queens Park Rangers, for whom his father, Dave, played for 14 years before his career ended in tragic fashion. Having moved on to Wimbledon, he broke a leg and, believing that his career was over, fell into depression and committed suicide.
“Of course it would be nice to put the seal on it at QPR because of the emotional aspect,” Clement said. “I hope my little girl [Olivia, 5] will come out on the pitch with me because I have pictures on the wall at home of me running out at Loftus Road when I was only 3. It would be nice if we could make it three generations of the Clement dynasty who have kicked a ball on that pitch.
“If my dad's looking down on us, I hope the last two games of the season will make him proud. He's sorely missed by the whole family, but his name lives on. Even 25 years on, QPR fans come up to me and say ‘your old man was a legend' - which is a great tribute in itself - but what makes it even more special is when people tell me what a nice fellow he was.”
Clement is relishing playing for such high stakes again and he believes that another promotion would be all the sweeter for the period he spent out of the game. “It was a tough time,” he said. “Some days were gruelling and it was tough to stay mentally focused. I never thought I couldn't do it. The loan period at Hull really made it strong and good. I worked hard in the gym...The Times

Also yesterday's QPR Report re Neil Clement

Lee Cook Returning to QPR

According to today's Mirror (Of course every QPR fan has already heard this very strong rumour - often reported as fact. Until his signing is actually announced, it remains in the air.)
Update: Today's BBC Gossip has "Midfielder Lee Cook is set for a return to QPR after failing to settle at Fulham. (Various)" BBC Gossip

Daily Mirror - Fan Cook returns to Rangers
Lee Cook is set for a quick return to QPR after a failed move to Fulham.
Cook (above) has been a flop at Craven Cottage after joining for £2.5m last summer before quickly getting injured.
Qpr now have cash, but were penniless when Rangers fan Cook moved in July and gave his £250,000 signing-on fee to the club. - Mirror

Friday, April 25, 2008

Warm Story re Ex-QPR's Dave Clement's Son, Neil Clement Talking About QPR and WBA, Milestone at Loftus Road and His Daughter as Mascot for The Day

There is an obvious special place in the heart of QPR fans for Dave Clement.

Express and Star Clem set for emotional milestone

Neil Clement is hoping to complete a “dream” return from injury hell by making his 300th Albion appearance next week at the footballing home of his father

And the Baggies’ longest-serving player is hoping to make next Sunday’s emotional trip to QPR a real family affair – by persuading young daughter Olivia to become a mascot.

The defender is in line to reach his Albion triple century at Loftus Road, where his father Dave spent 14 years as a player.

Tragically, Dave took his own life in 1982 believing his career was over after suffering a broken leg.

Neil was just three but he still feels the emotional ties to Loftus Road, where his last appearance coincidentally came on the 25th anniversary of his dad’s death. And he is acutely aware of the potential significance of reaching a career milestone at Loftus Road, hopefully having clinched an unprecedented third promotion with Albion and helped the club to the Championship title.“Hopefully I can make all of this come true because it is almost like a dream,” he said.

“If I stay fit and stay in the team it would be my 300th game at my old man’s old club. I am trying to get my little girl to be mascot but she is a little bit nervous at the moment. It would be a proud moment.”

Clement has played at QPR just three times before as an Albion player, and he revealed in the past how special it is to return to the former stomping ground of his father, who won five England caps.

“I love going to QPR and trying to do my best,” he said. “The fans remember my dad very well at Rangers and I hope some of that comes out whenever I play there. I’m proud of what he achieved.”

A triple-century of Albion appearance is not the only piece of history that beckons for Clement. He is on the brink of becoming the first player ever to win promotion three times in Baggies colours. And he reckons this promotion would trump his previous successes.

“This time would cap it all. The team has played some smashing football,” he added. Express and Star

Man United's Alex Ferguson Talking About QPR

Sir Alex Ferguson believes QPR have a 'great opportunity' to realise their dream of returning to the top tier of English football.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk earlier today, Ferguson - whose charges were training at Loftus Road ahead of their crucial Premiership showdown against Chelsea tomorrow lunchtime - spoke in glowing terms of the new 'feel-good' factor that exists in W12.
"The takeover has caught everyone's eye," he said.
"You (QPR) have great financial backing behind you and that can only bode well for the future.
"This is a Club with great purpose and a very strong structure.
"Ambition is a wonderful thing and an admirable quality to have."
Ferguson, who appeared relaxed and determined ahead of the Champions' trip to Stamford Bridge, added: "I love Loftus Road - it's a fantastic ground.
"I've got very fond memories of the Club.
"We've had some great battles here over the years. Big Les was always a handful for us and Alan McDonald and Darren Peacock gave us all sorts of problems."

Buzsaky on Enjoying QPR and QPR Bosses' Promotion Expectations

Eurosport - Championship - QPR bosses 'demand promotion'

Exclusive! Queens Park Rangers and Hungary midfield star Akos Buzsaky has told Eurosport that the club's new owners will expect promotion next season - and that the players in the squad are capable of achieving it.

Buzsaky has been a sensation since arriving from Plymouth Argyle on loan in October, joining Rangers permanently in January and notching 10 goals to guide the Hoops from the relegation zone to safety.

Buzsaky revealed that he owes a debt to the west London club after they showed more faith in him than his previous employers in the west country.

"Here they believe in me more than at Plymouth," he told us. "I had a good time there but there always comes a time when you need a change and a new challenge. Then I just got in some good form and started scoring goals.

"I came to QPR because there is a good chance of going up. The club has a future and more chance of reaching the Premier League than Plymouth.

"I am 25 years old and in two or three years I want to go up. I think we will because I always try to do my best and so do the team, which is already better than when I arrived.

"My season with QPR has been great. I have enjoyed it."

Buzsaky said that the squad will be added to in the close season, which will lead to higher expectations from powerful owners Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, of Formula One fame.

"In the summer of course I expect new players to arrive," he continued. "The squad is only 20 players, a little bit short; but I don't expect massive changes.

"The players who were bought in January are in the starting line-up. Perhaps they will strengthen in two or three other places.

"I think the owners will probably demand promotion because of the money they have put in. They will want to go up because they are successful businessmen. However in football money is not always the most important thing.

"The owners are normal people. They are famous people, but still people! They come into the dressing room and talk to the players and have been really helpful."

Buzsaky is also confident that Italian manager Luigi de Canio will remain in the hot-seat for the next campaign.

"I cannot see why he will not be manager next season," he asserted. "He has done well with the team and everything bodes well for a good future here."

The Hungarian international added that he enjoys his status with the fans and looked ahead to a difficult away match at Carrow Road this weekend after QPR sealed its Championship status for 2008-09.

"I'm glad that the fans liked me in Plymouth and now like me at QPR. Perhaps it is because I am something a little different from the British players. They have a song about me - but I don't know what it is they sing!

"Football is much better in England than in Portugal, even in the second division - apart from the three big teams: Sporting, Porto and Benfica. The stadiums are better and there are more fans watching.

"Norwich is a tough place to go. They can beat anyone at home." Eurosport

Briatore and Ecclestone's QPR Success Story

The Times/Kevin Eason - April 25, 2008 Insider: April 25 - Cristal and caviar at QPR

As Bernie Ecclestone surveys his domain today, he can be content that his business model is working at full power, no matter how many times it has almost been derailed by events away from the Formula One track. Ecclestone pioneered the concept of corporate hospitality with his Formula One Paddock Club, which attracts well-heeled patrons prepared to pay as much as £1,000 a head.

That idea could be translated to football and Queens Park Rangers, the club he co-owns with Flavio Briatore, the Renault Formula One team principal. If the Coca-Cola Championship club are to spin money like the top sides and push for promotion to the Barclays Premier League, the problem of Loftus Road, QPR's cramped home on and off for about 90 years, will have to be solved. Ecclestone has not identified a potential alternative ground and a capacity of fewer than 20,000 is too small for the top flight.

But Ecclestone and Briatore plan to drive the QPR audience upmarket with more and better corporate seats. There are rumours that the price of hospitality boxes will soar, but Ecclestone is anxious to get the product right first. “We are not going to drive out the existing fans, but we need to generate more income,” he said. “We did it in Formula One and we can do it in football.”

The QPR directors' box is already a repository for famous visitors such as Naomi Campbell, the supermodel. With Ecclestone (worth £2.5billion) bringing in Lakshmi Mittal (worth £14.5billion) as an investor, the pies and Oxo could soon be replaced by champagne and caviar. QPR

QPR's Last Games Against Norwich

Norwich Official Site recalls QPR's previous meeting with Norwich this season, back in October, when QPR picked up their first win of the season under caretaker manager, Mick Harford at a time when the takeover had just been completed, and Francesco Guidolin was supposedly set to be named as QPR's new manager.
Norwich also recalls, as well QPR's last visit to Norwich at the end of December 2006, which Norwich won 1-0. All QPR fans need no reminding of their terrible April 1976 loss to Norwich.
QPR won the earlier encounter this season 1-0. (QPR's team included some players no longer with the club: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Bolder, Ainsworth (Jarrett 85), Rowlands, Sahar (Moore 69), Ephraim (Timoska 90), Vine, Leigertwood, Cranie SUBS NOT USED: Cole (GK), Bignot).
See also Match reports of QPR's First Win of the seasonreports and comments
The table, a week after their Norwich win:
Crystal Pal 11 11
Sheff Utd 11 10
Preston 11 10
Sheff Wed 11 9
Norwich 11 8
QPR 10 7

QPR's team for their December 2006 game at Norwich: Royce, Bignott (c), Milanese, Gallen (Blackstock 78), Rowlands (Ward 42), Lomas, Cook, Stewart, Furlong, Jones, Mancienne. Subs: Cole, Baidoo, Kanyuka, Blackstock.

Whilst they are by no means favourites to occupy the third and final spot in the Championship relegation zone, the threat of demotion to League One continues to loom large for Norwich City.

Glenn Roeder's men currently lie just three points clear of 22nd place Sheffield Wednesday, but with a run-in that includes tomorrow's potentially tough home clash against in-form Rangers, as well as a trip to fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the season, the work is far from complete for the Carrow Road outfit.

Experienced front-man Darren Huckerby, who is nearing the conclusion of his fifth campaign at the East Anglia Club, certainly believes at least one more victory is required before they can start look ahead to next season in the second tier.

"We still definitely need a win," he said following the Canaries' recent 2-1 defeat to local rivals Ipswich Town.

"I'm confident we'll stay up, yes, but we still definitely need a win."

Confidence is one thing, but if Norwich's below-par display against the Tractor Boys in the East Anglia derby is anything to go by, relegation could yet be a serious issue.

Victory in their biggest away date of the season would have all but guaranteed Championship survival. Instead, City suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat and the scoreline didn't tell the whole story.

City were second best throughout, yet while former R's hero Roeder was honest enough to concede bragging rights to the Tractor Boys, he insisted he was staying positive ahead of the all-important run-in.

"I have always believed the greater the challenge, the greater the response and that's what we've got to think in the next few games," he said.

Defeat against West Bromwich Albion last time out hardly helped matters, but Roeder is adamant City will convert 'some of the numerous chances that came their way' when Rangers come to town on Saturday.

Speaking after the 2-1 reverse, Roeder said: "We had at least four glorious chances and we didn't take them and that has been a feature of this season for us.

"All we can do now is try to play like we did today against QPR next week and hopefully the chances will go in."

Earlier this season: October 8, 2007 Norwich Official Site QPR 1 Norwich 0

A JUBILANT Loftus Road celebrated Queens Park Rangers' first win in any competition as Martin Rowlands' 66th minute penalty was enough to clinch a bottom of the table Championship clash.

The Canaries' horrible goal drought extended to six games and over nine hours of open play - and although the award of the penalty against Ian Murray for a foul on Rowan Vine may have been debatable, Rangers also hit the woodwork and were only stopped from winning by a wider margin thanks to an excellent display from David Marshall in City's goal.

For their part City simply failed to threaten former Canary Lee Camp's goal enough and can have few complaints about the result.

With Gary Doherty injured, City skipper Jason Shackell returned to the starting line-up after serving his three-match suspension and was joined in the heart of the Canaries' defence by Dion Dublin.

Up front young striker Chris Martin, who struck the woodwork against Scunthorpe last Tuesday night, was partnered by Darren Huckerby. In midfield Rossi Jarvis started in the centre with Darel Russell, with Lee Croft on the right and Simon Lappin on the left.

Ian Murray shrugged off a foot injury suffered in the Scunthorpe game to join Gilks, Chadwick, Brown and Strihavka on the City bench.

For QPR loanees Rowan Vine, former City player Jason Jarrett and Martin Cranie were all making their home debuts.

Although Sky were naturally focussing on a big game for both clubs in their pre-match build-up, for the newspaper photographers the excitement before kick-off centred around the appearance of glamorous celebrities Naomi Campbell and Tamara Beckwith in the directors' box.

With both sides eager to win there was some crisp passing in the opening exchanges with neither 'keeper troubled as players for either side found their feet.

The first threat to the City goal came in the ninth minute, Vine cutting the ball back from the byeline to tee up Leigertwood who drilled his low shot wide of the post from 16 yards.

Two minutes later Sahar picked the ball up and ran at the City defence after Russell lost possession in the centre circle, but his shot was eventually blocked by a superb block from Dublin at full stretch.

In the 16th minute Adam Drury was left prone on the pitch apparently clutching his shoulder after competing for a header and received lengthy treatment but thankfully was able to get to his feet and continue after a couple of minutes.

Lee Croft nearly cut in behind the Rangers defence in the 21st minute to pick up a clever pass from Chris Martin but just couldn't find the time and space to get a shot off and was eventually forced wide and away from danger by good QPR defending.

Dion Dublin received the game's first yellow card from referee Mr P.Walton in the 27th minute after a tussle for the ball in the centre of the pitch with Adam Bolder.

Just after the half-hour Huckerby and Otsemobor combined well but the City right-back seemed caught in two minds as he found himself carving into the Rangers box and eventually drilled a shot from tight angle straight at former Canary 'keeper Lee Camp.

Play switched to the other end and Hogan Ephraim warmed the palms of David Marshall with a fierce drive from 25 yards which the City custodian palmed away well.

In the 36th minute after Shackell conceded a corner, Marshall was again alert to palm away Ephraim's in-swinging flag kick from under the crossbar and away to safety.

In the closing seconds of first-half injury time Lappin's corner from the right was met by the towering figure of Dublin but he planted his header well over the bar.

Half-time: QPR 0, Norwich City 0

City made a change at the break, Ian Murray coming on for Dion Dublin - Manager Peter Grant perhaps conscious of the yellow card Dublin picked up in the first half.

But it was QPR who looked the more dangerous in the opening exchanges of the half - and they were centimetres away from breaking the deadlock in the 47th minute. The City midfield and defence seemed almost to stand off as Martin Rowlands arrowed forward from defence and he had time to blast a low shot from 25 yards which cannoned off the foot of the far post with Marshall beaten.

It was a let-off for City who had started the period firmly on the back foot - and within a couple of minutes they had another scare as they survived loud claims for a Rangers penalty after Vine went down under Shackell's challenge.

In an effort to change the balance of the game, Grant made a tactical shift on 52 minutes with Huckerby slotting in on the left of a five-man midfield and Martin left as lone striker.

Rowlands was having a lively second half and on 59 minutes he forced a smart reaction save from Marshall with a curling free kick from 30 yards which was arrowing towards the top corner.

Four minutes later with Norwich now firmly on the back foot Grant made his sceond change of the evening, striker David Strihavka replacing Lappin and joining Martin up front as the Canaries reverted to 4-4-2 once again.

On 65 minutes Lee Croft was booked for a foul on Ephraim - but if that looked harsh there was worse to come a minute later as Ian Murray was controversially adjudged to have brought down Vine in the box and a penalty was awarded.

Martin Rowlands capped a great personal performance by stepping up to ram a perfect spot kick low and to Marshall's left, giving the City keeper no chance whatsoever.

Rangers caretaker boss Mick Harford immediately made a substitution, Stefan Moore replacing Sahar.

The home side was definitely on top at this stage - two chances in the space of 60 seconds coming on 70 minutes as first Ainsworth's acrobatic volley was deflected inches wide by the head of Drury and then Stewart's powerful header from the resulting corner was saved at full stretch by Marshall.

A minute later Rowan Vine was the next to test Marshall's reflexes, forcing yet another excellent save on the line from the Canary keeper.

Somehow City needed to find a way back into a game in which they had failed to significantly threaten the Rangers goal. Grant responded by bringing on Chris Brown for Martin with 15 minutes to go.

Almost immediately there was a slight improvement as Russell hit a half-volley from 22 yards which Camp saved comfortably. It was City's first shot in anger of the second half but did at least give the City fans behind the goal something rare to cheer about.

The Canaries once again had Marshall to thank for keeping them in the game in the 82nd minute when he stuck out a leg to deny Ephraim's blast from eight yards.

Two minutes later a long raking ball forward from Otsemobor was nodded down well by Strihavka, but Brown got under his shot and sent it well over from 25 yards.

QPR then made their final change, another former City man Jason Jarrett coming on for Ainsworth with five minutes of normal time to go. Rangers were understandably happy to try and run the clock down as they closed in on what would be there first win in any competition - and Ephraim took his time leaving the pitch as he was replaced on 90 minutes by Sampsa Timoska.

The referee duly awarded five minutes of injury time

NORWICH: Marshall, Otsemobor, Drury, Shackell, Huckerby, Croft, Dublin (Murray 46), Lappin (Strihavka 63), Russell, Rossi Jarvis, Martin (Brown 75)
SUBS NOT USED: Gilks (GK), Chadwick.

QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Bolder, Ainsworth (Jarrett 85), Rowlands, Sahar (Moore 69), Ephraim (Timoska 90), Vine, Leigertwood, Cranie
SUBS NOT USED: Cole (GK), Bignot. Norwich

QPR's Last Visit to Norwich

Norwich Official Site - Norwich 1 QPR 0 30/12/2006
THE Canaries got back to winning ways at Carrow Road, ending 2006 with a win over QPR thanks to a single goal from Dion Dublin.

Dublin pounced midway through the second half to end City's festive blues, latching onto a great ball from Robert Earnshaw to slot home from 12-yards.

It was no more than the Canaries deserved for a vastly improved display after the bore-draw against Southend on Boxing Day, and their victory could have been greater had it not been from a combination of wasteful finishing and good defending.

As expected, Youssef Safri was restored to the starting line-up in the absence of the suspended Carl Robinson.

Also returning to the line-up was skipper Adam Drury, passed fit after missing the draw with Southend due to a hip injury. Jurgen Colin also returned to the side at the expense of Andy Hughes, who was given a place on the bench.

In attack manager Peter Grant kept faith with the partnership of Dion Dublin and Robert Earnshaw.

City got off to a lively start, enjoying the bulk of possession inside the first five minutes without creating a clear-cut chance.

Indeed, the first clear chance arrived on nine minutes. Huckerby's cross from the left was headed back across goal to the unmarked Earnshaw by strike partner Dublin.

And even though the Welshman missed from just six yards out with his stooping header, the assistant referee had already flagged for offside.

QPR registered their first shot on target three minutes later. Croft's attempted cross-field ball was easily cut-out by Martin Rowlands, and with Drury back-peddling furiously, he shaped to bend a left foot shot inside Gallacher's right post.

But he miscued his effort, with the ball bobbling well wide.

But they came closer to grabbing the first goal on 17 minutes, with only the alertness of Norwich 'keeper Gallacher denying them.

Rowlands flighted a ball over to the far post from the right and found veteran striker Furlong unmarked.

He connected well with his downward header, but the Scottish international did well to push the ball away at his near post, with his defenders eventually hacking the ball to safety.

On 26 minutes City came within inches of winning a penalty. Defender Damion Stewart - sporting a protective face mask - dallied on the by-line as he tried to shield the ball and allow it to run behind for a goal kick.

But Earnshaw had not given up on it, scooting round the big defender, leaving the Rangers man with little choice but to haul him down. Earnshaw fell in the box, but referee Phil Dowd awarded a free kick just outside, which promptly came to nothing.

Stewart's clumsiness should have earned him a booking, but his skipper Marcus Bignott was not so fortunate a minute later, given a yellow for dragging down Huckerby in full flight on the left.

On 34 minutes there was a stoppage after Drury took a boot to the face stretching for a 50-50 ball with Rowlands down on the left 20 yards inside the Rangers' half.

He certainly looked to be in some discomfort, but after treatment from physio Neal Reynolds was able to continue.

On 38 minutes visiting goalkeeper Simon Royce was forced into action for the first time in the half.

Croft swung a cross over from the right which was brilliantly headed back into Earnshaw's path just inside the area by Dubling.

Earnshaw's shot was struck sweetly, but Royce was able to parry the ball up and away and over the line for a corner.

And as the rain began to fall at Carrow Road, that was to be the last of the action of the first half as both sides entered the break honours even.

Half time: Norwich City 0-0 QPR

There were no changes for either side at the break, with City returning to the pitch looking to turn their possession into clear scoring chances.

And City had a clear site of goal within the first two minutes of the second period.

Norwich won a corner in front of the N&P Stand, and Safri delivered an excellent out-swinging ball which found Shackell's head.

Unfortunately the young defender could not keep his effort down, powering his attempt yards over.

Seconds later and City were behind the QPR defence once more. This time Colin played a nice one-two with Croft before darting into the area at an angle.

But his final product was found wanting, shooting wastefully into the side-netting at the near post when a pass or a shot across goal might have reaped more reward.

City were competing well, but were still lacking the kind of invention needed to break the stubborn visitors down as the game went past the hour mark.

Of course, QPR were also looking for three points to arrest their own recent slump, and on 66 minutes midfielder Steve Lomas gave Norwich a warning when he flashing a right foot shot just wide of Gallacher's left post from 25 yards out.

But any nerves were finally settled on 69 minutes when Norwich took the lead.

QPR were slack at the back, gifting the ball to Earnshaw just outside the area. And he showed great vision to loft a ball into the box to find Dublin completely unmarked to side-foot past the exposed Royce from 12 yards out.

It was a cool finish and a deserved goal for the 37-year-old, who had been outstanding all game once again.

On 75 minutes City had a great chance to double their lead amid the downpour.

A good positive run from Colin took him deep into QPR territory before sliding a pass into Huckerby's stride in the area.

But the winger could not sort out his feet in time, taking too heavy a touch and allowing Royce to gather comfortably at his feet.

Two minutes later and Grant made his first chance of the match, replacing Croft with Andy Hughes on the right side of midfield.

With the game in the final 10 minutes, City were good value for their lead, with only good defending from Mancienne preventing Earnshaw connecting with a great ball from Dublin.

With five minutes left City should have put the game out of the visitors' reach. Hughes played a great one-two with Dublin just outside the area before finding Huckerby unmarked on the far side of the area. But the winger could only slice his shot horribly over the bar.

And with the game in stoppage time City again had a clear chance to end matters - Earnshaw put in the clear by Hughes' astute through-ball. But as the Weldshman pulled the trigger just inside the area, Stewart did brilliantly to recover his ground and divert his goalbound shot over the bar.

Full time: Norwich City 1-0 QPR

Norwich City: Gallacher, Drury (c), Shackell, Huckerby, Croft (78), Dublin, Earnshaw, Safri (McVeigh 88), Etuhu, Colin, Doherty. Subs: Lewis, Fleming, Ryan Jarvis.

QPR: Royce, Bignott (c), Milanese, Gallen (Blackstock 78), Rowlands (Ward 42), Lomas, Cook, Stewart, Furlong, Jones, Mancienne. Subs: Cole, Baidoo, Kanyuka, Blackstock. Norwich

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