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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ex-QPR in the News: Gerry Francis & Wes Daly

Wigan Manager, Paul Jewell profiled/Interviewed in The Independent as the team is in a last game relegation fight:

..... Is this the perfect team talk when so much is on the line?
"One of the people Paul Jewell spoke to this week, as he prepared for tomorrow's game, was Gerry Francis, the former Tottenham and Queen's Park Rangers manager. Francis told him about an occasion when he had a team facing the drop.
"It was at QPR in 1999. I'd taken over mid-season and got them to a stage when we needed a win to stay up. We had a young team and had lost five on the trot. I remember going into the dressing-room and seeing a lot of terrified faces. I tore up my speech and told them, 'Don't worry about being relegated, we'll come straight back up. It's not a problem.'
"I said to them, 'The only thing I'm asking is that when you come off the pitch, whatever the result, you have done your best.'
"We beat Crystal Palace 6-0 to stay up on goals scored. The irony, maybe even an omen, is the team who went down instead were Bury, who were then-managed by Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock." Independent

I'm so sorry," says Wes Daly - May 11 2007
By Gordon Law

WES Daly has said sorry to AFC Wimbledon fans for his red card against Bromley.

The diminutive midfielder was sent off in Wimbledon's crunch play-off semi-final defeat at Hayes Lane last Tuesday.

He picked up two quick bookings and got his marching orders 11 minutes from the break, leaving the Dons with an almost impossible task of winning.

Bromley used the extra man to their advantage as Nic McDonnell netted what proved to be the winning goal in the second half.

Daly, 23, admits he is hurting over the incident and is desperate to apologise for costing Wimbledon the match and possible promotion.

"I just want to say sorry to all the fans that came to the game and that have been coming all season,"he said.

"It seems that all our hard work was for nothing - all because of a moment of madness from me.

"I know what it means to put on the AFC shirt and I wear it proudly every time I play. All I've done is give 100 per cent all the time,as have all the players whether it's going good or bad.

"I just wanted the fans to know how bad I feel about what I did. It was simply just a reaction and I didn't realise what I had done until the ref blew the whistle.

"It was stupid of me. It is a harsh lesson I'm going to have to learn from and deal with in my own way. I'm sorry and thank all the fans for everything."

Daly was first booked for a late challenge on Lillywhites defender Mark Corneille, then moments later pulled back Tony Boot by his shirt on the halfway line to get another yellow card.

"My adrenaline was pumping because of the occasion," said the former QPR ace."I would say the first tackle was late because of my over-enthusiasm. The Bromley players tried to hype it up as something that it wasn't.

"Then a few minutes later, I took a bad touch and the ball bobbled. My natural reaction was to tug back Tony Boot. As soon as I grabbed his shirt I pulled my hand back right away as I knew what I had done.

"It was an instinct thing and when I saw the ref reaching for his pocket, I knew I was off. A couple of the injured AFC lads came in to me in the dressing room and told me to keep my head up because Iwas gutted."

The result meant the end of Wimbledon's promotion ambitions and manager Dave Anderson got the sack the very next day. But Anderson refused to blame Daly for the play-off exit.

Anderson said: "I told Wes not to worry about it all. He was distraught. These things happen in football. Wes is a competitive, honest player and someone you'd always want in your team.

"He's been one of the best performers in the last two months and helped get us into the playoffs in the first place."

Daly will always be grateful to Anderson for re-igniting his career after the former QPR trainee was released by Rangers after 10 games.

He had loan stints at Gravesend and Raith Rovers, before Anderson signed him in 2005 and he's been ever-present then.

"I've got nothing but good words for Dave Anderson," said Hammersmith-born Daly. "I have a lot to thank him for as he gave me a chance when I left QPR and stuck by me.

"I'm sorry to see him go. He's the sort of manager that would do anything for you and was a top man.

"He had a lot of respect from us and was also our mate too which was a good balance.

"Over the season, we drew too many games that we should have won. Often, a team would score against us, then shut up shop.The opposition are always up for it and we have to raise our game week in, week out.

"I'm enjoying my football at AFC Wimbledon. I get a real buzz every Saturday morning. It's a proper football club and I'm playing regularly.

"A new manager is going to come in and have his own ideas. I'd love to stay, but that'll be for him to decide." South London Press

See also AFC Wimbledon

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