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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Routledge Impact...Borrowdale Signing/Cost...Blackstock New Contract?...Michael Johnson Interest?....Cup Replay

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Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Winger Wayne will get us flying!
NEW signing Wayne Routledge can be the catalyst for a QPR promotion push, according to the team-mates who saw him do it at Crystal Palace.
The winger, who is expected to make his Rangers debut against Coventry on Saturday, won promotion to the Premier League five years ago alongside new colleagues Mikele Leigertwood and Gary Borrowdale.
And Borrowdale, who progressed through the ranks at Palace alongside Routledge, insisted: "I've seen him play for 12 or 13 years now and I've no doubt he'll be a great signing.
- "Wayne's an out and out winger, which gives the manager another option. He was just unfortunate to get injured at Tottenham, then Aaron Lennon came in and he was on fire.
"But you've seen what Wayne can do at Cardiff - their results improved while he was on loan there and I don't see why the same can't happen here. "We've got the squad to do it and it's a case of putting in the performances. We're in the mix at this stage, which is where you want to be, and it's still the case that a run could get you into the top two."
And Leigertwood, another member of the Palace side that rose from the drop zone to win the 2004 play-off final, recalled: "That season he was assisting Andy Johnson pretty much every game.
"It's a shame Wayne hasn't played as much as he should have done in recent years. He's got flair, pace and skill - the club can only benefit from adding him to the squad."
Rangers first tried to sign Routledge - who made just five appearances in an injury-plagued spell at Tottenham - a year ago, but the winger opted to stay in the top flight with Aston Villa.
This season, virtually all of his Villa appearances came in cup competition and, although Cardiff were keen to sign him after a successful six-week loan spell, the lure of higher wages at Loftus Road proved decisive.

- Rangers forked out a fee in the region of £500,000 for Routledge, 24 - but are believed to have spent more on Borrowdale, whose loan from Coventry became permanent last week.
- The left-back followed his former Palace boss Iain Dowie to the Ricoh Arena 18 months ago, but Dowie's successor Chris Coleman made it clear that Borrowdale was not in his plans.
- Dowie was keen to bring Borrowdale to QPR during his brief spell in charge and, curiously, the club went ahead with the deal - despite sacking Dowie and then not using the player at all during his loan spell.
- "It all came out of the blue and I'm not 100 per cent sure about how the move was all sorted out," Borrowdale admitted. "But I knew it was always going to be made permanent when the transfer window opened.- "I'm delighted to be back in London with a massive club and now I've got to do my best to feature in the first team. We've been playing really well, so that's going to be a challenge.
- "I went on loan to Colchester and, after being frozen out at Coventry, that's the only football I've had, so it's taken me time to build up my fitness.
- "It's a while since I've been enjoying my football, but this is a new year and it's like a fresh start for me too."
- Borrowdale played a full 90 minutes for Rangers' reserves in their 2-0 win over Charlton on Tuesday, but is unlikely to feature against his former club this weekend.
Kilburn Times

SKY SPORT - Rangers to deal in Dexter Blackstock set to be offered new contract
- Queens Park Rangers striker Dexter Blackstock is in line for a new deal at Loftus Road, skysports.com understands.
- The Championship club are ready to tie down the highly-rated forward to a new long-term contract to ward off interest from potential suitors.
- The likes of Fulham, West Brom and Bolton are all believed to be tracking Blackstock, who has impressed for Rangers scoring 11 goals this term.
- Rangers boss Paolo Sousa is keen to keep the 22-year-old as he builds a side capable of winning promotion to the Premier League.
- Blackstock is believed to have been offered a three-year contract extension to keep him at Loftus Road until 2013 and he could pen-to-paper on the deal by the end of the week. Sky

London Informer/Paul Warburton - QPR in £2m bid for Michael Johnson
- QPR have dived in at the 11th hour in an attempt to lure £2 million Michael Johnson to them instead of West Ham.
- The Manchester City starlet had been lined up as a makeweight in a £6m deal that sees Scott Parker making the switch to Eastlands.
- But Rangers will promise the England U21 player games rather than just the possibility of making Gianfranco Zola's squad at West Ham if he agrees a loan deal to Loftus Road.
- The Hoops have acted quickly because it was becoming clearer they will need to plug a gap creviced open by the imminent sale of Mikele Leigertwood and the diminishing hopes of landing Ben Watson from Crystal Palace." London Informer

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Rs can still triumph in Turf war
DAMIEN Delaney says QPR will draw on memories of their last cup run to help clinch victory in next week's FA Cup replay at Burnley.
Rangers triumphed twice on the road in the Carling Cup, including a 1-0 success at Aston Villa, before finally falling to a Carlos Tevez penalty in the fourth round against Manchester United.
And the QPR left-back is keen to keep alive the chance of visiting those venues again in the FA Cup, even though the Clarets will be favourites to go through at the second time of asking.
- "In an ideal world, we'd have won on Saturday and gone straight through to the fourth round, but on the other hand we've got another bite of the cherry," Delaney remarked.
- "Going to Premier League grounds was a fantastic experience and we all want to get on another cup run and do it again, which means we've got to go up to Burnley, do our best and get a result.
- "I think we dominated the game on Saturday, but it's the old story about what happens if you don't take your chances - and that's not necessarily blaming the centre-forwards, it's up to all of us to create chances.
- "We didn't create too many clear-cut ones this time. Then again, I can't remember Radek having anything to do, to be honest, so having a clean sheet is one of the positives from the day."
- Saturday's dull 0-0 draw at Loftus Road means Rangers are still without an FA Cup win since they overcame Luton Town in a third round replay in January 2001.
- The Rs could face West Bromwich Albion in a repeat of the 1982 semi-final if both sides win their third round replays.
- The winners of the Rangers-Burnley clash will travel to either the Baggies or League Two side Peterborough in the fourth round on Saturday January 24.
- Clive Allen's goal at Highbury 27 years ago took the Rs through to their only FA Cup final to date, but Albion gained their revenge with a 3-2 victory in the third round the following year.
- Rangers have only once met Peterborough in the FA Cup, going down 2-1 in a replay after a 3-3 draw at Loftus Road in December 1964. Kilburn Times

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