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Sunday, December 31, 2006

QPR Quotes of The Year

An eclectic selection of some of the more memorable or more statements Made Over The Past Year at Queens Park Rangers (QPR)

See Also Highlights of 2006 - HIGHLIGHTS

Gianni Paladini - December 2005
"Ian Holloway has got two and a half years left on his contract and we are talking about extending it. "He is the most fantastic human being I have met in my life. He has had a very difficult time with everything going behind the scenes."I was at the training ground with Ian the other day sorting out our new scouting system. We are looking to get the best young players from the UK, France, Spain and all over the world."..."I think Ian is the man to take us forward, that's why we gave him a three year contract. Ian is a very good manager and I think he is the man to take us forward.Our relationship is very good, we speak everyday. I have commented on our relationship very often. I love Ian. " (QPR Official Site Q&A December 2005)

"We are arranging a new loan with the Lloyds TSB. The directors will give their personal guarantee on the loan. We hope to get an interest rate between 5.75% to 6%. Depending on the final interest rate we will save between £400-425k per year.....We are bringing the loss down every year and within a few years we hope to break even. Then we can really move forward"

"Thanks to some huge efforts in renewing its organization and bringing in some new investments, QPR are now sailing in safe waters. "We are optimistic when looking ahead for the New Year and for the whole of 2006, ...."Our hope and aim is that QPR will never again have to struggle against organizational confusion and financial distress that have badly hit the good name of our glorious club. "A special mention must go to Ian Holloway, who has shown his passion and devotion to the club and as someone who gives us positive hopes for promotion. "We are proud of our players and we are confident that we can continue to strengthen our team with some new arrivals at the beginning of the next year.

QPR have announced that Ian Holloway has been placed on 'gardening leave.'
Gary Waddock has been appointed as caretaker manager and will be taking first team training as of today.
Waddock is currently being consulted about a potential caretaker assistant manager to join him in the next few days.
The move follows speculation about Holloway joining Leicester City as their new manager.
The club is keen to avoid any distraction to the playing side and to move forward with the rest of the season as speedily as possible.
It has therefore put Ian Holloway and his managerial staff, Gary Penrice and Tim Breacker, on gardening leave with immediate effect.
Gary Waddock started at work on Monday morning in training with the players and in preparation for next Saturday's derby game against Millwall.
Gianni Paladini said: "QPR has not sacked Ian, but we are concerned about recent performances and the effect the speculation about Ian joining Leicester City might have on the players. "I hope we can sort something out with Ian as soon as possible. QPR will always be enormously grateful for the contribution he has made over the past five years, in particular gaining promotion for us in 2004.....QPR

Clubcall Paladini on Holloway departure07 Feb 2006
Queens Park Rangers chairman Gianni Paladini has spoken of his reasons behind placing Ian Holloway on gardening leave and revealed the decision was taken after an approach from the Foxes for Holloway to take over at the Walkers Stadium.
Paladini was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday where he confirmed that caretaker boss Gary Waddock is likely to remain in charge until the end of the season at Loftus Road and that the former Rangers player is a serious consider for the job on a full-time
Waddock has taken over from Holloway after the Rangers boss was the subject of an approach from Leicester last week and Paladini felt it was affecting the team: "I had a phonecall from Leicester the day after we played them last week asking for permission to speak to Ian," said Paladini.
"I told Ian and his agent and they wanted to speak to Leicester, so they did. It was very difficult because Ian has been fantastic for QPR over the last five years and it has been a privilege to work with him
"My feeling was that if you are happily married why whould you look for another woman? I felt that it was better for us to move in a different direction and for him to maybe move on after a long time here. But I have nothing but praise for the man."
Jim Smith has been linked with a role of Loftus Road but Paladini revealed he was only spoken to about the possibility of coming in to help out Waddock: "The idea was for Jim to come in on a consultancy basis. What we asked him to do for us he couldn't do it because he job was never offered to him as the manager," said Paladini.
"We felt he could come and help Gary but we could not offer him what he wanted and he has moved on. We wanted him to come in without a contract and to help it but things never happened." - QPR

Kilburn Times - Hats in the ring to follow Ollie
Ben Kosky, Kilburn Times, 9 February 2006

"...I cannot believe the amount of applications I've received already," said Paladini. "There have been floods of them coming in from all over the world - it must be at least 100."I've had applications from France, Spain, Israel and I've even had one from a young lad who's 19 years of age. It just shows how important QPR is to so many people...." Kilburn Times

Gianni Paladini has issued the following statement following recent inaccurate reporting.
Once again this club has been subjected to a barrage of pitifully inaccurate reporting in the London Evening Standard - and once again I am left with no option but to set the record straight in order that you, our true supporters, know exactly how QPR's finances stand.
The article in last Friday's edition should be seen in the light of the previous negative and misleading articles by the same author for which they had to print an apology and pay our solicitor's costs.
The total value of the debt in the 2005 accounts (ie the sum of the current liabilities and the long term liabilities) is £18m.The total value of the same debt in the 2004 accounts was £18m.In other words no change, but this is definitely not the impression conveyed by the headline.
As most fans know the biggest item in the total debt is the £10m loan from the ABC Corporation which was entered into in 2002 several years before the current regime took over.
Current liabilities fell in 2005 as the debts to the Customs & Revenue were reduced and short-term loans to shareholders were repaid.
You should also be aware that £2.8m of the total "debts" is for income for the 2005/06 season that was banked before the 31st May 2005 and, in accordance with standard accounting practice, is included in current liabilities as deferred income.The bulk of this deferred income is for season ticket receipts, which is being released in the 2005/06 financial year.
This means that the high value of the early bird season ticket sales for both the 2004 and 2005 seasons have increased the "debt" at the club's financial year end.So rather perversely the increase in deferred income is a positive sign and not an indication of "misery" as heralded by the Evening Standard.
The Standard did state that losses for the year were £2.5m but neglected to mention that was an improvement of £1.8m on the two previous years.This improvement was all the more impressive as it was achieved despite losing the revenue from Fulham ground sharing deal. Running costs have been reduced and supply contracts have been renegotiated.
I know these figures are wrong because I am so intimately involved in both the day-to-day running of the club, and its financial strategy and support. Along with my trusted friend and chairman of QPR Holdings, Antonio Caliendo, we have dug into our own pockets to pay off the debts we inherited when we took over - debts that, quite frankly, would have forced the club into liquidation if they had not been paid.
I need to say a few more words about Antonio at this point because the Standard has also intimated there is something dark and mysterious about his presence at the club. Antonio is chairman of our holding company, and I am chairman of the football club.
There is nothing murky or sinister about this two-man structure - it's exactly the same format that existed before we took over. We have no hidden agendas - if we did, we wouldn't have stuck around for so long, working so hard to get QPR's finances back on the straight and narrow.
The accounts for 2005 show a vast improvement on the previous years' results and the current projections for 2006 show that there will be another sizeable reduction in the clubs' net losses.However the Evening Standard states that the projected losses for the current season "could be as much as £4m" and will not be revealed until March 2007.
As the club has had no contact with the writer of this article we are left to ponder as to the both the source of his inaccurate statements and the motives behind them.
The club is currently working on its projections for next season and the board of directors are looking for further revenue opportunities and further cost savings as the club works towards a break-even situation.A more detailed update will be given to shareholders at the forthcoming AGM and a summary will then published on the QPR website. QPR

...."Judge me when I've put in place the players and the team.
"I've been able to make changes off the field, which a lot of fans don't see, but the most important thing that needs to improve is the playing side and I've not yet had the opportunity to do that.
"But make no mistake about it, during the summer there will be some decisions made, and I'll definitely make them for the benefit of the club, to take it forward.
"I've had the backing from Gianni (Paladini, chairman), Antonio (Caliendo, non-executive director) and the members of the board, they've backed me 100 per cent.
"They want to take the club forward and I've seen what they've done on a day to day basis, and I've got an opportunity to take that forward on the football side.
"I keep saying it, give me a chance to put my players in place, judge me with my style of football, then if there's any criticism I will take it on the chin.
"But at the moment I've had to work with the players that I've been here for a number of years. "That's fine, and the players have responded, but OK and average isn't good enough. "This football club is a large part of my life and I want to take it forward, I want to make it successful again."

April - Sporting Life - PALADINI AIMING HIGH
QPR chairman Gianni Paladini has demanded caretaker-boss Gary Waddock take the team into the play-offs next season...."We will be looking to end next season in the top six," Paladini said. "I've told Gary it is what I'm expecting, and I have every faith in him.
"Our original three year plan was reached: promotion to the Championship, and then survival. Now, however, it's time to raise the bar.
"We want a strong, young, fast side who are hungry and can help get us where we want to be and play the kind of football that people are happy to watch."

Gianni Paladini Q&A -Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - May 10, 2006
How soon do you expect to appoint the new manager?
"It's public knowledge that Gary will be the manager and Macca will be his assistant - the players all know that, so let's make it clear and there's no confusion about it."Gary wants to be his own man and he'll bring in his own people."
I cannot believe that Ollie will be out of work for the next two years - he's an up and coming manager, very popular and I'm positive he'll get a job by the end of this month. If he doesn't, we'll have to do something about it."
With hindsight, do you feel you handled Ian Holloway's situation in the right way?
"When I meet other chairmen, there's not one that doesn't think I did the right thing and they all think they'd do the same."If Gary, after three months, said he wanted to go and speak with, say, Birmingham City or Manchester United when he has a two-year contract with me, it's the end."Goodbye, don't bother to collect your stuff - I'll send it to you. It's as simple as that."What amazes me is this - a player under contract cannot be approached by another club, or they get fined. A manager under contract can be approached by another club, go and talk to them and he doesn't get fined by anybody."I don't see how that can work. Leicester approached me and I don't think it should be allowed for them to ask when my manager is under contract for another two and a half years."
The season ended with a very poor run of results under Gary Waddock, so why do you feel he is the right man to take QPR forward?
"My personal view is that I've enjoyed the football under Gary - we played some very good games against Norwich and Reading recently."I really don't have much time for people who say 'good luck, bad luck' - I'm looking at the way we play."There was never any danger of us going down and in our division it makes no difference to be 21st or seventh. It's about whether you are preparing for next season."The reason why we played some younger players and stuck to that in the last five or six games was to see the strength of what we've got in the camp."It's only fair to Gary to judge him on the players he brings in. If we're unsuccessful next season, it'll be a problem and he knows that."
Is it realistic to expect a push for the top six next season while you're trying to cut costs?"
Unless they live on Mars or the Moon, everybody knows that unless you get success, the fans won't stand for you and we're all in the same boat. I don't want to come here and not enjoy the games."
It will be the fourth year since I became involved with QPR and I've never been in a position where we're fighting relegation. I want us to be in a good position by Christmas to challenge for the play-offs and, if we're not, Gary knows the situation."Queens Park Rangers fans are not stupid - they're brought up to be entertained and they like good football, so I think they understand what we're trying to do."The good news is that we are up on ticket sales compared with this time last year, so people are already responding."
What's the financial state of the club compared to when you took over as chairman?"Things are much better - . We have a new shirt sponsor and we hope to have a different sponsor for the shorts as well."We've reduced our budget for next season. This year was £5.5m and next year will be nearer £4m - that's our plan for the next three years and this is why we're reducing the number of players."There are just too many players and we seem to have the longest squad list wherever we go. We want to have a squad of about 25, that's more or less what teams like Watford have got."
How has the squad size been allowed to balloon - is it a direct result of signing players with persistent injury problems such as Dean Sturridge?
"To be fair, Sturridge's record was outstanding - he scored goals left, right and centre and I'm not blaming Ollie for the fact that it didn't work out."He felt Sturridge was worth a gamble and we took it, but when you cut open the melon it's not always nice and red.""At any club, you can have the best players in the world, but if they're injured through silly things, you're forced to get more players in all the time."That's what happened to Ollie this year - we got seven players in during the summer and he had to bring more because of the injuries. Players' wages have to be paid, but we also have to pay the bills."
I don't want people injured all the time for no reason. It was always the same - hamstring, hamstring, hamstring - and something can't be right there."I believe that going to Ibiza last summer wasn't the best preparation, especially working on the plastic pitch and I won't take the team there again."In Italy there will be better training facilities - and also it's an easy way for me to get home for a week!

The Club can confirm that Ugo Ukah has today joined Italian outfit Nourese Calcio on a free transfer.
Ukah, who made just two appearances for the R's, has signed a three year contract with the Serie C2 side.
Chairman Gianni Paladini confirmed the news to qpr.co.uk: "We've negotiated a fifty per-cent sell-on clause and we wish him all the best.''
The Nigerian defender, who joined the club in the summer of 2005, figured in back-to-back 3-0 defeats against Coventry City and Northampton Town in August.
Meanwhile, Paladini confirmed the Club have offered winger Lee Cook a new two year contract extension, which will tie him to the Hoops until 2009.
Cook is currently on holiday, but is due to open negotiations on his return next week. Cook has been offered a two year contract extension
"I've spoke to Lee's agent who has confirmed that he's happy to stay with us for another two years,'' said Paladini. "He's looking forward to working with Gary Waddock and Alan McDonald next season and is very optimistic about the future.''
In other news, Shabazz Baidoo is expected to sign a new two year contract later this week and Paladini also confirmed the Club are further looking to strengthen their squad ahead of the 2006/07 Coca Cola Championship campaign.
R's Chairman Gianni Paladini "We've already agreed terms with one target which will be announced soon. He'll give us more depth in the defensive unit and we're also keen to sign one or two strikers before the start of the season.'' QPR

Cameroon international Armel Tchakounte has put pen to paper on a one year deal with the Hoops.
The 27 year-old, who trained with Rangers during the latter part of the season, today (Thursday) penned a one year deal - with an option of a second year - at Loftus Road.
Armel, whose previous clubs include Kitchee FC (Hong Kong), is a right footed, defensive midfielder, with great physical skills, high stamina and bags of experience in the top leagues in Africa and Asia.
"It's a dream come true to sign for an English club like QPR,'' Armel told qpr.co.uk.
"I really enjoyed my time training with the team during the last few weeks of the season and am glad I was rewarded with a contract.
"QPR are a big club and I'm really looking forward to playing at Loftus Road for the first time and helping the team next season.''
Hoops Caretaker Manager Gary Waddock was delighted to secure his second signing in as many hours, commenting: "Armel shone in training and will be a huge addition to this football club.
"He's a big, strong, powerful lad with great energy and will be a key player for us next season.''
Chairman Gianni Paladini believes the Hoops' latest signing will prove to be a firm favourite with the Rangers fans.
"He can run all day and has a never-say-die attitude. He will be a tremendous signing.
"Gary was really impressed with him in the three weeks he spent with us towards the end of last season and coupled with the other players we hope to bring in over the summer, we're really optimistic about the future.'' QPR

QPR Official Site - June 8, 2006 PALADINI SPEAKS
With the start of a new season beckoning, Gianni Paladini would like to clarify the position and goals of QPR:
Last year was a difficult season both for the club and for me personally. I feel that resultant media coverage and speculation has obscured what the Board are striving to achieve with the club, so I would like to take this opportunity to re-state our goals.
Let us state up-front that our ultimate goal is to get the club back into the Premiership where we believe QPR belong, but we know that this will only be achieved with a gradual step by step approach.
To achieve this goal we need to provide the club with financial stability and to improve the quality of playing squad and coaching staff.
As stated previously, the aim of the current Board is for the underlying business of the club to break-even.
Next season will see further improvements and we expect the losses fall to below £1m - a significant improvement on the years before I became involved with the club.
Without the financial support of the current Board, the club would have gone into administration last season. With the financial resources being made available, the club will not go into administration with the current Board in control.
All the members of the Board are people who love football and are committed to QPR.
The Board has already put in place our financing for next season and we will continue to bring in new investors, to help fund further improvements to the squad and the club.
We are currently engaged in discussions with potential new investors, who are very enthusiastic about QPR, and we hope to make an announcement about this in the near future.
The Club would also like to highlight three commercial deals that the current Board have done for the club.
The new four year deal with our shirt manufacturer Le Coq Sportif will bring in an additional £250,000 per annum; the new shirt sponsors Cargiant will bring in £150,000 per annum; and the new stand and shorts sponsors GJ Electrical will also bring in another £150,000 per annum.
In addition, there are two other high value commercial deals, currently in the final stages of negotiation, that will be announced soon.
There would appear to be a contradiction between the club breaking even and improving the quality of the squad. Recent experience has taught us that just spending money on players will not guarantee results, unless of course you have the resources of Russian oligarch at your disposal.
However, with a solid financial and administrative base established at the club, the Board and new investors will feel confident enough to provide further resources for the playing squad.
As I still get asked about the ABC loan I would like to tell the fans and shareholders that we are hoping to replace the ABC loan in the near future with a cheaper loan from a more reputable financial institution.
What do we know about the ABC Corporation? Unfortunately very little, we have suspicions, but we can't prove who the controlling interest behind the ABC Corporation is.
The ABC Corporation's lack of transparency means that the Board must question their motives and their attitude towards the club which is why the Board wish to refinance the ABC loan. We will be reviewing the legality of the ABC loan.
Just to confirm what has been stated previously, Gary Waddock is the Manager-designate and once the situation with Ian Holloway has been resolved then Gary will formally be announced as the Manager.
Recent speculation in the press about a dispute regarding compensation between Ian Holloway and the club is wholly untrue.
We continue to have an amicable relationship with Ian, who is still being paid in full. Ian hopes to have a managerial position sorted out with a new club shortly.
Gary has been responsible for selecting next season's squad and coaching team. The first team squad for next season will comprise of 26 players which is only two players less than the squad we started last season with.
Many old favourites are still here such as Dan Shittu, Lee Cook, Gareth Ainsworth, Paul Furlong and Kevin Gallen.
Martin Rowlands and Matthew Rose will also be back from injury. We are spoilt for choice with two excellent goalkeepers in Simon Royce and Paul Jones as well as Jake Cole and Sean Thomas waiting in the wings.
We have a superb group of youngsters coming through with Scott Donnelly, Shabazz Baidoo, Stefan Bailey, Dominic Shimmin and Pat Kanyuka.
Our new signings include Damion Stewart, who had a good game for Jamaica against England and Armel Tchakounte from Cameroon. We look forward to announcing the final three signings that we are currently negotiating with as soon as we are able.
I would like to thank all the fans that have already renewed their season tickets for next season.
The volume of season tickets processed so far at 6,300 is slightly down on the number of tickets processed at this stage last year, a pattern that has been reflected across other clubs, but we expect further sales once we confirm next season's signings.
The vast majority of these are full price season ticket renewals and 443 are new full price season ticket holders.
There are 417 free tickets for kids so far and I am personally delighted that we have attracted these young season tickets holders as they are the fans of the future.
We have put our finances in order, our losses will continue to fall towards a break even situation, we have a new manager ready to take us forward and we have a new and younger squad that will form the basis of a team to challenge for promotion to the Premiership.
I look forward to seeing all of you at the first home game of next season, and I thank you for your continued loyal support.
Come on you R's! Gianni Paladini QPR

Flanked by Chairman Gianni Paladini, Gary Waddock met the press today (Friday) for the first time since being appointed R's manager.
After being named as Ian Holloway's successor on Wednesday afternoon, Waddock oversaw his first training session yesterday, before taking time out this morning to meet the national press.
"It's my dream job - without a doubt,'' said Waddock.
"I've played and coached the Club and this is the final step for me.
"It's good for everyone that the situation is resolved; for me, the Club and for Ian Holloway - the timing is great.''
Waddock revealed he has tried calling Ollie to wish him all the best, saying: "I've tried ringing Ian, but the phone has been engaged non stop. I'll try him again today, because I genuinely wish him all the best at Plymouth - except when we play them!''
Waddock continued: "It was a great experience last season. I learnt a lot in that period of time as Caretaker and it should stand us in good stead for next season.
"The players are back and the buzz is back. We've got a fantastic set-up and we're all really looking forward to the new campaign.
"Our first league game is the one I'm really looking forward to. The next game is always the most important in football.
"We've got to be realistic, but we - the staff and the players - think we can drastically improve on last season.
"There are some big, big sides in the Championship, spending a lot of money, but we believe the players we've signed, and those we're targeting, can take us to the next level.
"We'd love to go out and match the spending power of the Coventry's and Birmingham's of this division, but we need to balance the books at the same time.''
Paladini also expressed his delight at the appointment, commenting: "I trust Gary, I believe in him and I'm sure he can take this Club to a new level; back to where I and the fans think we belong.
"We made the decision that Gary was the natural replacement. They type of football he plays is fantastic; his attitude is second to none; and he's QPR through and through.
"Myself and the board aim to take this Club forward and with Gary in charge we're confident that will be the case.
"This is a new era for the Club. We're trying to put this Club back to where it belongs.
"Our aim, our ambition is to make the play-offs. You've got to set yourself targets and that is our aim. It might not happen immediately, but if you don't set yourself targets there is nothing to aim for.''
Paladini also reserved praise for Holloway, saying: "I'm glad for Ian and I'd like to thank him for the job he's done here. I wish him all the best at Plymouth.
"He was fantastic for this Club, but things change. The past is the past and we're focusing on the future. That's what counts most now.''
Paladini also revealed that the search for new players in continuing: "We're still on the look out for players.
"We're interested in one who has played in the World Cup and one who is with a Premiership side, but we'll have to wait and see.
"We'll not take any risks. We've got a few irons in the fire, but until we're convinced by the players 100 per-cent, we won't sign them.''
And finally, Paladini had a message for the fans: "The board is united, the Club is together. We're working towards being financially stable and I can definitely say that any problems we had in the past are now firmly behind us.
"We're moving forward for the good of this Club. Success breeds success and I'm confident that under the guidance of Gary Waddock, his staff, and the players, we can progress.'' QPR

QPR - QPR are pleased to announce a pre-season friendly against MK Dons on July 15.
After only just receiving the official word from Brentford that the game scheduled for July 18 was to be cancelled, QPR have been busily trying to arrange a fixture to take its place and are delighted that MK Dons have been able to fulfil our requirements.MK Dons were themselves trying to hastily find opposition after also having a game cancelled.
The game will take place at the National Hockey Stadium and will kick off at 3pm and will be the first meeting of the two clubs since the Dons' move to Milton Keynes.
Gary Waddock said: "I'm obviously very pleased to have managed to get another pre-season game fixed up as quickly as this, and my thanks go to MK Dons for answering our request.
"We needed another game around that weekend, and I'm now looking forward to visiting Milton Keynes for the first time with a QPR side.
"It's not that far and hopefully our fans will turn out in force to support us there." - QPR

-QPR Official Site - June 16, 2006 - MK DONS GAME CANCELLED
Gianni Paladini would like to make the following statement, after making the decision to cancel the game against MK Dons on July 15.
"After several phonecalls and threats from our own supporters, I have decided not to go ahead with the game.
"I was extremely embarrassed at having to call the club secretary at MK Dons after he had done all he could to arrange a fixture on a day where we struggled to find any opposition.
"We were tremendously grateful to MK Dons for having initially agreed to play the fixture after Brentford cancelled the original game due to be played on July 18.
"Had that cancellation not have arisen, this whole situation would have been avoided.
"After Brentford pulled out, QPR re-contacted ALL Premiership and Football League clubs within a two hour travelling distance, yet MK Dons were the only club who answered our request.
"QPR apologises to everyone at MK Dons who pulled out all the stops to arrange a fixture at such short notice and also to all our fans that were willing to travel to the MK Dons fixture and were looking forward to visiting a new ground."
Gianni Paladini QPR

Thursday, July 27, 2006 -QPR Holding Chairman, Antonio Caliendo Statement re QPR Post-Dunga- QPR STATEMENT

In the wake of widespread and further inaccurate reporting, Chairman of QPR Holdings Ltd, Antonio Caliendo, would like to issue the following statement:
"Despite Carlos Dunga tendering his resignation as a non-executive director on Tuesday, he will continue to support the Club financially.
"The Board's objective remains the same as it always has been - to get QPR back on a sound financial footing and in time, a return to the Premiership.
"I want to reassure the shareholders and supporters that we are doing everything possible to achieve that goal.
"We have invested wisely in the squad this summer and I believe we are in a fantastic position to challenge in the top half of the Championship.
"Last season was a very difficult time for the Board. Since September, we've put in over £4million to ensure the Club's finances are in a stable position to build for the future.
"As a Board, we aim to keep our promise of not selling our best players. Obviously there are certain clauses in players' contracts which means we have to allow them to speak to other Clubs, but our aim is the Premiership and to achieve this we need to keep all our best players.
"The Dan Shittu situation is a perfect example. The bottom line is that we want to keep Danny at the Club. He's a fantastic professional and a tremendous player, but if we receive a £3million bid then he has the freedom to talk to whoever comes in for him.
"We love Queens Park Rangers and we are doing everything possible to safeguard the prestige of this wonderful Club.
"Together, there is only one voice - We Are QPR.'' QPR

QPR are delighted to announce the appointment of Graham Mackrell, as Chief Operating Officer.
A qualified accountant, Mackrell will offer assistance to the board, with the focus on improving the Club's off-the-field activities.
"I'm really looking forward to the challenge ahead,'' Mackrell told qpr.co.uk.
"QPR is a club with fantastic tradition and I'm excited about the prospect of working with the strong team we already have in place here.
"I'm here to add professionalism and my aim is to ensure the Club's off-the-field ambitions match those on it.''
Mackrell has worked in professional football for 25 years, including spells at Sheffield Wednesday, Luton Town, AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United.
He is also a Venue Director for UEFA.
Chairman Gianni Paladini is delighted to have Mackrell on board, commenting: "Graham will raise our profile within football thanks to his extensive work with UEFA and the League Managers Association.
"He is extremely well-known and respected within the game and also benefits from being a qualified accountant.
"I would like to wish Graham all the best and welcome him to QPR.'' QPR

Having just returned from the R's pre-season tour of Italy, QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini can't wait for the big kick-off.
"The trip to Sorrento was a great success, providing the players and coaching staff with an opportunity for some intense training and team bonding.
"Despite the players staying in one of the town's grandest hotels, and having been fitted with brand new QPR tailor-made suits for every player, the trip paid for itself and the Club even managed to make a tiny profit from it.
"Gary, Macca and the coaching staff are now ready for the new season. I believe we have a much improved squad, with summer signings including Armel Tchakounte, Jamaican international defender Damion Stewart, Egutu Oliseh, Adam Czerkas and the much talked about Nicky Ward, and the important re-signing of Lee Cook for two more years.
"Many of last season's first team have improved over pre-season and it has been particularly pleasing to see Martin Rowlands back to full fitness. A number of the youth squad have made tremendous steps forward during pre-season and will be fighting for places in Gary's first team.
"It is frustrating that, despite all the hard work everyone has been doing during pre-season, a tiny minority of people seem intent on damaging team morale and destroying the Club in the run up to our important first game.
"Not only have they once again invented wholly false rumours about the state of the Club, but unfortunately a couple of journalists with a record of writing stories against QPR, and with links to some of the individuals intent on destabilising the Club, have blown up these rumours and made up stories from nothing.
"Last week it was suggested in some of the press that we were putting QPR up for sale. Unfortunately the journalists responsible for this story failed to even check the official statement from Antonio Caliendo, Chairman of Holdings, on the Club's official website, making clear the Board's continued commitment to QPR.
"I have always said if someone with QPR's best interests at heart wants to come along and buy out the existing Board we would not stand in their way. Nothing has changed and nobody has come forward. We will continue to seek out new investors to take the Club even further forward, but as Antonio made clear last week, we are committed to QPR.
"The Club is in a better financial position than it has been in for a number of years. Things are still tough, but we have reduced the annual debt by millions and intend to reduce it further. Yet ridiculous rumours still seem to be invented by a few people for reasons beyond me.
"The latest is the absurd rumour suggested on a message board that the players were locked out of the Harlington training ground, when in fact Gary Waddock had just given them the day off as they had only recently arrived back from a busy schedule in Italy.
"The same newspaper that had to apologise for a series of inaccurate stories about me last season, the Evening Standard, then chose to repeat this wholly false rumour as fact without even checking with me, the coaching staff, or even Imperial College - the owners of the training ground.
"In an article by a journalist named Wayne Vesey, under the headline 'Locked-out Rangers are unable to train' the Standard claimed that the Club was locked out of the training ground on Monday. Such a clearly false statement damages the reputation of the Club, and the morale of the players and supporters. I have been advised it is libellous and our lawyers will be contacting the Standard immediately to demand a retraction.
"QPR fans will ask themselves why should people invent such rumours? The purpose can only be to destabilise the Club and to injure the morale of players and fans just days before the season kicks off. The Club will not allow another season to be derailed by these people.
"The Board, Gary Waddock and the coaching staff, and the players and other members of staff, are all united in our focus to move this great club forward and to achieve success this season on the pitch. We believe we have the squad and the resources to do so. We will not allow a tiny group of people, driven by an agenda that has nothing to do with football, to destroy this Club.
"I urge all fans to treat such rumour-mongers with the contempt and scepticism they deserve. They have been claiming we would go into administration every week for the past year, and they never admit they are wrong when we don't.
"They claimed we were locked out of the training ground before and even that the groundsmen would not cut the grass at the stadium. They predicted we would spend all the Club's money on agents' fees when we have spent less than nearly any other club in this division. They predicted we would sell off Loftus Road and all our best players because we could not afford their wages.
"Just yesterday they claimed we were locked out of the training ground because we could not afford the rent; but today, as scheduled, our players are training at the training ground. On each and every occasion their rumours have been proven false.
"As I believe you say in England, when someone cries wolf so many times, people stop listening. But every time the rumour-mongers are proven wrong they invent another rumour, so desperate to be proven right and for the Club to fail.
"For the last time I say to those who's criticism of the Board has developed into an agenda to undermine the Club, if you know of a better alternative to take QPR forward with the necessary funding to support it, then please let us know. Otherwise stop pursuing a divisive and destructive agenda. The Board, the players and staff and the thousands of fans of QPR will not allow a small selfish group to ruin the season for the rest of us.
"I know most QPR fans will be sensible enough to take every rumour and press speculation with a hefty pinch of salt. We seem to be in the 'silly season' right now - only today I saw an article in the Mirror claiming I had rejected an offer of £3million for Danny Shittu from Wolves and would only sell him for £10 million.
"The story is, of course, rubbish. As I have said all along, we don't want to sell Danny, but if someone comes in with an offer of £3million or above it will be up to him to decide. Nobody has made such an offer and so Danny will be starting the season with us.
"So as we prepare for the opening game at Burnley on Saturday, and then two exciting home games against Leeds United and newly promoted Southend United, I cannot wait for the football to start and for the players to do the talking on the pitch."And I urge every single QPR fan to get fully behind Gary and the boys and help them to turn this into a glorious season. Come on You R's!'' Gianni Paladini


CLUB STATEMENT Queens Park Rangers Football Club would like to issue the following statement to clear the air over yet more wildly inaccurate reporting in the press and on various message boards.QPR staff were admitted to the training ground on Monday. No players were refused admittance to the ground yesterday. This is because no players turned up as it had been decided to give them an extra day off after their pre-season tour to Italy. The players are back at the training ground today (Tuesday) working hard for the opening match of the season at Turf Moor on Saturday. We can confirm that there was no Portsmouth player on trial with the Club either yesterday or today. It should also be noted that the items printed in the press had not been checked with either QPR or Imperial College before being published.And remember... www.qpr.co.uk is the R's official website - where all the breaking news comes first and fastest. QPR

Sunday Mirror 6 August 2006 LIVING IN FEAR
Contract killer threat forces QPR chairman to wear a bullet-proof vest GIANNI PALADINI EXCLUSIVE Anthony Clavane
QPR chairman Gianni Paladini is living in fear after a contract was legedly put out on his life.
Following advice by the police, the controversial Rangers chief now has to wear a bullet-proof vest.
In an exclusive interview with Sunday Mirror Sport, Paladini hit out at fans opposed to his regime at Loftus Road, calling them the "enemy within".
Paladini said: "I find it incredible what's going on here. You have to fight against so many things. This must be the only club where the fans love to put s**t on their own club on the website."

.....The Italian tycoon was furious to discover an attempt to sabotage an interview with him on the QPR website after he returned from the R's pre-season tour of his home country. He said: "I went mad. It's been cancelled now. They're trying to wind me up. I give up, I really do. I nearly got a heart attack when I saw it.
"They put the face of a fan up there, somebody is stirring things up.
"Sometimes I wonder why I got myself involved in this situation. Whatever you do, you can't win. Even if you win the league and get promoted, you'll still have people who criticise.
"I feel like a dartboard. People are always throwing darts at me.
"We have an enemy within. What kind of people do these things? How can you be a QPR fan when you put this s**t in?"
Paladini also suspected foul play when one newspaper reported last week that Rangers players were turned away from their training ground because the rent had not been paid.
He blasted: "This did not happen. I have a statement showing we paid Imperial College, who we rent the ground from, £32,250 on 18 July. How can they shut it for non-payment two weeks after paying the rent? It's insane.
"There were people from a QPR fan group outside the training ground at 7.20am, putting it out that the players had been locked out.
"But people were asleep at that time. The players didn't go in until 10am.
"They put out so much s**t, so much rubbish, that I just give up.
"Since I've come here there's been problem after problem after problem but now, thank God, it's all left behind. Now we will only concentrate on the football and take this club forward.
"With the players we've brought in and the new manager, Gary Waddock, we're looking forward to an exciting season.
"We've reduced the average age of the team and we've brought in players to give us stability for the next two or three years.
"It's been a very difficult time. But it's business as usual. I just carry on doing my job.
"In this game you need a lot of money. When I came here we were losing more than £500,000 a year but, by the end of next season, we should be out of debt.
"I'm lucky that the people with me they are prepared to put in money. This month, to pay the wages, they had to put in more money." ...
"Fortunately I've been involved in foot ball for the last 30 years and it's helped me a lot, because I1 can get certain players in." QPR

Alan McDonald has been given notice to terminate his employment at Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
After making 483 appearances for the Hoops in a successful 16-year spell as a player, McDonald joined the R's as Caretaker Assistant Manager in February 2006, prior to taking up the position of Assistant Manager towards the end of June.
Chairman Gianni Paladini told qpr.co.uk: "I'd like to thank Alan McDonald for all the hard work he's done here since February.
"He's been a great servant for this Club, both as a player and in his role as Assistant Manager, and I wish him all the best for the future.''

Queens Park Rangers Football Club have parted company with Gary Waddock.

Waddock was named as manager on June 28 after a spell as caretaker manager following the departure of Ian Holloway.
The former Rangers midfielder moved into a coaching role when John Gregory was then appointed at the end of last month.
QPR would like to thank Gary and wish him every success in the future.

Paladini Taking Legal Action re "A Kick Up The Rs" Publication
Statement by Gianni Paladini on the recent edition of 'A Kick Up The Rs:'
The publication 'A Kick Up The Rs' has recently published a deeply misleading, inaccurate and scandalous article about myself and Queens Park Rangers FC.
A number of serious allegations have been made in that publication which are not true. The publication failed to contact myself or anyone else at the Club to verify their allegations.
Considering the seriousness of the allegations, I have been reluctantly forced to take legal action. The matter is now in the hands of my solicitors.
I expect a comprehensive retraction and apology from the publication for publishing these falsehoods. If they are not prepared to provide that, the matter will be dealt with by the courts.
I am sorry it must come to this, but in order for me to be able to defend myself from such blatant and hurtful untruths, I have no alternative than to take this action.
I shall make no further comment on this matter until either the apology and retraction has been received or legal proceedings are concluded."
Official Site

The Editor and proprietor of the fanzine 'A Kick Up The R's' today agreed to publish the following retraction and apology to QPR Chairman, Gianni Paladini:
In the September edition of the newsletter 'A Kick Up the R's', we published a series of articles by Cos Atiolis about Mr Paladini, the Chairman of Queen's Park Rangers football club.
In these articles we falsely suggested that Mr Paladini was involved in fraud, corruption, malpractice and dishonesty, and made a number of other serious false, misleading and defamatory statements about him.
We now fully accept that there is no truth whatsoever in these allegations and we are extremely sorry for the distress and embarrassment caused by the articles.
The newsletter containing the articles has been withdrawn from sale and we have offered Mr Paladini a full right of reply to the articles, which will appear in the next edition.
Paladini said: "I am delighted that the fanzine has withdrawn the untrue and unfair allegations it made against me, and that it was possible to resolve this without legal action.
"Although everyone has a right to free speech, and I welcome constructive criticism, I take my professional reputation very seriously and will not stand by whilst I am accused falsely.
"I find these allegations distressing, not just because they damage me, but also because of the distress they cause to my family and to QPR fans.
"I would never want to fall out with any of our fans. The way to move this club forward is to be united.
"Fortunately, AKUTRs has accepted there was no truth to the serious allegations it published and has retracted them. I will be exercising a full right to reply in the December edition, and I hope that is then the end of the matter." QPR

QPR Official Site: Official Club statement by Antonio Caliendo and Gianni Paladini.
We owe it to QPR fans to respond to the allegations made in the Daily Express on Saturday in an article entitled "Are Rangers Going bust?"
The article was misleading in many respects and we can assure our many supporters that there is no possibility of QPR going bust whilst we remain on board.
We have seen too many attacks on QPR in the press that simply don't reflect the reality of today's situation. It seems there is always someone who wants to discredit our club.
Our goal remains the same as always: to take QPR to the highest position in English football. Despite injuries and recent results, we believe John Gregory will be able to take QPR back to the position it was in when he played for the Club.
We accept that talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. We will only ever prove our critics wrong by taking the Club forward, and we are 100 per-cent committed to continuing with that.
Finally, we would also like to take this opportunity to wish all of the staff and fans of QPR a very happy Christmas and a successful New Year.
Antonio Caliendo - Chairman of QPR Holdings
Gianni Paladini - Chairman of QPR FC QPR Official Site QPR

QPR are delighted to announce that the club will be teaming up with Barclays Bank and Deloitte & Touche.
Over the next 12 months the club will be working in collaboration with the two financial companies, who will provide professional advice on all financial matters relating to the club.
Deloitte will provide an independent review of the business and aim to work in partnership with the club to provide support and address the key business issues requiring resolution should there be any which need addressing.
Following the departure of Chief Operating Officer, Graham Mackrell, QPR will still have sound financial and business advice from two of the financial world's experts.
QPR would like to thank Graham Mackrell for all of his hard work over the last few months.

The club would like to welcome Deloitte on board and look forward to working with them in the future.


December 2005 - December 2005
January 2006 - January 2006
February - February
March - March
April - April
May - May
June - June
July - July
August - August
September - September
October - October
November - November

QPR's 2006: "It was the best of times. It was the Worst of Times."

"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times… It was the age of wisdom; it Was the age of Foolishness. ..." Actually - at least in the eye of this beholder -there were very few “best of times” for QPR during 2006 either on or off the field..

2006: A year that entered with QPR on the edge of playoff spot and Chairman Comments about the club "now sailing in safe waters" ends with the club having lost six out of seven games and struggling to stay out the relegation trio.

2006: The Year about rumours of a managerial change and of Board interference and a Chairman's announcement of complete support for the manager...Then "Gardening Leave" and "The Trial" (which led to acquittals but no subsequent comment by the Chairman). The Year of Legal Action threatened against the Fan Magazine, AKUTRS. The year that a Response to the AKUTRS article was demanded and agreed to; but not written/published (at least as of yet.) The appointment and termination of Waddock and McDonald...The appointment and departure within a couple of months, of Chief Operating Officer, Graham Mackrell. The "departure" and then sudden reeemergence months later - without any explanation - of Defender Ugo Ukah. The announcement that a number of players will be leaving in the summer. And then they end up not leaving.

Allegations about a closed training ground - strongly denied (and legal action threatened against the Evening Standard for making them.. A pre-season friendly against MK Dons ("Wimbledon") announced and then swiftly cancelled after "threats.") And statements by Chairman Paladini about everything being ok except for some conspiratorial allegations about plots by a few "fans." And of course a pre-season trip of Italy, with suits for all players promised but perhaps not delivered. And a Chairman reportedly now wearing a bullet proof vest and a Detective from "The Trial" now employed at Loftus Road. Board Member and investor, Dunga leaves to manage Brazil.

What made it even harder to bare was that a number of the problems of the club were virtually self-inflicted: Actions taken that didn't need to be taken; players signed who contributed very little to the First team; but did make their contribution to the club's wage bill. That of course, is primarily the fault of whoever signed them. A neophyte manager appointed after an experienced manager - QPR's longest-serving manager since Alec Stock was placed on "gardening leave." ostensibly because he had applied for the Leicester City Managership position - having been given leave to do so by the club. Gary Waddock was then appointed acting manager and then despite a run of really bad results, being given the job on a permanent basis.

2006 was The Year of "The Trial" (and the acquittal of all of the accused.) [See Tracy Stent's Trial Report

...And never forgetting a 10% per year, 10 million pound debt oweable to the mysterious ABC Corporation continues to hover around the club even as other debts also persist. And several times the Chairman speaks about replacing the ABC Loan.


December 2005 - December 2005
January 2006 - January 2006
February - February
March - March
April - April
May - May
June - June
July - July
August - August
September - September
October - October

* Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities

QPR Comparison: After 26 Games: 2006/07: 27 Points...2005/06: 32 Points...2004/05: 33 Points

QPR enter 2007 with 27 points from 26 games. This point last season: QPR had 32 points from 26 games, and 35 points after 27 games). Two seasons ago at this time, QPR had 33 point from 26 games (34 after 27 games).

[Of course a year ago, after his club's December 31, 4-3 victory at Crewe (which gave QPR 35 points after 27 games) Ian Holloway was talking about various off-the-field activities at QPR and his place at the club, with press reports of Jim Smith coming to QPR (denied by the club). "We already have more points than we did at this exact point this time last year with a game hand. "But that doesn't seem to be good enough for some people. I'm sick and tired of every Tom, Dick and Harry getting linked with my job every day. "Well ding, dang, doo. It's my job, I own it and it's up to anyone else to take it off me." BBC
Crewe vs QPR Lineup - Royce, Bignot, Shittu, Santos, Rose, Langley, Bircham, Rowlands, Cook, Nygaard, Baidoo - Subs Not Used: Moore, Donnelly, Ainsworth, Furlong. Milanese -- Match ReportMAtch Report

Table -December 30, 2006
30 December 2006
1 Birmingham 26 21 53
2 Preston 26 13 47
3 Derby 26 7 47
4 Southampton 26 12 44
5 West Brom 26 19 43
6 Colchester 26 16 43
7 Stoke 26 14 43
8 Cardiff 26 8 42
9 Sheff Wed 26 3 40
10 Wolverhampton 26 -3 39
11 Burnley 26 4 37
12 Sunderland 26 2 37
13 Plymouth 26 -1 35
14 Coventry 26 -5 34
15 Norwich 26 -6 34
16 Ipswich 26 -1 32
17 Leicester 26 -6 32
18 Crystal Palace 26 -3 31
19 Luton 26 -10 30
20 QPR 26 -8 27
21 Barnsley 26 -16 26
22 Hull 26 -12 24
23 Leeds 26 -23 21
24 Southend 26 -25 18


December 30, 2005
Reading 26 65
Sheff Utd 26
Leeds 25 45 10 32 1-0 v Stoke
Watford 26 43 11 42 0-0 FT v Millwall
Crystal Palace 24 38 11 37 2-0 v Derby
Wolverhampton 26 38 9 31 2-0 FT v Sheff Wed
Burnley 26 38 5 37 1-2 FT v Norwich
Luton 26 38 3 39 3-0 FT v Brighton
Stoke 26 37 -4 32 0-1 v Leeds
Preston 25 35 6 27 P-P v Plymouth
Cardiff 26 35 4 33 0-1 FT v QPR
Norwich 26 35 -2 31 2-1 FT v Burnley
QPR 26 32 -7 28 1-0 FT v Cardiff
Southampton 25 31 0 26 0-1 FT v Sheff Utd
Hull 26 30 -3 26 2-0 FT v Ipswich
Coventry 26 29 -7 31 1-1 FT v Crewe
Ipswich 26 29 -13 27 0-2 FT v Hull
Derby 26 28 -5 31 0-2 v Crystal Palace
Plymouth 24 27 -7 22 P-P v Preston
Leicester 25 26 -4 27 0-1 v Reading
Brighton 26 25 -14 25 0-3 FT v Luton
Crewe 26 22 -21 28 1-1 FT v Coventry
Sheff Wed 26 21 -15 17 0-2 FT v Wolverhampton
Millwall 26 19 -20 18 0-0 FT v Watford

Further Reports & Comments re Norwich's Victory Against QPR

[NB: See previous QPR-Norwich match reports & Comments - Norwich 1 QPR 0


UPDATE:The Times- January 1, 2007 - Ron Lewis
Dublin still has passion to do the business

If Norwich City are going to force their way up the table to the play-offs position that Peter Grant, their manager, believes they can attain, they are going to need some leaders on the field. Fortunately, a player whom Grant sees as an inspiration leads their strike force.
Dion Dublin, who scored the only goal in Saturday’s win over Queens Park Rangers, is 37 but the years have been kind. With a fourth game in a ten-day period, away to Crystal Palace today, Grant knows Dublin will need no motivating. “If you ask Dion, he will say he’s available, because he’s desperate to play,” Grant said. “He is a wonderful professional who looks after himself. Nowadays, there are guys who want to get out of the game as soon as they’ve made a few bob. The younger players can look at him and see what’s possible. The rewards are massive in this game and the sacrifices are minimal. You are a long time not being a footballer, so enjoy yourself then.”
Part of Dublin’s secret is that Grant allows him to miss training until Thursday on quiet weeks. “I’m going to be tired, but everyone is at the moment,” Dublin said.
His goal showed a finishing touch lacking from anyone on either side in a match not short of chances. His moment came in the 68th minute when Damion Stewart, QPR’s Jamaica defender, failed to clear a long ball. Robert Earnshaw knocked the ball into Dublin’s path for him to fire in.
Norwich deserved the win on their second-half display, although Martin Rowlands looked a threat for QPR early on before limping off with a calf injury before half-time.
QPR’s problem is a lack of goals. “The transfer window could be beneficial for us, but we are already paying 35 professionals — our squad must be bigger than Inter Milan’s,” John Gregory, the manager, said. Rumours persist that Lee Cook, the winger, and Ray Jones, the 18-year-old striker, could leave in the next month.
“Jones is a YTS boy,” Gregory said. “We’ve offered him three contracts and they have all been turned down by his agent.” - The Times

Norwich boss Peter Grant:
"Dion was tremendous. He scored one goal and could have had a couple more.
"I'd love to have Dion here again next year that's for sure. I think he's got a few more years in him yet.
"I was disappointed we didn't score more than one but this was a very important win and I'll settle for it."
QPR manager John Gregory:
"It was a good performance but we did not take advantage of the good spell we had in the first half.
"Results have been very generous to us but that can't continue forever and we have to start getting the points ourselves.
"I'm glad the transfer window is coming up because that should give me a chance to do something about it." BBC

Sunday Mirror - 31 December 2006 DION RULES ROOST FOR CANARIES
Dave Smith At Carrow Road

DION DUBLIN showed that there is no substitute for experience as he guided his Norwich team-mates home and into the New Year on a winning note.
At 37, Dublin's contribution was the difference between two average Championship teams.
Canaries boss Peter Grant could not speak highly enough of the veteran and said: "He is a model pro and has been fantastic for us.
"He has kept himself in great shape and wants to play all the time. Dion is such a clever player and is a fabulous person to have around. He is getting his just rewards."
Norwich still harbour hopes of making the play-offs, while QPR face a relegation scrap after seven defeats in eight games.
The hosts were indecisive at the back and almost paid the price when Martin Rowlands fired wide, before both Paul Furlong and Ray Jones went close. But the best chance fell to Norwich after 39 minutes when Robert Earnshaw's instinctive effort was dealt with by Simon Royce.
Norwich were more positive after the break and Jason Shackell headed over twice from Youssef Safri corners. Full-back Jurgen Colin hit the side netting too, but QPR still posed a threat and Steve Lomas went close with a drive.
Norwich caught the visitors napping when Dublin slotted the winner from 12 yards, off Earnshaw's low cross, after the Welshman had showed great vision and awareness.
Dublin helped create a chance for Darren Huckerby, but the striker couldn't finish. Earnshaw was denied by Royce in stoppage time.
QPR boss John Gregory also hailed the matchwinner, saying: "I signed Dion when I was at Villa and he certainly used his experience today.
"The first-half performance by my lads was very good but we just didn't get started in the second. That is happening too often."
Gallacher 6, Colin 7, Drury 6, Shackell 6, Doherty 7, Croft 5 (Hughes 5), Safri 6 (McVeigh 4), DUBLIN 8, Huckerby 6, Earnshaw 7, Etuhu 6.
QPR Royce 6, Bignott 6, Milanese 6, Gallen 5 (Blackstock 5), Rowlands 5 (Ward 5), Lomas 7, Cook 6, Stewart 6, Furlong 6, Jones 6, Mancienne 6.
MANAGER Gregory 6
Still doing the business and the Norwich fans love him - Mirror

City manager Peter Grant will be offering evergreen Dion Dublin a new contract after his third goal of the season earned Norwich their first win in six games.
The former England striker, now 37, was signed on a short-term deal after a free transfer this season and capped another fine individual display by calmly converting fellow striker Robert Earnshaw’s 69th-minute pass.
Grant said: "I definitely want him here. He is a very important player for us and a great role model for the younger players. He is a wonderful professional."
QPR boss John Gregory said after seeing his side’s seventh defeat in eight games: "That’s another game we have lost by the odd goal.We have to improve in the New Year." Mail

Norwich Press - EDP Norwich City 1, QPR 0 DAVID CUFFLEY
Dion Dublin's third goal for Norwich City finally brought a belated December victory for their fans to celebrate at Carrow Road this afternoon.
After five matches without a win, the veteran striker scored after 68 minutes to see off the challenge of Queen's Park Rangers.
Dublin, who had scored when the two sides met in a 3-3 draw at Loftus Road in October, produced a cool finish to a move involving skipper Adam Drury and fellow striker Robert Earnshaw.
More than once, Earnshaw had chances to add to his 16 goals for the season, but he was foiled in the first half by Rangers' keeper Simon Royce and in second half stoppage time by a brilliant tackle from defender Damion Stewart.
Rangers battled gamely in very wet conditions for much of the afternoon, but their best effort was a first half header from Paul Furlong which City keeper Paul Gallacher managed to keep out.
Skipper Adam Drury and midfielder Youssef Safri returned to the City starting line up against Rangers.
Drury recovered from the hip injury that forced him to miss the Boxing Day goalless draw against Southend and regain his place at left back at the expense of Andy Hughes.
Safri, who this week stated he would leave Carrow Road if he could not get first team football, was starting a match for only the second time in nine games. He replaced Carl Robinson serving a one match ban after picking up five yellow cards.

Hughes was among the substitutes. So too was Ryan Jarvis, on the bench in place of Peter Thorne, suffering from a stiff neck.
Rangers' boss John Gregory made four changes to the team which started the 2-1 defeat at Birmingham on Boxing Day.
Recalled were Kevin Gallen, Martin Rowlands, Steve Lomas and Ray Jones, in place of Zesh Rehman, Marc Bircham, Jimmy Smith and Dexter Blackstock. Blackstock was one of the five Rangers substitutes.

Rangers kicked off, defending the Barclay goal, and quickly won a throw in by the right corner flag when Doherty managed to clear. Lomas took the throw, aiming it towards the near post, but Gallacher made a clean catch.

Gallacher was out again in the third minute to gather a cross from Rowlands as Rangers pushed forward once more.
As City attacked on the break, they won a free-kick for a foul on Croft but Safri's ball into the Rangers' area was a poor one and was easily dealt with.

Huckerby tried to find Earnshaw in the Canaries next attack, but his lofted through ball was cut out by Stewart wearing a protective face mask, who headed the ball back safely to keeper Royce.

A cross from Cook posed problems for Doherty, who sliced his attempted clearance high into the air and City had trouble clearing their lines until Drury made an important block and appeared to suffer a knock in the process. The skipper was soon on his feet, however, and able to continue.

Norwich carved out their first real opening after eight minutes when Drury found Huckerby and his cross to the far post was nodded down by Dublin to Earnshaw, who was able only to nod the bouncing ball wide of the target. However, referee Dowd blew for a free-kick, though it was not clear whether Earnshaw was offside or whether Dublin had fouled Mancienne.

A misplaced cross field ball from Croft was cut out by Rowlands as Rangers switched to attack, but the winger sent his low right foot drive two or three yards wide of Gallacher's right hand post.

City looked quite lively in the opening stages and Huckerby delivered another cross towards Earnshaw, with the little striker shaping for a scissor kick, only for Mancienne to get there first and head clear.

Dublin was next to try his luck with a rather ambitious right foot shot from the corner of the penalty area after Etuhu had got his head to a Bignot throw in.

With 16 minutes gone, Rangers came very close to breaking the deadlock when first Furlong met a cross to the far post from Rowlands with a downward header which Gallacher managed to parry and then, with City unable to clear, Jones had a fierce shot blocked by Shackell.

Norwich pushed forward again with Huckerby attempting to find a cross, but Croft had strayed offside.

Rangers won a free-kick halfway into the Norwich half when Drury fouled Rowlands. Cook floated the dead ball kick towards the penalty spot, where Shackell got in a header, but the loose ball fell for Milanese, who should have done better than screw his left foot shot across the face of the goal and eventually out for a throw in.

Midway through the half, Norwich won a free-kick by the right corner flag and it was taken quickly, with Etuhu swinging a low ball into the six-yard box, where Stewart had to hack it clear.

Moments later, Huckerby was clearly unhappy with referee Dowd when he was caught late on the ankle by Bignot but the official saw no infringement.

Stewart upended Earnshaw on the very edge of the Rangers' area close to the by-line to concede another free-kick but Safri's dead ball effort was punched away by Royce and when Croft turned the ball back into the area, Rangers had too many bodies in the way.

Bignot collected the first yellow card of the afternoon for a foul on Huckerby 10-yards into the Rangers' half. Drury took the free-kick, which reached Croft by the right corner flag, but he was dispossessed by Cook, enabling Lomas to burst forward. The midfielder found Rowlands wide on the right, but he delivered an awful cross straight out of play behind Gallacher's goal.

The home crowd were angry on the half hour when Croft went down just inside the Rangers' penalty area with, it seemed, a helping hand from Milanese but the linesman, standing right in front of the incident, made no signal and play carried on.

Excellent work by Dublin enabled Croft to go racing away and deliver a cross into the middle where Stewart made an excellent sliding clearance as Earnshaw closed in.

There was a hold up soon afterwards when Drury needed treatment after being caught on the head by the trailing leg of Rowlands as the Rangers' man hammered the ball clear. After a couple of minute's treatment from physio Reynolds, the City skipper was able to carry on once again.

Dublin showed excellent control to bring down a long ball from Shackell and deliver a cross towards Earnshaw, only for Bignot to head clear.

Huckerby's persistence earned the Canaries a corner in their next attack but his flag kick was far too strong and Milanese hammered the ball clear on the far side.

In the 39th minute, City produced one of their best efforts yet when Dublin nodded down a cross from the right and Earnshaw struck a powerful effort which Royce managed to turn away acrobatically.

There was a sudden burst of heavy rain as the interval approached and Rangers made their first change of the afternoon when Ward came on for Rowlands, who had been receiving treatment on the ground after a knock.

The second yellow card of the day went to Cook three minutes before the break for a foul on Safri but there was a delay before the kick could be taken when Lomas needed treatment for a knock.

When play finally restarted, Safri's free-kick reached Doherty, but the defender's header was well off target.

Substitute Ward made his first contribution with a cross from the right which Gallacher gathered cleanly with both hands.

Given the number of stoppages, it was rather surprising that the fourth official signalled only two minutes of added time.

In that time, however, City won one more corner and Safri's kick was nodded back by Doherty, but Rangers were able to clear.

Half-time: Norwich City 0, Queen's Park Ranger 0.

The second half began with heavy rain sweeping across the ground and City quickly on the attack. Earnshaw won a corner inside a minute and Safri's dead ball kick was met with a firm header by Shackell, but over the top.

A neat passing move followed that and a clever pass by Croft found Colin in an unusually advanced position on the corner of the Rangers' six-yard box, but the fullback sent his shot into the side netting where he perhaps might have done better.

City had begun the second half brightly and Mancienne had to slide in to concede a corner as Huckerby threaded a low cross towards the six-yard box.

City broke again by Huckerby on the left but when he tried to pick out Etuhu in the penalty area, the midfielder was beaten to the ball by Stewart who made another timely interception.

Norwich won another corner on the right and Safri's flag kick reached the penalty spot, but Shackell was again first to get his head to it and once more his effort comfortably cleared the bar.

An excellent through ball from Safri sent Earnshaw racing away and the striker appeared to be shoved by Stewart right on the edge of the area, but no free-kick was given. Earnshaw needed treatment after the challenge and was clearly hobbling afterwards.

Dublin was still winning most of his aerial challenges and he flicked on a goal kick from Gallacher to winger Croft who did well to squeeze in a cross from close to the by-line but Royce was equal to it.

With more than an hour gone, City were still searching for that elusive goal to bring a little seasonal joy to their home crowd after Tuesday's goalless draw.

They won a couple more corners, with Safri's in-swinger from the left punched clear by Royce and then the same player taking the next flag kick from the right, when Doherty's header was blocked before Rangers hacked the ball clear.

Safri dashed to the touchline at the next opportunity to change his right boot, which appeared to have been damaged, and while City were a man short, Lomas sent a powerful right foot shot just wide of the target.

City won their eighth corner midway through the second half and Dublin this time got his head to Safri's kick but once more it was well off target.

With 68 minutes gone, City's efforts were finally rewarded when Dublin gave them the lead. The goal came from a long ball forward from Drury and though Stewart won his header, the ball dropped obligingly for Earnshaw to lob it towards Dublin, who produced a cool side-footed volley past Royce.

Instantly, Rangers went in search of an equaliser and Cook tested Gallacher with a low left foot shot which the keeper did well to hold in increasingly slippery conditions.

A foul by Milanese gave City a free-kick close to the right hand corner flag and Safri's kick was aimed towards Huckerby, whose volley from just inside the box was off target.

Another opportunity went begging for Norwich when Colin put Huckerby clear inside the penalty area, but Huckerby seemed unable to keep his feet and the ball slipped away from him through to keeper Royce.

There was a double change with 14 minutes left when City boss Grant sent on Hughes in place of Croft on the right hand side, and Rangers put on another striker with Blackstock replacing Gallen.
Hughes almost made an instant impact with a long through ball towards Earnshaw, but Royce just managed to get there first.
Rangers were now pushing men forward in a bid to get on terms and City had to endure a couple of minutes pegged in their own half, though the visitors did not seriously trouble Gallacher.
An excellent through ball from Dublin almost teed up Earnshaw with five minutes to go but his striking partner was just muscled out as he tried to get the ball under control for a shot.
Dublin was showing all his own tricks by now and an excellent back heel to Hughes enabled the substitute to set up Huckerby, but Huckerby blazed his left foot drive well off target when he really could have made it 2-0 and put the game out of Rangers' reach.
With just two minutes left, McVeigh was sent on in place of Safri, who received a big ovation from the home crowd for his efforts on his return to the side.
There were a few groans inside Carrow Road when the fourth official signalled three extra minutes to be played but this time City were hoping there would be no repeat of the kind of late goal which had ruined so many matches for them this season.
City had a golden chance to wrap up the game when Hughes put Earnshaw racing clear in the second minute of time added on, but Stewart got back to make a brilliant tackle just as the City man shaped to shoot. Norwich

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Another Defeat: Norwich 1 QPR 0

[Check back for updated reports & Comments]

Norwich 1 QPR 0 (HT 0-0) Dublin in the 69th minute.

John Gregory bemoaned the lack of fighting spirit, as the R's succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at Norwich.
"Generally it was a good performance, but not good enough.
"We've lost by the odd goal again and that seems to be the story since I've been at this club.''
Gregory continued: "To keep the likes of Huckerby, Earnshaw and Dublin at bay for 90 minues is a huge ask, and we just came up short today.
"Sometimes defenders make the odd rick and today is cost us.''
Despite the loss, the gaffer heaped praise on Steve Lomas, adding: "Steve Lomas set the standards by which the rest should follow.
"He was outstanding today, but too many of his team-mates went missing.
"Unfortunately that's been the case lately and Stevie is absolutely gutted.''
Gregory is looking forward to the opening of the January transfer window, commenting: "The transfer window will be very beneficial to us.
"I'm hoping that it will enable us to do a few deals, but we'll have to wait and see.'' QPR

Norwich Official Site - GRANT PRAISE FOR PLAYERS
CITY boss Peter Grant was delighted with the performance of his players in the 1-0 win over QPR - with his only criticism being the narrow margin of victory.
Grant felt the Canaries were good value for the points over John Gregory's men and felt his side should have been more comfortable winners on an afternoon when City bossed possession for long spells.
In the end a single second half goal from Dion Dublin was all it took, and Grant said the win was just reward for their efforts.
"I thought it was thoroughly deserved," said Grant, speaking to CanariesWorld at the final whistle.
"We should have won more convincingly I felt. We had a lot of chances and felt we weren't clinical in the final third with the amount of ball we had. But everything else I'm delighted with.
"We were competitive and played most of the game in the QPR half. We were closer to the opposition than we have been in the last few home games.
"Today they thoroughly deserved their victory and I only wish it was by more goals."
Grant also had words of praise for 37-year-old match-winner Dublin, who pushed Youssef Safri hard for the Anglian Man of the Match honours.
"He has been outstanding for us from the day I arrived here, whether he's been played at the back or up front" added Grant.
"For the last 10 minutes I had to play him in central midfield because his legs had gone with the amount of effort he had put in.
"He's a great example to our players, to the younger boys in the squad and down at the training ground. I'm delighted for him." Norwich

League Table - Table
Luton 30
QPR 27
Barnsley 26
Hull 24
Leeds 21
Southend 18

QPR: Royce, Bignot, Milanese, Gallen, Rowlands, Lomas, Cook, Stewart, Furlong, Jones, Mancienne. Subs: Cole, Ward, Baidoo, Kanyuka, Blackstock.
Norwich: Gallacher, Drury, Shackell, Huckerby, Croft, Dublin, Earnshaw, Safri, Etuhu, Colin, Doherty. Subs: Lewis, Fleming, Hughes, McVeigh, Jarvis.

Dion Dublin scored the only goal as Norwich ended their five-match winless streak in the Coca-Cola Championship and extended struggling QPR's miserable record at Carrow Road.
Veteran Dublin struck for the third time this season when he provided the finishing touch to an excellent piece of play from strike partner Rob Earnshaw.
Earnshaw broke free down the left channel and his low cross picked out Dublin, who coolly steered the ball beyond Simon Royce from 12 yards.
The 69th-minute goal condemned Rangers, who have not won at Carrow Road since beating City in the Premiership in March 1994, to their seventh defeat in eight matches and puts them firmly in relegation danger.
Norwich manager Peter Grant made two changes following the goalless Boxing Day draw against Southend.
Skipper Adam Drury missed out against the Shrimpers after injuring his hip in the warm-up but returned at the expense of Andy Hughes, who dropped to the bench.
Moroccan international Youssef Safri was also restored to the starting line-up with Carl Robinson suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Wolves last week.
John Gregory made four changes to his QPR side as he reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.
One enforced change saw Rowlands replace on-loan midfielder Jimmy Smith who, despite extending his loan spell from Chelsea, must remain at Stamford Bridge before re-signing in the new year.
Elsewhere in midfield Steve Lomas stepped in for the injured Marc Bircham while Kevin Gallen came in for Milanese, who slotted into the back four in the absence of Zesh Rehman. Ray Jones replaced Dexter Blackstock up front.
A free-flowing encounter produced its first effort when Martin Rowlands unleashed a swerving shot from the right side of penalty area which flashed narrowly wide of the far post after 12 minutes.
Norwich responded with a similar effort from Dublin soon after before Paul Furlong forced Paul Gallacher into the first save of the afternoon when he headed Rowlands' cross goalwards, but the Norwich goalkeeper was equal to it and parried the ball to safety.
Mauro Milanese went close again for Rangers midway through the half before Kevin Gallen's volley from the edge of the area stung the palms of Gallacher.
Earnshaw, the Championship's leading scorer, was denied his 17th goal of the season by a fine 39th-minute save from Simon Royce.
Earnshaw connected superbly with Jurgen Colin's cross and crashed an angled drive towards the bottom corner but Royce got a strong arm to the ball to keep it out.
Norwich made a bright start to the second half and almost opened the scoring after forcing an early corner.
Jason Shackell met Safri's outswinging corner but the young defender was unable to guide his header underneath the crossbar.
Colin curled an effort past the post and Drury went close with a fiercely-driven shot before Shackell and Safri combined again, but the outcome was the same as previous corner.
The hosts continued to pile the pressure on Rangers and Gary Doherty headed another Safri corner wide before Dublin finally made City's dominance count.
QPR searched for the equaliser but were unable to create a telling chance. Nick Ward's 20-yard drive which was blocked on the six-yard line by Shackell was the closest they came - Sporting Life

Dion Dublin bagged the winner, as Rangers' poor form on their travels continued at a rain-soaked Carrow Road.
The evergreen striker notched the only goal of the game midway through the second half, as the R's succumbed to a sixth defeat in seven Championship outings.
Defeat was perhaps a little harsh on Rangers, who did more than enough throughout the 90 minutes to warrant a share of the spoils.
In a first half of few clear-cut chances, Rangers carved open the Norwich defence on 16 minutes, only for Paul Furlong to head straight at Paul Gallacher.
Norwich were by no means second best though, with Robert Earnshaw stinging the palms of Simon Royce as the half drew to a conclusion.
The second period followed a similar pattern, but it was the Canaries who clinched maximum points, thanks to Dublin's textbook finish.
With one eye on the hectic New Year schedule, John Gregory made three changes to the starting XI and also opted for a return to the tried and tested 4-4-2 formation.
Kevin Gallen, Steve Lomas and Ray Jones all returned to the side, as the R's went gunning for their first away victory since the 1-0 win at Ninian Park on November 17th.
Despite their poor form on the road, the R's made an encouraging start at Carrow Road, with the experienced duo of Gallen and Lomas orchestrating proceedings from the middle of the park.
But it was Norwich who created the first opportunity of note on eight minutes, when Darren Huckerby's inviting cross was nodded down by Dion Dublin into the path of Earnshaw.
Thankfully for the R's back four, Earnshaw was adjudged to be in an offside position, as the Welshman's header fell inches wide of the post.
Play soon switched to the other end, with Martin Rowlands firing a yard or so wide after he capitalised on a poor defensive clearance, cut in from the right flank and let fly from fully 25-yards.
Rangers were enjoying the lion's share of possession and when Rowlands' cross found Furlong at the back post on 16 minutes, his downward header was expertly saved by Gallacher.
The rebound fell invitingly for Lee Cook, but he could only thrash the ball into the path of Jones, whose shot on the turn was blocked.
Gallen arrived bang on cue to smash the resultant clearance on target, but yet again Norwich's defence dealt with the danger, this time clearing the ball for a corner.

Mauro Milanese and Cook were combining to good effect down the left flank and when the latter's cross fell at the feet of the Italian full-back midway through the half, the former Inter Milan defender thrashed his left footed effort wide for a throw-in.
The otherwise quiet Earnshaw forced Royce into a fine save on 37 minutes.
Arriving on to Dublin's knockdown, the Welsh striker fired a first time effort on target, but Royce flung himself to his right to tip the ball round the post.
Rangers were dealt a blow five minutes before the break, when the effective Rowlands was forced from the fray and replaced by Nicky Ward.
But the R's held firm until half-time, with Damion Stewart and Michael Mancienne inspirational at the heart of the new-look back four.
Light rain made way for a heavy downpour at the start of the second half, with both sets of players finding it increasingly difficult to keep their feet in the inclement conditions.
Jason Shackell signalled the hosts second half intentions inside 60 seconds, but after leaping like a salmon to meet Youssef Safri's corner, the defender headed over the bar from eight yards.
With the R's faithful doing their best to spark the visitors into life, Lomas drilled a right footed 20-yard effort inches wide of the right hand post, after fine build-up play involving Gallen and Cook.
But it was Norwich who opened the scoring midway through the second half when Earnshaw capitalised on a weak defensive header from Stewart to find Dublin.
The veteran front-man made no mistake thereafter, firing past Royce on the half-volley from 12-yards to hand the Canaries the lead, albeit slightly against the run of play.
Sensing the points were slipping away from his side, Gregory reverted to an attacking 4-3-3 formation for the final quarter of an hour, with Dexter Blackstock replacing Gallen.

It mattered little though and but for a last ditch tackle from Stewart late on, Earnshaw would've made it two in stoppage time.
After evading the R's offside trap with ease, the Welsh striker bore down on goal, only to be thwarted by a stunning goal-saving tackle from the Jamaican international.
Norwich City: Gallacher, Drury, Shackell, Huckerby, Croft (Hughes 77), Dublin, Earnshaw, Safri (McVeigh 87), Etuhu, Colin, Doherty.
Subs: Lewis, Fleming, Jarvis.
Goals: Dublin 69
QPR: Royce, Bignot, Milanese, Gallen (Blackstock 77), Rowlands (Ward 40), Lomas, Cook, Stewart, Furlong, Jones, Mancienne.
Subs: Cole, Baidoo, Kanyuka.
Bookings: Bignot 27
Attendance: 25, 113

Norwich Official Site NORWICH CITY 1-0 QPR
THE Canaries got back to winning ways at Carrow Road, ending 2006 with a win over QPR thanks to a single goal from Dion Dublin.
Dublin pounced midway through the second half to end City's festive blues, latching onto a great ball from Robert Earnshaw to slot home from 12-yards.
It was no more than the Canaries deserved for a vastly improved display after the bore-draw against Southend on Boxing Day, and their victory could have been greater had it not been from a combination of wasteful finishing and good defending.
As expected, Youssef Safri was restored to the starting line-up in the absence of the suspended Carl Robinson.
Also returning to the line-up was skipper Adam Drury, passed fit after missing the draw with Southend due to a hip injury. Jurgen Colin also returned to the side at the expense of Andy Hughes, who was given a place on the bench.
In attack manager Peter Grant kept faith with the partnership of Dion Dublin and Robert Earnshaw.
City got off to a lively start, enjoying the bulk of possession inside the first five minutes without creating a clear-cut chance.
Indeed, the first clear chance arrived on nine minutes. Huckerby's cross from the left was headed back across goal to the unmarked Earnshaw by strike partner Dublin.
And even though the Welshman missed from just six yards out with his stooping header, the assistant referee had already flagged for offside.

QPR registered their first shot on target three minutes later. Croft's attempted cross-field ball was easily cut-out by Martin Rowlands, and with Drury back-peddling furiously, he shaped to bend a left foot shot inside Gallacher's right post.
But he miscued his effort, with the ball bobbling well wide.
But they came closer to grabbing the first goal on 17 minutes, with only the alertness of Norwich 'keeper Gallacher denying them.
Rowlands flighted a ball over to the far post from the right and found veteran striker Furlong unmarked.
He connected well with his downward header, but the Scottish international did well to push the ball away at his near post, with his defenders eventually hacking the ball to safety.
On 26 minutes City came within inches of winning a penalty. Defender Damion Stewart - sporting a protective face mask - dallied on the by-line as he tried to shield the ball and allow it to run behind for a goal kick.
But Earnshaw had not given up on it, scooting round the big defender, leaving the Rangers man with little choice but to haul him down. Earnshaw fell in the box, but referee Phil Dowd awarded a free kick just outside, which promptly came to nothing.
Stewart's clumsiness should have earned him a booking, but his skipper Marcus Bignott was not so fortunate a minute later, given a yellow for dragging down Huckerby in full flight on the left.
On 34 minutes there was a stoppage after Drury took a boot to the face stretching for a 50-50 ball with Rowlands down on the left 20 yards inside the Rangers' half.
He certainly looked to be in some discomfort, but after treatment from physio Neal Reynolds was able to continue.
On 38 minutes visiting goalkeeper Simon Royce was forced into action for the first time in the half.

Croft swung a cross over from the right which was brilliantly headed back into Earnshaw's path just inside the area by Dubling.

Earnshaw's shot was struck sweetly, but Royce was able to parry the ball up and away and over the line for a corner.
And as the rain began to fall at Carrow Road, that was to be the last of the action of the first half as both sides entered the break honours even.
Half time: Norwich City 0-0 QPR
There were no changes for either side at the break, with City returning to the pitch looking to turn their possession into clear scoring chances.
And City had a clear site of goal within the first two minutes of the second period.
Norwich won a corner in front of the N&P Stand, and Safri delivered an excellent out-swinging ball which found Shackell's head.
Unfortunately the young defender could not keep his effort down, powering his attempt yards over.
Seconds later and City were behind the QPR defence once more. This time Colin played a nice one-two with Croft before darting into the area at an angle.
But his final product was found wanting, shooting wastefully into the side-netting at the near post when a pass or a shot across goal might have reaped more reward.
City were competing well, but were still lacking the kind of invention needed to break the stubborn visitors down as the game went past the hour mark.
Of course, QPR were also looking for three points to arrest their own recent slump, and on 66 minutes midfielder Steve Lomas gave Norwich a warning when he flashing a right foot shot just wide of Gallacher's left post from 25 yards out.
But any nerves were finally settled on 69 minutes when Norwich took the lead.

QPR were slack at the back, gifting the ball to Earnshaw just outside the area. And he showed great vision to loft a ball into the box to find Dublin completely unmarked to side-foot past the exposed Royce from 12 yards out.
It was a cool finish and a deserved goal for the 37-year-old, who had been outstanding all game once again.
On 75 minutes City had a great chance to double their lead amid the downpour.
A good positive run from Colin took him deep into QPR territory before sliding a pass into Huckerby's stride in the area.
But the winger could not sort out his feet in time, taking too heavy a touch and allowing Royce to gather comfortably at his feet.
Two minutes later and Grant made his first chance of the match, replacing Croft with Andy Hughes on the right side of midfield.
With the game in the final 10 minutes, City were good value for their lead, with only good defending from Mancienne preventing Earnshaw connecting with a great ball from Dublin.
With five minutes left City should have put the game out of the visitors' reach. Hughes played a great one-two with Dublin just outside the area before finding Huckerby unmarked on the far side of the area. But the winger could only slice his shot horribly over the bar.
And with the game in stoppage time City again had a clear chance to end matters - Earnshaw put in the clear by Hughes' astute through-ball. But as the Weldshman pulled the trigger just inside the area, Stewart did brilliantly to recover his ground and divert his goalbound shot over the bar.
Full time: Norwich City 1-0 QPR
Norwich City: Gallacher, Drury (c), Shackell, Huckerby, Croft (78), Dublin, Earnshaw, Safri (McVeigh 88), Etuhu, Colin, Doherty. Subs: Lewis, Fleming, Ryan Jarvis.
QPR: Royce, Bignott (c), Milanese, Gallen (Blackstock 78), Rowlands (Ward 42), Lomas, Cook, Stewart, Furlong, Jones, Mancienne. Subs: Cole, Baidoo, Kanyuka, Blackstock. Norwich


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