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Monday, April 14, 2008

QPR's Point at Hull - Additional Reports and Comments

Fraizer Campbell has vowed to return to Manchester United next season and force his way into the first team - but not before helping Hull clinch promotion.
The 20-year-old striker's 14 goals this term have put the Tigers well and truly in the hunt for automatic promotion.
Manager Phil Brown had hoped to sign Campbell on a permanent basis, but the lure of returning to Old Trafford is proving irresistible.
" I am contracted to Manchester United for another two-years and I can't say for sure what's going to happen there," said Campbell.
"But I've come out on loan this season and done quite well for myself and the team. I wanted to get some first - team experience and go back to United a better player.
"Hopefully, with the experience I've gained, I will be able to go and compete for a place in the first team at Manchester United.
"I know that it will be difficult because of the likes of Rooney and Ronaldo, but I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I didn't go back and give it a try.
"I'm really enjoying it here at Hull and I would like nothing more than to help them get promoted because everyone here is top class ."
Hull are the only major city in England with a football team who have never been in the top flight.
Their four-game winning streak was checked by a stubborn Queens Park Rangers team that picked up a deserved point with a dogmatic performance at the KCStadium.
And with the prize of automatic promotion still there for the taking, Huddersfieldborn Campbell has urged his team-mates not to let this historic chance slip away.
Headded: "We've had a really good season but we have to seize this chance to get promoted because it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - not just for the players but for the fans too.
"I think that we are still in the race for promotion as the results from the teams around us went for us.
"We have Barnsley on Tuesday in a Yorkshire derby but we will have to play the game and not the occasion."
Because of the Tykes' involvement in the FA Cup, Hull had not played a game for a fortnight.
Andthis seemed to dull their sharpness for much of the game. Campbell's sprightly play was their only redeeming grace.
But they were punished for their lacklustre start when Dexter Blackstock bundled home his third goal in four games.
Boaz Myhill had tried to stop Wayne Brown from putting the ball in his own net with a super stop but Blackstock was on hand to score after 14 minutes.
Indeed, there was some controversy as to whether the ball actually crossed the line, with even QPR manager Luigi De Canio admitting they may have been fortunate to get it.
He said: "I was shown the pictures of the goal and we were definitely lucky. It could have gone against us but that is football.
"In the second half both of our centre-forwards picked up injuries, and when you don't have that presence, it can be difficult to break out.
"We have problems in the treatment room and we are struggling with injuries.
"When you consider the fantastic results they (Hull) have had, this is not only a good result, but a deserved one."

Michael Turner swept home his fourth goal of the season in stoppage time after good work by substitute Caleb Folan to keep the Tigers' promotion charge on track.
49% QPR
Hull City 6 Corners 3 QPR
Hull City 3 Offside 2 QPR
Hull City 8 Fouls 18 QPR
1 Cards 1
off target
on target
Fraizer Campbell (HULL) 8
Pace and trickery made him Hull's main attacking threat
VILLAIN OF THE MATCH Martin Rowlands (QPR) 68 A laboured performance from the Rangers skipper.
HULL Apr 15 Barnsley (a)
Apr 19 Sheff United (a)
Apr 26 Crystal Palace (h)
Apr 19 Charlton 9h)
Apr 26 Norwich (a)
May 4 West Brom (h)

SUNDAY TIMES/Alan Combes - April 13, 2008 Turner strike rescues Hull
A STRANGE affair was played out at the KC Stadium yesterday. There was so much confusion surrounding Queen’s Park Rangers’ goal that even their manager, Luigi de Canio, expressed his doubts.
“I was shown the pictures and I think we were quite lucky. I would say that overall we deserved a draw because we did try to play football throughout.”
Hull City manager Phil Brown was at a loss to explain the goal award. “We’ve kept clean sheets in our last four games and we did today. It was a great save and some poor defending by us, but Andy Dawson hoofed it off the line and the linesman said it was over. How could he be certain from that far away?”
Even so, Rangers dominated large portions of this game and were probably worth all three points. True, Hull’s goal was well-worked and beyond dispute, but it came on top of a laboured performance, hardly one for Hull to take strength from regarding their Premier League challenge. But it did demonstrate the influence of Fraizer Campbell, who played a key part in engineering their stoppage-time equaliser.

For large parts of a fairly sterile encounter, Rangers dominated. Gareth Ainsworth ran the show until Campbell was able to assert his influence. “We showed more bottle to get the ball down in the second half,” said Brown. There is a real feeling that Brown has cobbled together a winning combination. There are many factors in the Tigers’ rise, but there is no doubting the role of Campbell, a loanee from Manchester United. With 14 goals this season he, along with 39-year-old Dean Windass, has created a potent strike threat.
Ian Ashbee tried to fire up City from the outset with some deft passing from midfield, but it soon became obvious that the Tigers lacked their usual roar. It was Ainsworth who dictated the early terms with a neat header and a subtle ball to Patrick Agyemang, which Bo Myhill did well to hang on to.

In the 14th minute came confusion in the Hull penalty box. Myhill could only parry Wayne Brown’s header on to the post and Dexter Blackstock was on hand to stab at a loose ball. The linesman ruled that it had crossed the line and in near silence Hull trooped back to the middle, 1-0 down.

Myhill’s clearance work had looked nervous from the start and Rangers peppered him with opportunist shots. Wayne Brown also looked shaky and Agyemang’s pace unsettled him. Then a gallop down the right from Michael Mancienne caused panic in the Hull ranks until Myhill took command.

The only serious Hull incursion up to this point was an Andy Dawson free kick that Lee Camp turned over the crossbar. The Tigers were playing without method or composure and they had little answer to Ainsworth’s pace. When Campbell was nudged over in Rangers’ penalty area, Windass and Dean Marney were incensed at getting no award, probably because at that juncture it offered Hull’s only route to a score.

City began the second half by playing the ball along the ground and Campbell immediately looked more of a danger, forcing Lee Camp into a last-ditch save from his header. But salvation for Hull was at hand.

The tireless Campbell ran the ball down the inside right channel and fed the ball to Folan. For once his cross cleared the Rangers back line and Michael Turner was on hand to scoop the ball past Camp for a precious equaliser.
Star man: Gareth Ainsworth (QPR)
Player ratings. Hull City: Myhill 5, Ricketts 6, Turner 6, Brown 4, Dawson 6, Garcia 4, (Hughes 54min, 5) Ashbee 6, Marney 6, Pedersen 5 (Folan 61min), Windass 6 (Fagan 75min), Campbell 8
QPR: Camp 6, Mancienne 7, Stewart 6, Hall 7, Delaney 6, Ephraim 7, Mahon 6, Ainsworth 8 (Connolly 90min), Rowlands 6, Agyemang 7 (Balanta 81min), Blackstock 6 (Leigertwood 56min, 5)... Sunday Times

THE TIMES - Hull City 1 QPR 1
Michael Turner struck a late equaliser to salvage a crucial draw for promotion-chasing Hull City. Luigi De Canio, the Queens Park Rangers first-team coach, admitted that his team had been lucky with Dexter Blackstock’s controversial opener, which was deemed to have crossed the line by an assistant referee.

Phil Brown, the Hull manager, said: “There is no way on earth anyone can say for sure that the ball crossed the line.” But he was pleased with his side’s efforts, adding: “We showed desire and determination and a bit of bottle to get the ball down a bit more in the second half. Our second-half performance was good enough to get something from the game, but we were not at our best.” The draw leaves Hull two points adrift of the automatic promotion places in fourth position in the table.
The Times

HULL DAILY MAIL - Tigers News -Brown: City's dream is on course

City's disappointed boss Phil BrownPHIL Brown is adamant Hull City's push for automatic promotion to the Premier League remains on course ahead of tomorrow night's trip to Barnsley.

The City boss was left frustrated as the Tigers were held to a 1-1 draw by QPR on Saturday.

Only an injury-time goal from Michael Turner rescued a point in City's push towards the Premier League, keeping them two points adrift of the top two.

But with City's game in hand coming at Oakwell tomorrow night, Brown remains in positive mood.

"If anyone had said to me at the start of the season , we've got four games to go and we go to Barnsley knowing a win will take us into the top two, of course I would have taken it" he said.

"That's not just Phil Brown manager of Hull City either, any manager in the Championship would have taken that scenario.

"Of course we want to win every game but we've taken a point.

"That's good to see because when we weren't at our best, we showed that desire and determination not to get beat. That to me will be the key between now and the end of the season.

"There's some heart in that dressing room and I'm happy with it."

Saturday's draw with QPR ended a run of four-straight wins for the Tigers and kept them fourth in a desperately tight Championship promotion race.

Before Turner's late strike earned parity, City had been behind for much of Saturday's game to a controversial opening goal.

Dexter Blackstock's strike was cleared by Andy Dawson on the line but adjudged to be a goal by referee's assistant Graham Atkins.

"There is no way on this earth that anyone can actually give that" said a baffled Brown.

"It's completely inconclusive. If there's any doubt, then you cannot give it.

"I can't see how you can be because I've seen it from three different angles and none of them are conclusive.

"I'll hold our hands up to poor defending but after a great save from Boaz Myhill, Andy Dawson has hooked it off the line.

"The linesman is in the right position but you have to 100 per cent sure."

City returned to training yesterday ahead of tomorrow night's game and were due to check on the fitness of winger Richard Garcia.

The Australian was forced out of the QPR draw with a shoulder injury and is considered a doubt for the Oakwell clash.

Brown confirmed: "It looked like Richard popped his shoulder but I don't know to what extent. We'll not know until we get back to training." Hull Daily Mail

Also Earlier Match Reports and comments compilation:
- QPR's Hull Draw - Reports and Comments and QPR - Once Again - Concede Injury Time Equalizer at Hull

Times -Championship
Teams P GD Pts
1 Stoke 43 12 72
2 West Brom 42 29 71
3 Bristol City 43 0 71
4 Hull City 42 18 69
5 Watford 43 9 69
6 Crystal Palace 43 10 65
7 Ipswich 43 8 64
8 Wolverhampton 41 2 62
9 Charlton 43 6 61
10 Cardiff 42 5 60
11 Sheff Utd 43 3 60
12 Plymouth 42 8 59
13 Burnley 43 -3 58
14 QPR 43 -2 55
15 Preston 43 -3 54
16 Norwich 43 -9 52
17 Barnsley 42 -10 52
18 Blackpool 43 -3 50
19 Southampton 43 -16 50
20 Coventry 43 -13 49
21 Leicester 43 -2 48
22 Sheff Wed 42 -5 48
23 Scunthorpe 43 -25 39
24 Colchester 43 -19 37

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