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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

QPR's Home Defeat to Sunderland: Further Reports & Comments

Roy Keane's Post Match Comments - Sunderland Official Site
"We Played Some Good Stuff"
Roy Keane's reaction to Sunderland's win at QPR:

"It could have been 5, 6 or 7-1 tonight - the number of chances there were in the game.
"You always feel you're going to get a few chances, but we missed chance after chance, yet we got away with it.
"I'm sure it was a great game to watch for a neutral, but not from our point of view, and probably not for the supporters, but we got there in the end and that was the important thing.
"I wasn't too happy with the incident [the delay in first half], it seemed to take ages, and it went flat, it did affect us.
"It stopped the game for four or five minutes and it slowed things up a little. But then I suppose the referee has to look at the security issue and had to deal with it.
"I've not seen the goal [Murphy's] properly - you don't get a great view from the dug-out - but if the referee's assistant has got the decision right then well and good, that's what he's paid to do.
"We did get off to a good start, we knew they'd come and have a go at us, I'd have been happier if we'd got the third goal, then maybe we could have relaxed a bit.
"Credit to the players, they dug deep, the only disappointing thing was that we didn't kill the game off.
"Don't worry he [Ross Wallace] will be getting plenty of stick over that [missed chance]. We're lucky we got away with it, we can laugh and joke about it now, but they could have scored near the end but we got away with it. He reckoned it bobbled, but he got away with it.
"We had chance after chance, I think their manager was quite understanding and agreed it could have been a lot more.
"That's my only criticism - we should have killed the game off. But credit again to the lads, I changed it around again, we had lads come in, changed the midfield a little, and credit to them they did very well. We played some very good stuff.
"I'm delighted generally with the performance, we just need that cutting edge. We got away with it tonight, other times we won't.

"There's definitely a few more grey hairs! It would have been great to get the third goal and we could have enjoyed it - but it's no good for my health I have to say."

INDEPENDENT/Conrad Leach -
Queen's Park Rangers 1 Sunderland 2: Leadbitter's effort leaves sour taste in QPR mouths

Win your home games and you should be a long way down the path to safety. QPR, recently bearing an increasingly confident outlook under John Gregory, have now lost their last two fixtures at Loftus Road and things do not look so bright.

Having lost to Coventry at the weekend, they fell to a Sunderland side last night, who have begun to lose the jitters rather than matches. This win made it four games unbeaten for Roy Keane's men and took them above QPR to 14th place.

Not that this was a nerve-free win. "I don't know what it was like for the fans but it was bloody hell down on the bench," Keane said. In quick succession in the last 10 minutes, Sunderland's Ross Wallace missed an open goal and David Connolly squandered a good chance. Wallace, in particular, should be grateful to his keeper Darren Ward, who made a fine save from Nick Ward in the last minute.

The visitors took the lead after 17 minutes when a corner was headed out to Grant Leadbitter, with the midfielder trying his luck from the edge of the penalty box. His shot burst through the crowd and Daryl Murphy headed past Simon Royce, with the QPR defence claiming offside to no avail.

That decision was presumably what led to a plastic water bottle being lobbed on to the pitch soon afterwards, causing a delay that proved crucial as the visitors secured their ultimately decisive advantage in the last minute of first-half stoppage time. Liam Miller's accurate pass met Leadbitter's perfectly timed run, which he rounded off in style.

QPR finally got back into the match thanks to Ray Jones' turn and shot after 73 minutes, but Keane's side were in no mood to relinquish the rest of their advantage.


Telegraph/Stewart Jackson - QPR bottle throwers help Sunderland
Queens Park Rangers (0) 1 Sunderland (2) 2
The Queens Park Rangers fans who threw plastic bottles at referee Uriah Rennie and one of his assistants, in protest at what they saw as an offside opening goal for the visitors, achieved nothing but a helping hand in Sunderland's second strike. For it was deep into the five minutes that had been added on at the end of the first half for the incident that Ross Wallace put Grant Leadbitter through – again to the accompaniment of offside appeals – and the midfielder made no mistake in establishing a two-goal lead that was to prove beyond Rangers.
Roy Keane's confident Sunderland, on a three-game unbeaten run, deservedly took the lead in the 18th minute through lone striker Daryl Murphy, who headed home from six yards out. Three sides of Loftus Road screamed for a flag but the goal stood.

Five minutes later the first bottle was thrown and as Rennie went over to investigate another flew down from the Ellerslie Road Stand.
Substitute Ray Jones pulled one back for John Gregory's side with 20 minutes to play but the extra goal was to prove elusive.

Wallace had a glorious opportunity with five minutes to go, but he shot wide from five yards after being picked out by Dean Whitehead. David Connolly also hit a post in the final minute but, in the end, two goals proved enough.


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