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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Perspectives of Ainsworth, Ephraim, Cole (Wants a Loan) and Delaney

Gareth Ainsworth - Kilburn Times - Step on the Gaz
WE'RE playing with no fear or pressure at the moment, and you could really see the difference between Hull and ourselves last Saturday.
In some ways, when you're going for promotion, it can be better to play another team at the top rather than one who know they're not going up or down.
It took Hull a long time to get into the game and, while it was disappointing to let in another late goal, that feeling didn't last long.
We were a bit fortunate with the goal, after all, and a point there was a great result when you consider we were missing the likes of Rowan and Akos.
By the end of the game we were a bit thin on the ground for strikers and, while we've got a good core of about 16 outstanding players, we need about 21 or 22.
That's something that will be addressed for next season - and so, I'm sure, will the question of why we've let in so many late goals. But for those, I'm sure the play-offs would still be a live prospect.
Charlton are still in with a chance of the top six, but I think their season has been disappointing overall and it's not helped that teams tend to raise their game against a side that's just come out of the Premier League.
Like Hull, the pressure will certainly be more on them than us on Saturday and, in the same way, if we can pick up a result against Charlton - again - that's something to be proud of.
It'll be welcome back to Cookie of course, assuming he plays, and I hope he gets a good reception after what he did for this club. He's an Rs man through and through and he's well aware of the rumours that he'll be coming back permanently. But I'm sure he won't let that affect him and he'll be doing his best to get a result for Charlton. If selected I'm looking forward to playing against him - and my former Wimbledon team-mate, Ben Thatcher.
We used to have a few good battles in training, so it'd be good to rekindle those on Saturday.
I always enjoy playing in derby matches and, without wishing ill to any team, it'd be nice to have a few more derbies next season.
If Fulham find themselves in the Championship next year that's certainly one we'd all be relishing - and hopefully we'll have Chelsea to come in the not too distant future as well! Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Hogan's seen it all before
HOGAN Ephraim has backed his old boss to succeed with Charlton ahead of their crunch derby date at Loftus Road this weekend.
Ephraim can help kill off Alan Pardew's play-off dreams on Saturday, but personal experience tells the QPR forward that the Addicks have the right man at the helm.
Pardew handed the youngster his first-team bow during his time in charge at West Ham and Ephraim told the Times: "I think they've got a great chance of succeeding with him as the manager.
"I've seen Alan Pardew in this situation in my first year coming through at West Ham. There was a lot of talk that if the club didn't go up, he'd be gone, but I'm not sure there's a better manager in those circumstances.
"It was a similar situation to the one Charlton are in now and he knows how to get the best out of the players and keep the team spirit high. Sometimes he can be jokey and have fun, but he can also be serious and be hard on you if he needs to be. I personally think Charlton can still get in the play-offs and, if they do, the momentum will take them up."
Nevertheless, Ephraim is determined to deal Pardew's promotion ambitions a serious blow as Rangers bid to recover from the disappointment of letting in an injury-time equaliser at Hull.
Saturday's game was the Rs' fourth consecutive draw and Ephraim admitted: "If you'd told us we'd get a draw at Hull, some would have seen it as a good result.
"But personally I see it as four games without a win rather than four unbeaten. With the players we've got in the dressing-room now, we should be winning games - there are no excuses.
"To lose a goal in the last minute was utterly devastating. It's a shame we didn't have a midweek game to put it right, but we have to pick ourselves up for Charlton."
The Addicks, who lie ninth in the table, have suffered from patchy home form this season - they were the victims when QPR recorded their first away win in October, just before Luigi de Canio's arrival.
Ephraim, who played in that 1-0 win towards the end of his loan spell from West Ham, recalled: "The atmosphere at The Valley was fantastic - to get our first away win was a great feeling and I know it meant a lot to our fans.
"I'm sure we'll get another good crowd on Saturday and we've got to put on a good show for them. Hopefully we can play as we did at Hull, but create more chances and take the three points."
Former Rangers winger Lee Cook - who remains on loan at Charlton after the Rs' bid to re-sign him on transfer deadline day fell through - is likely to feature against his old club.
QPR are confident that forward duo Patrick Agyemang (hamstring) and Dexter Blackstock (ankle) will shake off their injuries in time for Saturday, while playmaker Akos Buzsaky could make the bench. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Jake wants time to be a loan
JAKE Cole is unlike just about every other player at QPR - he is longing to start next season in League One.
The Rangers reserve keeper's season has been ruined by injuries and, with just eight first-team appearances to his name, he is desperate for a loan spell next year to prove his worth.
Cole told the Times: "A few clubs have shown interest, so hopefully from the start of next season I'll be out on loan and playing regular football.
"I've been at the club 12 and a half years and I need a chance. If I can get a season-long loan, I can never be told 'you haven't got the experience' - that's what I always get and I don't like it.
"If a League One team comes in, I'll be jumping at the chance to play games - I'm just hungry to play and, as a footballer, you have to be willing to travel to get experience.

"That's just part and parcel of the job. Whether you have to go up north or anywhere else to further your career, you have to be prepared to do it - and I am."
The 22-year-old keeper performed well in Rangers' final two matches of last season and had hoped for further opportunities this term, but a combination of injuries and Lee Camp's consistent form have thwarted him.
A thumb injury sidelined Cole around Christmas and, more recently, an operation on his right elbow cut short what had already been a frustrating campaign.
It wasn't helped by the sporadic nature of the Combination (reserve) League programme and Cole observed: "I've been playing reserve team football since the age of 15 and the league set-up isn't the best.
"Sometimes you can go a month or six weeks without a game, then you cram a few into two weeks. That isn't really good enough - however many reserve games you play, it isn't regular football.
"I'm out there with the other boys doing footwork now, but obviously no handling. Obviously the season's done and it's a matter of building up my arm again and looking towards next season."
Although he had various loan spells at non-league level as a teenager, Cole's opportunities to play have been severely restricted, even since making his first-team debut for the Rs in late 2005.
And, with a year to run on his Loftus Road contract and the long-term future of current number two Matt Pickens yet to be resolved, Cole's prospects at the club remain unclear. He added: "Whether I get a renewed contract is out of my hands - I can only do my best and I've got one year left to prove that I'm worth one, whether it's here or elewhere.
"When I have played, I feel I've done well and I can do much more. If a manager believes in me and takes me on loan, I know I can do a good job for him.
"With some good performances, I can be in the shop window and that's what I want. Kilburn Times

Kilburn Times - Delaney: let's keep it going

DAMIEN Delaney feels an extension of Rangers' unbeaten run to the end of the season will give the players extra zip when they report back in the summer.

The Rs have not lost in their last six games - albeit with four consecutive draws, having conceded injury-time equalisers against both Wolves and Hull City.

Delaney, who lined up against his former club in Saturday's 1-1 draw at the KC Stadium said: "We're unbeaten in six now and if we can keep that going to the end of the season, that'd take the run to nine.

"I'm sure everyone will come back fit and raring to go after the break, and it'd give the lads a lot of confidence to take into next season. Kilburn Times

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