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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Gerry Francis on QPR's New Manager...Vine's QPR Future Unclear

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Give him a chance
"FORMER QPR manager Gerry Francis believes the nationality of the club's new boss is irrelevant as long as he can mould a winning team.
Luigi de Canio became the first foreign manager in Rangers' history when he signed a three-year contract to succeed John Gregory earlier this week.
With caretaker boss Mick Harford leaving the club after rejecting a role under de Canio, questions have been raised as to whether the new regime have sufficient knowledge of English football to restore the Rs' fortunes.
"The most important thing is for QPR to progress and that means winning football matches - how you do it doesn't really matter," said Francis, who has managed Rangers twice.
"If you've got a team playing good football and being successful, I think the crowd will be happy. You'd like them to do it with local players, but that isn't always possible.
"As an English manager and a member of the Managers' Association, I think there are some very good English managers that need to be given a chance.
"But equally you have to give the new QPR manager a chance. It's a new era, with new owners, and I think it was always likely the new manager was going to be an Italian.
"Speaking as a fan, a shareholder and someone that's concerned about the welfare of QPR, hopefully this is the start of getting on the up and up and back into the Premiership at some stage."
De Canio, who has managed nine Italian clubs, including Siena, Udinese, Napoli and Reggina, is the first QPR manager since the late Ray Harford to have no previous link with Loftus Road.
As Francis points out, neither did Dave Sexton, the manager he played under in 1976 when Rangers came within one point of becoming League champions.
But the ex-Rs captain also acknowledges that de Canio is more likely to scour the Italian scene rather than the domestic leagues for new players in the coming months.
"Dave Sexton came from Chelsea and he wasn't connected with QPR, but he knew the league very well," observed Francis.
"That's probably one of the reasons they wanted Mick Harford to stay on - he steadied the boat and got an excellent victory at Charlton. You do need that bit of knowledge behind the scenes if you want to buy from English clubs. "But the world of football is so cosmopolitan now and a lot of foreign managers go to their own countries for players, be it Rafa Benitez or Arsene Wenger.
"Even Terry Venables, when he went to Barcelona in the 1980s, brought in British players because they were the ones he knew most about."
The 50-year-old de Canio, whose most notable achievement was to guide Udinese into the UEFA Cup in 2000, will take charge of QPR for the first time when they host Hull City on Saturday.
Rangers owner Flavio Briatore turned to him after failing to secure the signature of first choice Francesco Guidolin and deciding not to hand the reins to Harford, despite a successful spell as caretaker manager.
The former Rotherham boss - who only joined QPR in the summer as Gregory's number two - had led the club to a four-match unbeaten run, with just one goal conceded.
De Canio will work closely with chief scout Franco Ceravolo - and has also brought in former Siena coach Iuri Bartoli, along with another new arrival, Paolo Pavese, to join his backroom staff.
Reserve team manager and former QPR defender Warren Neill has left the club as a result - again, despite having played a significant role in last season's escape from relegation....
- Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Harford exit may change Rowan's mind
LOAN striker Rowan Vine could decide to end his stay at QPR following the departure of caretaker manager Mick Harford.
Vine's loan from Birmingham ends after Saturday's clash with Hull and Rangers have yet to arrange an extension.
The striker enjoyed a close working relationship with Harford, who coached him at Luton and was instrumental in persuading him to move to Loftus Road a month ago.
Speaking after Saturday's victory at Charlton - which turned out to be Harford's last game in charge of QPR - Vine said: "I hope Mick's still going to be here.
"I don't think he could do much more - unbeaten in four and three clean sheets. If it was as simple as getting results, I'm sure he'd have the job, but we all know that might not be the situation.
"I know him well and he's brilliant to work with, so maybe it would be a factor in whether I stay on. But I've got to look at my career and think about what's the best option for me.
"If the situation's right for me to stay and nothing's happening up at Birmingham, I'll be staying on. If things change, then I'll have to deal with that."
New boss Luigi de Canio will also have to make a quick decision on the future of another on-loan forward, West Ham's Hogan Ephraim.
The youngster is nearing the end of his third month on loan from Upton Park, which means Rangers must either extend the arrangement until the end of the season or let him go back. Kilburn Times

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