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Monday, April 07, 2008

Snippets: Ainsworth: Next Season...Totally Different and Better QPR"....Bolder Extends Sheff Wed Stay (Also Ben Sahar)...Preston Perspective

TEAMTALK - QPR winger Gareth Ainsworth promised an exciting season at Loftus Road under manager Luigi De Canio next term.
De Canio took over from John Gregory in October and, backed by some serious financial clout, has led Rangers away from the relegation zone.
The Italian, who is still learning English, will be expected to mount a serious promotion push next season and veteran Ainsworth feels they are well-equipped to challenge at the right end of the table.
"His English is getting better all the time," said Ainsworth. "It was difficult for him at first and anyone who has had to learn a new language knows how tough it can be.
"It took a while for the players to understand what he really wants from us. If you look at us now you can see that we're really doing what he has been trying to impress upon us and some of the goals we have been scoring are as good as you will see in the Premier League.
"I think you can see where we as a club are going and what we are trying to do. Next season I think you will see a totally different and better QPR." Teamtalk

QPR Official Site - Bolder
Adam Bolder will remain on loan with Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday until the end of the 2007/08 season.
The midfielder, who initially joined the Owls on an emergency loan deal in February, today (Monday) put pen to paper on a deal which runs until Sunday 4th May.
Bolder has made eight appearances in the Championship for Brian Laws' men. QPR

Sheffield Wednesday - Extended Stay For Loan Trio
Sheffield Wednesday have extended the loans of winger Franck Songo'o, striker Ben Sahar and midfielder Adam Bolder until the end of the 2007/08 season.
Songo'o, who is on loan from Portsmouth, Sahar from Chelsea, and Bolder, from Queens Park Rangers, will both be available for Tuesday's Steel City derby at Bramall Lane, through until the Norwich game at Hillsborough on May 4.
Sahar will be in the Owls' squad at Sheffield United this week after being held back from international action with his country's U19 team, in agreement with Chelsea..." Sheffield Wednesday

Lancashire Evening Post/Brian Ellis - Mawene blames 'shambolic' defending

Youl Mawene blamed 'shambolic' defending for a smash-and-grab raid which robbed Preston North End of two points on Saturday.
The shell-shocked centre-half left Loftus Road cursing an astonishing last-gasp nervous breakdown which turned a comfortable win into a devastating draw.

"We panicked at the end and all our good work just went down the pan," he said as he emerged from a silent dressing room.

"It was shambolic really. In future, we need to make sure we keep a cool head in those last five minutes."

North End had been on cruise control at 2-0 up with the clock ticking towards full time.

But Gareth Ainsworth's never-say-die attitude rescued the game for Rangers, and left his old team totally shattered.

First he pulled a goal back in the 90th minute, sweeping the ball over Andrew Lonergan from the edge of the box.

Then, three minutes into time added on, he turned provider, producing the inch-perfect cross for Dexter Blackstock to get in front of his marker, Mawene, for a dramatic point-stealing header.

"We just threw it away at the end," admitted the Frenchman.

"At 2-0 up we were comfortable.

"But they got a goal, which they took very well. After that we panicked and that cost us the game really.

"It is very disappointing, because up to that point we were playing so well.

"We were keeping possession of the ball very well, and we were defending very well.

"We only needed to keep calm and the three points would have been ours.
"But suddenly we allowed that to change, and we only have ourselves to blame.

"It's been a while since we conceded two goals in a game, and that's why we are all pretty wound up."

An away draw against moneybags Rangers ought to have been seen as a decent result, especially as it lifted Preston to their safety target of 54 points with four games still to play.

But the manner of how three became one felt more like a defeat as Irvine, the players and a terrific contingent of more than 1,000 travelling fans headed back to Lancashire in a sombre and disbelieving mood.

The play-offs, if they ever were more than a fanciful suggestion, can now be safely discounted, at least for another season.

Victory would have put North End within five points of sixth place. A draw makes it mission impossible.

It may be of little compensation, but the team's unbeaten run is still intact and standing at seven games – with 17 points from a possible 21.

PNE boss Irvine was setting his squad a new target today and, at the very least, it was certain to be closing out the season still

"We don't talk about safety, even though we have now reached 54 points," said Mawene. Lancashire Evening Post

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