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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Waddock Wants Paul Jones for Next Season (Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times)

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - March 15, 2006
Waddock Wants to Sign Jones

GARY Waddock will offer veteran goalkeeper Paul Jones a new contract if he is appointed QPR manager on a permanent basis. The Welsh international's breathtaking performances between the posts have convinced Waddock to try and keep him at Loftus Road beyond his initial three-month deal. The 38-year-old keeper's form has been so impressive that Simon Royce - a strong contender for Rangers' player-of-the-year award - was restricted to a place on the bench in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.
And Waddock confirmed: "I've spoken to Paul already about whether he wants to continue playing next season - and there's certainly no reason why he can't."It's a bit early for me to make decisions on players' futures when my own is still unclear and Ollie's situation is being sorted out. "But, if I do get the job, there will be no favouritism. I'd like to have Paul and Roycey as two good senior keepers fighting it out for the number one slot." While Paul's in such incredible form, there's no way he's not going to keep the shirt. Roycey knows he has to be patient and bide his time."
Jones, who joined the club last month after Royce sustained a groin injury, topped his double save against Wolves with a sequence of four stops to keep Rangers on level terms at Hillsborough.And the ex-Southampton and Wolves keeper is relishing the increased competition generated by Royce's return to fitness."Of course it helps me - there's nothing better than competition for places," Jones told the Times. "It's always better when there's someone pushing you because you've got to be on your game."I've experienced both sides, where sometimes you're first choice and sometimes you have to wait for a chance. If you're not doing it right, someone's going to step into your shoes."It's up to me to perform and the decision's down to Gary Waddock, so I want to make it very difficult for him to put Simon back in."Wednesday threw everything at us, they launched it into the box and in the end I think they had six up front, but we coped with it well."The start of the second half was a case of up, down, up, down and trying to get something on the ball. That seems to be happening each game at the moment, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it."
Although Waddock has the luxury of choice where the goalkeeping slot is concerned, he may have to reshuffle the back four when Rangers take on Brighton at Loftus Road this Saturday.Matthew Rose is rated as doubtful after hobbling off at Hillsborough with an ankle injury, which could mean a return to the starting line-up for Ian Evatt. Paul Furlong should be available despite picking up a minor knock, but Marc Nygaard is unlikely to have shaken off his hamstring strain in time to face the Seagulls.

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