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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ainsworth on The Preston Comeback....Delaney No Regrets on Leaving Hull for QPR

Gareth Ainsworth/Kilburn Times
IT'S a long time since a QPR side have come back to draw a game that looked lost - and it felt fantastic to be part of that.
I haven't started a game since the FA Cup tie against Chelsea, so just getting out there and showing everybody there's some football left in Gareth Ainsworth was great in itself.
You can train as hard as you like, but it won't give you the sharpness of a match situation and for those first 10 minutes I felt really rusty.
But I finally got into my stride and I'd like to have carried on for another 10 minutes. I'm sure we'd have won the game if there had been more time, but at least we went into the dressing room with the kind of feeling Crystal Palace, Wolves and several other teams have had after scoring against us in the last minute.
The goal took me to 98 in my career and a bit closer to the magic 100, which has been a big ambition of mine for some time. I've got every one of them on video, would you believe, so when I reach 100 the Ainsworth family will have to get together and watch them all in one go!
We didn't play too well for most of the Preston game and I think what happened to Rowan in the week was part of the reason for that.
The gaffer told the lads to play well and win the game for Rowan, but in some ways I think everyone was a bit subdued because they had his injury on their minds.
Rowan's a ball carrier - he takes the pressure off, adds a bit of flair and we know how much we'll miss him.
His break is worse than mine was around this time last year, but he's actually able to put weight on it after a few days, which is great. I hope he realises that there's light at the end of the tunnel and he's going to be a huge part of QPR next season.
Hull have had a fantastic season after struggling with us last year, so we have to look at them and believe that could be us next time.
I think Hull have quietly become a big club - they've got some good players in and the whole city is buzzing, so Saturday will be a good test.
It's out of the frying pan and into the fire - they must be the second form team after Preston - and not many people will expect us to get anything there.
But we're in good form as well, with one defeat in 10, and we want to finish as high up the table as possible. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Damien's got no regrets
DAMIEN Delaney insists he was right to quit Hull for QPR - even if his old club are promoted to the Premier League this season.
The Tigers' incredible run of form in the new year has propelled them into a position to snatch top spot in the Championship if they defeat Rangers this weekend.
But the Irishman, who signed for the Rs in a £700,000 deal in January, told the Times: "If you ask me again in a year's time, I'll still be saying it was the right decision.
"I've got no regrets whatsoever. I made the decision that I felt was best for me, long-term, and I'm sure it will turn out to be the right one.
"My focus is on Saturday's game and getting a result for QPR, but I'd be absolutely delighted if Hull win every game after that and get promoted. I know what it'd mean to all their supporters and I know I'd have played a part in it, but it wouldn't change anything.
"There aren't many footballers these days who play nearly 250 games for one club - it was time to move on to a new challenge and this is one that I really relish."
Delaney's immediate concern is to win back his place in the Rangers side after sitting out the matches against Ipswich and Preston due to his 10th booking of the season.
Until then, the 26-year-old left-back had appeared in every QPR game since his transfer and he admitted: "It's been frustrating, training all week and, while the lads are getting ready for the game, you know you're going to be sat at home watching the results on telly.
"Suspensions are part and parcel of the game, though, it's done now and hopefully I can get back into the team for Saturday.
"Because I left Hull in such a hurry, I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to the supporters and so many of the staff there, people who looked after me for the best part of six years, so I want to do that.
"There were four or five lads who all signed for Hull at the same time as me, when Adam Pearson took over the club - people like Boaz Myhill and Ian Ashbee - and we came a long way together."
Delaney helped Hull rise from the basement to the Championship in just two seasons, but the club are now peering towards unchartered territory, having never yet graced the top flight.
Last season, they battled alongside QPR to escape relegation, but the ex-Tigers defender puts the shift in their fortunes down to a tough pre-season training routine introduced by manager Phil Brown.
"It comes down to fitness and conditioning work. Pre-season was very physical and we did an awful lot of fitness training in the summer," said Delaney.
"All that was geared towards getting stronger as the year went on. So I'm not in the least bit surprised that Hull have done that - and I'm under no illusions about how hard the game will be on Saturday."
Having played in 22 league games for Hull prior to his move, Delaney will collect a medal should the Tigers go on to win the Championship title. Hull will be unable to include Rangers midfielder Simon Walton in their squad this weekend under the terms of his loan deal.
Walton has made nine appearances for the Tigers since his temporary move from Loftus Road in January. Kilburn Times

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