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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gregory Warns of Relegation Fight & Notes Finances

TEAMTALK Gregory warns of tough times ahead

John Gregory has warned QPR they face "a serious relegation threat" after succeeding Gary Waddock as manager at Loftus Road.

The former Aston Villa and Derby boss has signed a contract until the end of the season with Rangers, with the option of a one-year rolling contract to follow if he does well.

Gregory takes over with Rangers bottom of the Championship and out of the Carling Cup - and he urged the players to show more heart in the battles that lie ahead.

"There is a serious threat of relegation at this club," Gregory said. "I saw them knocked out of the Carling Cup at Port Vale last night.

"Some of the players turned up - but quite a few of them did not bother going.

"Every player will have a fresh chance to impress me, and that is what they are here to do.

"I still have lots of points to prove to myself - although not to anyone else. I hope I can improve the fortunes of the team."

Waddock was relieved of his duties after meeting Rangers chairman Gianni Paladini - a close friend of Gregory - after the 3-2 defeat at Vale Park.

During the reigns of Ian Holloway and Waddock, there was considerable speculation regarding how much influence Paladini exerted over team selection and transfer policy - but Gregory made it clear he would tolerate no such interference.

The 51-year-old continued: "The training ground is the one place where I do not want anyone to interfere with my work.

"That is my domain. Having success is about keeping good habits, working hard and getting things right.

"In terms of transfers, we will work with what we have, although there is the opportunity to make loan signings, which has been a blessing for Championship clubs."

Gregory's friendship with Paladini is likely to raise some eyebrows among Rangers fans, with whom the Italian former agent has never been wholly popular.

Backed by a consortium of Monte Carlo-based businessmen, Paladini took control from former chairman Bill Power in a boardroom coup in September 2005.

Rangers have suffered considerable financial problems in recent seasons and spent the 2001-02 season - before Paladini had become involved with the club - in administration, but Gregory was quick to defend Paladini and fellow director Antonio Caliendo.

He added: "I have known Gianni for some time, and, were it not for he and Antonio, the club might not be here today.

"Our results can dictate the direction of the financial side of things.

"If we can improve on the pitch, more supporters will start coming to watch us, and it will help everything."

Gregory happy to be back
By Lewis Rutledge - Created on 20 Sep 2006

John Gregory has expressed his delight at returning to management with Queens Park Rangers.

Gregory has been away from football since being sacked by Derby in 2003, but QPR decided to bring him in following a disastrous start to the season.

Having played for QPR in the past Gregory admits he is pained to see the club bottom of The Championship, and he is determined to guide them clear of relegation.

He also explained that his history at the club had been a factor in his decision to return to Loftus Road.

"It feels very good," he told Sky Sports News. "I'm ready to come back to work.

"It (news of the appointment) kind of broke towards the end of the weekend. I spoke to the chairman and the board of directors and we sorted things out very quickly.

"You can start romancing about the past and what it was like during my time here.

"I was here for four-and-a-half seasons and we won almost every week. We had a tremendous success rate, so they were very happy times.

"So that did influence me but it wasn't the overriding issue.

"From a geography point of view it is ideal for me, and just knowing that there is an opportunity here to improve the team, to get us back up the table, and look for Championship safety."

Gregory's predecessor Gary Waddock, who played alongside the 51-year-old at QPR, is to remain at the club as assistant manager.

"It's been a tough time for Gary but he'll cope. He's a really strong personality and I want him to continue to be part of my staff," said Gregory.

"We'll work together and I hope the next time he sits in the big chair he'll be a lot more experienced and he'll have learned from his time in charge here."

Ben Kosky/Wembley & Kingsbury TimesSeptember 20, 2006
New boss Gregory aims to win at all costs

JOHN Gregory says he will gladly sacrifice attractive football to gain the points that haul QPR out of the Championship relegation zone.
Gregory, a former Rangers midfielder, signed a nine-month contract to become the club's new manager on Wednesday - just hours after the Rs had crashed out of the Carling Cup at Port Vale.
Former boss Gary Waddock and his assistant Alan McDonald remain on the coaching staff, although their new roles have yet to be defined.
Rangers host fellow strugglers Hull City on Saturday and Gregory told the Times: "Style might have to go out of the window.
"It's about winning and you do whatever you need to achieve that. I love to be on the winning side and I love people that are prepared to kick their granny to win - that's the business I'm in.
"I like my teams to get it down and pass it - I played here for four and a half years and the ball hardly ever left the floor. But what's the point of being the most attractive team in the country if you're getting beaten every week?
"When all the talking and the claptrap's done, you need to look at that league table and make sure you're not in the bottom three. I don't want to hear 'we played some great stuff but we lost 1-0' - it's pointless."
Gregory, who previously managed Portsmouth, Wycombe Wanderers, Aston Villa and Derby County, takes over from Waddock less than three months after his former QPR team-mate succeeded Ian Holloway.
"I spent four and a half years here as a player and you become attached to the place," Gregory added. "I was very sad when I left and it's fantastic to be back at Loftus Road.
"There is a serious relegation threat - this club worked exceptionally hard to get up to this division and they don't want to go back. But I know what can be achieved here."

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