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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bignot's Future & Lee Cook's (Minor) Injury (Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times)

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - 29 November 2006
Big decision still to be made

MARCUS Bignot's fortunes have turned full circle in recent weeks - but the QPR captain admits he could still be dumped back on the scrapheap next summer.
Bignot is one of 10 first-team regulars whose Loftus Road contracts run out in six months' time and, despite wearing the skipper's armband in recent games, he has received no assurances about his future....
...Whereas Bircham has publicly expressed his desire for the issue of a new contract to be ironed out sooner rather than later, the Rangers full-back takes a more stoical attitude.
"We'd all love to see into the future, but at the moment mine can't be resolved and I could be out of work in the summer, it's as simple as that," Bignot observed. "We're all on trial and hopefully there will be a contract available. From the day I was put on the transfer list, I made it clear that I never wanted to leave this club and that didn't change, even during the dark days.
"But I'm saving for a rainy day because you never know what's around the corner. As we go into the Christmas period, the manager will be looking at everyone closely and deciding which players are there for him week in, week out."....
....Placed on the transfer list by Gary Waddock at the end of last season, he was nevertheless selected for QPR's first two games of the new campaign - and promptly dropped again.
But Bignot has been an ever-present since John Gregory took over and, in the absence of Bircham and Lomas, was appointed captain in the 3-2 win at Luton earlier this month.
"I don't think Mystic Meg could have seen that coming, but maybe it's an example to anyone who's not in the team at the moment. Things can change very quickly," said Bignot.
"When there was disappointment I tried not to show it and I acted in a professional manner - in fact there was a 'bomb squad' formed with the other players in the same situation!
"Seriously, they made themselves available for selection week in, week out and never moped around the place, behaved like bad apples or caused the previous manager a headache at all.
"It's a great honour to be given the captaincy and I see it as a pat on the back, but there was no song and dance about it. The gaffer just told me to play my normal game - the only difference is I have to try and win the toss too!"
Bignot did better than that at Kenilworth Road and again the following week at Cardiff as he led the Rs to maximum points, but home defeats by Coventry and Sunderland blunted suggestions of an unexpected play-off push.
Although renowned as one of the most positive characters in the QPR dressing room, the captain believes such talk was premature, adding: "I said straight after the Cardiff game that it was just another three points knocked off that magic 50.
"The quicker we get there, the better. If there are enough games left, we'll look at it then, but any supporter who's looking beyond safety at the moment has his head in the clouds.
"It's not a case of not being ambitious - the fact is change won't happen overnight. All we've done is get our heads above water.
Kilburn Times

Cook injury not too serious
Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times- November 29, 2006

LEE Cook should be fit for this weekend's derby clash with Crystal Palace despite going off at half-time in QPR's defeat by Sunderland on Tuesday.
Cook, who has been ever-present in the Rangers team this season, was struggling with bruised ribs and was replaced by Ray Jones, who went on to score in the 2-1 loss.
But Rs boss John Gregory confirmed that the winger - who was singled out for some physical treatment by both Coventry and Sunderland - is expected to be available for the trip to south London.
"We brought him off because he's hurt his ribs, but I think he'll be OK for Saturday," said Gregory. "Cookie's a target because he's a match-winner - if you can stop Lee Cook, you've got a good chance of stopping the supply for Rangers - and he's got to expect that."
Jones, however, will be missing for the Palace game after picking up his fifth yellow card of the campaign in the closing minutes on Tuesday.
Fellow striker Paul Furlong, who made his long-awaited injury comeback as a late substitute against Sunderland, is likely to be on the bench again at Selhurst Park.
Kilburn Times

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