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Monday, April 07, 2008

QPR - Preston - Compilation of Monday's Reports

Next season, hopefully...! Updated Championship Table

Daily Mail - QPR 2 Preston 2
QPR's Gareth Ainsworth is a rarity — a playercoach who can still do it on the pitch when really needed.
The long-haired wide man was sent on in desperation as Rangers were being outclassed at 2-0 down. And little went right for him until the final three minutes when he struck what should have been just a consolation goal, only then to produce the perfect centre for Dexter Blackstock to equalise.
Ainsworth is also important on the touchline as aide to Italian manager Luigi De Canio, who knows the winger can help get his ideas over.
Ainsworth said: "I'm the unofficial assistant manager. I have a voice the lads recognise.
'One day you're rooming with the lads, questioning the gaffer's decisions — the next, you're on the other side, giving your mates a rollicking.
"The manager's English is getting better. He now takes training without a translator and we know what he wants."
Preston boss Alan Irvine, surely a contender for Manager of the Year after reaching safety on 54 points from being bottom on New Year's Day, was not hard on his players for throwing away a two-goal lead provided by Ian Mellor and Tamas Priskin.
He said: "We've had an awful lot to do and played a lot of the top teams and form teams in that run."
Irvine even gets credit for the Rangers comeback — as Ainsworth praises him for once teaching him how to cross the ball. Daily Mail

The Times - QPR 2 Preston North End 0
Luigi De Canio, the QPR manager, insisted that Gareth Ainsworth still has an important role as a player at Loftus Road after inspiring an amazing comeback against Preston North End. Goals from Neil Mellor and Tamas Priskin looked like giving the visiting team victory, but Ainsworth, 34, who has effectively been working as De Canio’s assistant, pulled back a late goal and set up a last-gasp equaliser for Dexter Blackstock. “Gareth is an extraordinary individual. His spirit and character make him part of the spirit of this club,” De Canio said. “He is still a player, and I know the character he is and how much he is respected by the players, so I use that.”
Alan Irvine, the Preston manager, felt that his team deserved the three points. “Everyone can see that we should have won the match,” he said. “We were the better team.” The Times

THE SUN/Max Short - QPR 2 Preston 2
GARETH AINSWORTH dedicated Rangers’ stunning late fightback to crocked team-mate Rowan Vine.
Striker Vine, a £1million January buy from Birmingham, broke his left leg in training on Thursday and needed surgery to repair it.
Preston added to QPR’s misery by storming into a 2-0 lead with goals from Neil Mellor and Tamas Priskin.
But veteran winger Ainsworth came off the bench after 66 minutes to inspire an unlikely recovery against his old club.
He hooked home a spectacular 89th-minute goal from 20 yards and then crossed for Dexter Blackstock to head the equaliser in the dying seconds.
Ainsworth, 34, said: “I want to dedicate this to Rowan after all he’s been through. He’s had a hell of a week.
“Hopefully, it will be a speedy recovery. It’s a nasty break but he’s a young lad and a strong character and I’m sure he’ll get over this.
“He’s been a key player for us and the sooner we get him back the better.
"He will have some bad times but everyone is behind him. The lads have been to see him in hospital.”
Ainsworth has worked as boss Luigi De Canio’s assistant and will continue in the unofficial coaching role after agreeing a one-year deal to stay at Loftus Road.
He added: “Coaching is something I really want to get into but I’ll probably mix it with playing for a while.
“It’s a tough one. One week you’re in with the lads and you’re their mate, the next you’re on the gaffer’s side.
“But the lads are great and respect me. They’re listening and taking it in. There haven’t been any arguments.”
Preston boss Alan Irvine moaned: “We were the better team and should have won. We’re very disappointed.”
SUN STAR MAN PAUL McKENNA (Preston). Ran the show. The Sun

Gareth Ainsworth showed why he is not hanging up his shooting boots quite yet - despite his new job at QPR.
Ainsworth has been working as boss Luigi De Canio's assistant and will continue in the role after signing a one-year deal.
But he still wants to play, and came off the bench to inspire a last-gasp Rangers comeback against his former club.
Goals from Neil Mellor and on-loan Tamas Priskin put Preston 2-0 up before Ainsworth hooked in a spectacular 20-yarder and then crossed for Dexter Blackstock to head home the equaliser.
Ainsworth declared: "Coaching is something I really want to get into, but I'll probably be mixing it with playing for a while.
"If I can keep coming on and making a difference like that, I'll be happy."
De Canio can no longer guarantee Ainsworth a first-team place, but is keen to keep him at Loftus Road because of his motivational qualities.
Winger Ainsworth, who turns 35 next month, admitted: "It's a tough one.
One week you're in with the lads and are their mate and the next you're on the gaffer's side.
"You understand what the gaffer is trying to do and you're shouting at your mates to give 100 per cent and giving them a rollicking if they're wrong - that is difficult."
Ainsworth dedicated Rangers' fight-back to team-mate Rowan Vine, 25, who broke his leg in training on Thursday. He said: "It's a nasty break - but I'm sure he'll get over this."
North End have their own worries after striker Mellor had to be replaced at half-time because of a hamstring injury.
That could leave boss Alan Irvine with a problem unless he can persuade Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd to extend Priskin's loan spell.
Irvine admitted: "If Aidy agrees to let us keep him, then it will be up to Tamas and whether he wants to stay or not." Mirror

TELEGRAPH - Ainsworth's 'extraordinary' QPR comeback
Luigi de Canio, the Queens Park Rangers manager, hailed Gareth Ainsworth after he inspired a remarkable late comeback at Loftus Road.
Rangers trailed to a Neil Mellor volley and Tamas Priskin's close-range effort when Ainsworth, who has been working as De Canio's unofficial assistant, scored with a fine 90th-minute lob.
Moments later the veteran winger crossed for Dexter Blackstock to head an equaliser. "Gareth is an extraordinary individual," said De Canio. "He is part of the spirit of this club."
Preston manager Alan Irvine said: "We should have won the match. Undoubtedly, we were the better team." Telegraph

Also: Earlier Reports of QPR 2 Preston 2

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