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Monday, October 08, 2007

QPR vs Norwich: Reports and Comments...Ephraim Loan Extended a Month

QPR Official Site: Mick Harford - ALL ABOUT THE PLAYERS'
Caretaker Manager Mick Harford failed to hide his delight, as QPR notched up their first victory of the season against Norwich City.
Martin Rowlands bagged the only goal of the game in the 67th minute, to round off a thoroughly dominant display from the R's.
"Tonight is all about the players,'' he told www.qpr.co.uk.
"Forget about the managerial situation, the players and the supporters deserve this and they were both fantastic tonight.
"The players were under intense pressure to deliver the goods tonight and they responded with an amazing display."
Harford continued: "From start to finish we were excellent and the victory was thoroughly deserved.
"We were careless in the first half, giving the ball away far too often, but the second half display was class.
"The clean sheet is a massive boost. Campy's chuffed to bits and so he should be. He had very little to do and that's credit to him and the entire team.
"We're up and running now and if we continue in this fashion, we'll get a few more wins under our belt soon.
"I thought a 1-0 final scoreline was the least we deserved - we should have won by a far bigger margin. QPR

Norwich Official Site - Peter Grant's Perspective GRANT TO 'ASSESS HIS SITUATION'
CITY boss Peter Grant said he would be assessing his situation at the Club after tonight's defeat against the Championship's bottom club QPR.
Asked by reporters after the game what he felt about his future as Norwich City manager, he said: "I'll assess the situation, I've got to sit down and assess myself, it's the first thing I have to do constantly, I'll be taking a long hard look at the situation, at this moment in time as it's a situation I do not like.
"The buck stops with me at the moment, and I've got to accept that. We're here to win games of football, and at the moment we're not doing that.
"We had opportunities in the first half but we didn't take care, so many balls went astray. There were people running offside constantly which doesn't allow you to build momentum
"Too many big players didn't perform, and didn't produce the goods for us and you can't play without your big players. Dion's injury at half time was obviously a blow, but other guys need to step up to the mantle and we're just not doing that at this moment in time." Norwich

Also: Norwich & QPR Official Match Reports Match Reports

The Times - Martin Rowlands ensures QPR come up with winning formula for new owners QPR 1 Norwich 0 Bill Edgar

Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore switched their attention from Formula One to the footballing equivalent of stock cars when they bought Queens Park Rangers, but the club finally left the starting grid last night. The home side became the last senior team to record a win this season and the rousing manner of their victory foretells a far shorter wait until the next one.
Martin Rowlands’s penalty brought success for Mick Harford, the care-taker manager, in his second match since John Gregory’s dismissal, but Peter Grant, his opposite number, must fear the worst after Norwich City’s dismal display left them in the bottom three of the Coca-Cola Championship. Nigel Worthington, his predecessor, was dismissed ten league games into last season and Grant will hope that events have not turned full circle after his own imperfect ten this term.
QPR’s turnover in personnel since the end of last season has also extended to a new physio, assistant manager, two coaches and a dozen players, six of them on loan. One of those, Hogan Ephraim, was ending his temporary stint away from West Ham United last night and seemed determined to sign off with a flourish, providing the only excitement in a scrappy opening spell by tearing down the left and setting up chances for Mikele Leigertwood and Ben Sahar that were squandered.
The winger, 19, also tested David Marshall with a fierce shot that the Norwich goalkeeper pushed aside, but the visiting team, apart from when Dion Dublin headed Simon Lappin’s corner just over the bar, were limited to three promising positions on the right that brought three poor crosses.
Not that goals were expected. No team among the 92 senior clubs had scored fewer times than the Norfolk side this season, while QPR were the lowest home scorers in the country.
Ephraim’s last appearance coincided with a first outing in QPR colours for Martin Cranie, on loan from Portsmouth. The central defender’s composed first-half performance suggested that Harry Redknapp, the Barclays Premier League club’s manager, has done Harford a second favour, having already spoken in support of him being given the QPR job permanently.
Cranie was enjoying a gentle introduction as QPR’s dominance increased markedly after the break. Rowlands, who scored a last-minute equaliser in the 3-3 draw between the teams at Loftus Road last season, advanced from right back and struck a post with a low drive from 25 yards. His free kick, lifted over the wall, then brought a save by Marshall, but he was not to be denied, smashing home a penalty in the 67th minute after Ian Murray had felled Rowan Vine.
An onslaught ensued as, within five minutes, Gareth Ainsworth’s 30-yard drive was deflected just wide, Damion Stewart headed over from a corner and Vine’s volley was saved superbly by Marshall. Such was the game’s one-sided nature that a feeble long-range effort by Norwich was applauded sarcastically by their supporters.
Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): L Camp - M Rowlands, D Stewart, M Cranie, C Barker – G Ainsworth (sub: J Jarrett, 86min), M Leigertwood, A Bolder, H Ephraim (sub: S Timoska, 90) – B Sahar (sub: S Moore, 68), R Vine. Substitutes not used: J Cole, M Bignot. Booked: Vine.

Norwich City (4-4-2): D Marshall – J Otsemobor, D Dublin (sub: I Murray, 46), J Shackell, A Drury – L Croft, D Russell, R Jarvis, S Lappin (sub: D Strihavka, 63) – C Martin (sub: C Brown, 75), D Huckerby. Substitutes not used: M Gilks, L Chadwick. Booked: Dublin, Croft, Huckerby. The Times

Rowlands gives Rangers a boost - The Guardian - Paul Doyle
Much more of this and QPR may just turn their backs on the more glamorous names to be linked with the managerial vacancy and instead entrust the job full-time to the current caretaker, Mick Harford.
For Harford's second match in charge the team produced a dominant display and were deservedly rewarded with their first win of the season, thanks to a second-half penalty from Martin Rowlands. Norwich, meanwhile, are sinking fast and the temptation to cut their manager Peter Grant adrift must be difficult to resist.
QPR's first opening came in the eighth minute, when Mikele Leigertwood latched on to a poor clearance and crashed a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area. The home side went close again three minutes later, when Rowan Vine scampered into the box only for his shot to be diverted wide by Dion Dublin.
In the 33rd minute Hogan Ephraim cut inside from the left and unleashed a drive that David Marshall did well to beat away. Norwich, meanwhile, had only a handful of corners to show for their efforts to avoid a sixth successive goal duck.
After the interval Rowlands dashed down the right and cracked a fierce shot past Marshall but against the far post and the same player again went close on the hour, bringing a fine save from Marshall with a long-range free-kick. And the home side's dominance finally paid dividends in the 67th minute when Vine was bundled over by Dean Murray and Rowlands lashed a low penalty kick into the net.
Norwich were overwhelmed and Gareth Ainsworth had a shot that fizzed past a post, Leigertwood headed just over and Marshall had to make an acrobatic block from an Ephraim volley. Guardian

Queens Park Rangers Football Club have extended Hogan Ephraim's loan deal until Tuesday 6th November 2007.
The West Ham United loanee will be eligible to play for the R's against Coventry City on the final day of his contract. QPR

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