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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Burnley 2 QPR 0 -Further Match Reports & Comments

[Oh for the days of the early-to-mid 1970s -when QPR and Burnley were the top two teams in (the old) Division 2...QPR signing Dave Thomas from Burnley for a record fee...The two teams being among the brightest "smaller teams" in (the old) Division One...]

The Sunday Times August 06, 2006

Burnley 2 QPR 0: Jones double sinks QPR
Neil Johnston at Turf Moor

IT HAS BEEN a summer of change at Queens Park Rangers but it already looks like being a winter of discontent after Gary Waddock’s reign began with a comprehensive defeat.
Steve Jones, Burnley’s summer signing from Crewe, left Waddock wondering whether he was right to accept the manager’s job last month after capping a fine debut with two excellent second-half finishes. It completed a bad day for Waddock, who revealed afterwards that he tried to sign Jones but failed to lure the Northern Ireland international because he did not want to uproot his family from Cheshire.

“Jones is someone I wanted and he showed his quality with the goals he scored,” Waddock said. “A lot of clubs were after him and we were one of them. We got as far as talking but that was it.”

Since losing to champions Reading on the final day of last season, Rangers have appointed a new manager, brought in a new backroom team and signed five players. Yet it was the same old story as Rangers fell victim to Jones’s outstanding performance. He side-footed his team into a 59th-minute lead before unleashing a left-footed finish 10 minutes later to send Burnley, tipped for a season of struggle, to the top of the table.

“I’m going to go home and freeze Teletext,” Steve Cotterill, the Burnley manager, said after his side’s thoroughly deserved victory. “Jones does hit the ball well and his second goal was fantastic.”

Star Man: Steve Jones (Burnley)

Player ratings: Burnley: Jensen 7, Sinclair 7, Thomas 7, Duff 7, Harley 7, S Jones 8, McCann 7, J O'Connor 7 (Elliott 62mins, 6), Mahon 8 (O’Connor 90min, 5), Gray 6, Lafferty 6 (Hyde 62min, 6)

QPR: P Jones 6, Bignot 5, Rose 5, Stewart 5, Milanese 5, Lomas 5 (R Jones 66min, 5), Ainsworth 5, Rowlands 6 (Donnelly 79min, 5), Ward 5, Cook 5, Czerkas 5 (Bircham 71mins, 5)
Scorers: Burnley: S Jones 59, 69
Referee: M Clattenburg
Attendance: 12,190

Burnley Official Site

Gaffer: You Can't Do Much More Than Win Your First Game

Beaming Burnley boss Steve Cotterill was a happy man after a 2-0 victory over QPR got the season off to a winning start.

The Clarets went top of the fledgling Championship after two goals from Steve Jones sunk Rangers at Turf Moor.

And the gaffer admitted: "I am very pleased. The first game of the season is always an awkward one because you don't get to see other teams in pre-season.

"That makes it a lottery, but you can't do too much more than win your first game.

"That is good enough and being top of the league is even better. I think I might just go home and freeze Teletext!"

Cotterill, who insisted patience was the key to unlocking Rangers defence following a goalless first half, added: "QPR came here with a game plan of not losing.

"I am not knocking that at all because we've done it for two years. But they made it very difficult for us and what happens is the passing starts going astray.

"It's very important that your get a bit of movement and in the second half I thought it worked very well.

"We just needed the goal and thankfully it came. The second goal was fantastic, but with the first one we were looking for the opportunity and it could have easily been smothered by the goalkeeper.

"But Andy Gray and Kyle Lafferty went looking for the opportunity, so praise to them and it was a nice side-foot finish by Steve."

Cotterill ended by praising the buoyant crowd, who went home happy after seeing their team win an opening day fixture for the first time since 2001.

He said: "The people in Burnley live and die for their football club and what we have hopefully done is put a few smiles on faces.

"There will probably be a bit more productivity for the bosses on Monday morning too!"

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