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Saturday, December 15, 2007

QPR Hit Bottom After Scoreless Draw Against Wolves - Reports and Comments

Shame! QPR drew 0-0 against Wolves at Loftus Road, today. Reports below. QPR have now won two of their 11 home games (making one somewhat jealous of Ipswich whose Home Record is 10 wins and a draw. Colchester's draw with Norwich meant QPR are back at the bottom, on goal difference. Updated Table

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy defended Stephen Elliott after the striker's glaring second-half miss meant his side had to settle for a goalless draw at QPR.
Elliott had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock on 70 minutes but nudged Darron Gibson's right-wing cross wide of the target from close range.
But McCarthy said: "Stephen's all-round performance was excellent. He did all the horrible jobs like chasing and holding the ball up.
"He just needed the icing on the cake by putting away that chance. But he was brilliant. His all-round effort and things like running into the channels was terrific.
"We're not prolific - we know that. If we were, we'd be higher up the league. We continue to strive to improve our goalscoring record and it's something that we'll work at on the training ground."
The draw continued Wolves' disappointing recent form but stopped the rot following two consecutive defeats.
McCarthy admitted: "I didn't want to lose three on the bounce.
"There's always the thought: 'Can I do something with the subs on the bench to win the game?' But the game can also be lost.
"With the players on there we were playing well. It's not as if we'd gone stale. So I'll take that draw, wipe my gob and get on with it."

Striker Dexter Blackstock missed QPR's best chance of the game when he poked the ball wide at the near post after Gareth Ainsworth had got the better of Wolves left-back Michael Gray and sent in a low cross.
Elliott's miss was even worse, although a defeat would have been tough on Rangers, who battled hard and were unlucky not to score a winner late on.
Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey did well to push Martin Rowlands' drive over the bar and Ainsworth fired inches wide in the closing stages.

QPR coach Luigi De Canio felt his team were also denied a clear penalty when Marc Nygaard appeared to be bundled over in the area by Wolves' Kevin Foley.
Speaking through an interpreter, De Canio said: "What worries me is that we were not awarded a penalty when we should have been. What happened to Nygaard was unbelievable."
The Italian added:
"It was the right result against a team that has many more points than us in the league at the moment, and it means we continue our recent unbeaten run.
"Our recent performances told me that I could have faith in my team. I am pleased with them.
"There is a lot of talk about who we will sign in January, but there are lot of games before then and the league table at the moment is not good, so we must focus on that.
"I also do not want to talk about signings in January out of respect for the players who are here now - especially after that display of heart. SPorting Life

Luigi De Canio highlighted Mr Graham's failure to award his side a second half spot-kick as a key factor at the end of the 0-0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Marc Nygaard appeared to be sent tumbling inside the box by Kevin Foley midway through the second period, but referee Mr Graham waved away the vocal appeals.
"What happened with Nygaard was simply unbelievable," he told www.qpr.co.uk.
"That worries me because we're not getting the big decisions.
"It was a very poor decision by the referee."
Despite bemoaning Mr Graham's display, De Canio was encouraged by his players' efforts.
"A draw was probably the fair result, but I think we shaded it on the day.
"I was encouraged by the first half performance, but I expected that of the players after our recent displays.
"It was a display of heart and desire and that is very encouraging for me, as Manager of the group.
"It carries on our unbeaten run which is encouraging and we're moving forward." QPR

WOLVES OFFICIAL SITE Goal Would Have Been Icing On Cake
Content with a point, boss Mick McCarthy expressed sympathy for Stephen Elliott who missed a golden chance to give Wolves a win at Loftus Road this afternoon.
In an improved second half performance, the striker missed an opportunity from close range.
Both sides enjoyed periods of dominance but neither could find the net.
Mick said: "I feel sorry for Stephen because he was brilliant today. He did all the scrappy jobs - all the chasing, the closing down and holding up. A goal for him would have been the icing on the cake.
"It was important we didn't get beat. I didn't want to lose three on the bounce.
"We got away with things in the first half - we didn't play off the front men and they (Rangers) pressed us back.
"We dominated in the second half. They had a couple of chances but we should have won. However, I'll take coming here and getting a point.
The boss admitted that Wolves were missing the influence of Michael Kightly, who remains unavailable with an ankle injury.
Mick added: "We miss Kites because he drags the ball up field and takes people on. But it looks like we are going to be without him for another couple of weeks." Wolves

Wolves' stuttering promotion campaign suffered another blow as they failed to break down struggling QPR.
Mick McCarthy's men went into the Loftus Road clash looking to bounce back from two straight defeats, but rarely threatened against a team battling for Championship survival.
Rangers have not beaten Wolves at home since 1984, but the visitors were unable to break down their opponents in a game devoid of clear-cut chances.
Their lack of cutting edge from a side that has scored just 22 times in 21 league games was once again all too evident as Wolves were made to pay for a lack of imagination and creativity in the final third.
Indeed it was Wayne Hennessey in the Wolves goal who was the busier goalkeeper as the hosts looked to record consecutive victories following their midweek win at Burnley.
The two dropped points saw the visitors drop out of the play-off places by two points, while Rangers slipped to the bottom of the table.
Wolves had come roaring out of the blocks and carved out the first opportunity inside two minutes.
An outswinging corner from the left by Jay Bothroyd fell to Neill Collins, but his shot from 12 yards was saved by Rangers goalkeeper Lee Camp.
The home side's first opportunity of note arrived in the 20th minute, Dexter Blackstock firing Mikele Leigertwood's cross straight into the arms of Hennessey from the right of the area.
But the visitors could have gone ahead moments later when Kevin Foley's cross picked out Seyi Olofinjana, but the Nigerian's header flew wide of a post.
Pacy winger Gareth Ainsworth then latched onto Camp's resulting goal-kick, but his long-range effort was saved with ease by Hennessey.
And the Wales goalkeeper was called into action twice more just after the half-hour mark, tipping two Martin Rowlands' piledrivers around a post in the space of a couple of minutes.
Blackstock went close for Rangers as the hosts pushed forward early in the second half, but his header from Akos Buzsaky's right-wing corner flew over the bar.
At the other end Stephen Elliott produced a fine stop from Camp, the Rangers goalkeeper flicking the striker's header over.
Buzsaky then volleyed wide from just outside the area before Republic of Ireland international Elliott had another chance when he was picked out by a cross from on-loan Manchester United starlet Darron Gibson, but could only fire wide from close range.
The visitors poured forward in the closing stages in search of a winner, but Camp dealt comfortably with all the hopeful crosses they lumped into the area, as Wolves made it three games without a win. Sporting Life

A goalkeeping master-class from Wayne Hennessey prevented Rangers from rounding off a near-perfect week with victory at Loftus Road.
The Wolves custodian ultimately proved to be the difference in W12, on an afternoon when the R's again showed signs of a return to form following a poor run of results that had seen them slip to the foot of the Championship.
Hennessey - the Welsh international goalkeeper - twice denied R's skipper Martin Rowlands, while strong appeals for a second half penalty, when Marc Nygaard was dragged to ground, fell on deaf ears.
Luigi De Canio made three changes from Tuesday's winning trip to Turf Moor.
Scott Sinclair dropped to the bench and was replaced by Rowlands, while Rowan Vine and Adam Bolder (both suspended) made way for Dexter Blackstock and Akos Buzsaky respectively.
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy named an unchanged side, which meant former Southend United hot-shot Freddy Eastwood had to make do with a place amongst the substitutes.
After a tentative opening from both sides, it was Rangers who spurned the first opportunity of the match in the 18th minute.
Gareth Ainsworth's innocuous looking through ball found Blackstock, whose thunderous left footed drive was deflected wide for a corner.
Provider turned opportunist moments later, as Ainsworth forced Hennessey to gather the ball at his near post, after the midfielder sent a dipping 30-yard half volley on target.
Hennessey had to be at his agile best again in the 33rd minute, as Rowlands drove from deep before seeing his arrowing right foot drive tipped wide by the overworked Wolves custodian.
Rangers were in the ascendancy by now and Blackstock should've capped their improved display with the opening goal of the game a minute later.
Ainsworth got to the by-line with a typically bustling midfield run, but when his pull-back landed at the feet of the former Southampton ace, he somehow fired wide from little more than four yards.
Hennessey was by far the busiest player on the park, diving low to his left this time to deny the lively Rowlands from range.
The R's had a goal disallowed for a foul five minutes before the break, when Blackstock was adjudged to have climbed on his man as he headed back across goal to set up Ainsworth for an easy tap-in.
Blackstock was back in the groove on the resumption to the second half, capitalising on Darren Ward's defensive slip before sending a fearsome 25-yard strike wide of Hennessey's right hand upright.
Wolves' defensive frailties were there for all to see, with Stewart heading down and over, after he was gifted time and space to meet Buzsaky's 53rd minute set-piece.
The R's continued to force the initiative and they were denied what appeared to be a stone wall spot-kick three minutes later, when Nygaard was dragged to ground right in front of the referee by Kevin Foley.
Rangers players appealed as one for the decision, but referee Mr Graham was unmoved.
After being totally over-run by their hosts, Wolves finally found their feet as the clock ticked towards the hour.
Stephen Ward's flicked header was well saved by Lee Camp, while the outstanding Stewart was twice on hand to head clear the danger on the edge of his six-yard box.
Stewart and his fellow defenders were powerless to stop Stephen Elliott moments later, but thankfully for the R's, the attacker fired wide with the goal at his mercy after Foley's cross fizzed across the face of the six-yard box.
It was one of the misses of the season from the Wolves front-man, to the relief of a Rangers side now struggling to contain the free-flowing visitors.
But it was Rangers - buoyed by the battling qualities of Ainsworth - who finished on the front foot.
Hennessey's cameo display in the Wolves goal continued, as he dived full stretch to tip over Rowlands' fierce drive.
Sensing the Wanderers' back four were tiring, De Canio introduced Sinclair in the final ten minutes, but it was that man Ainsworth who went closest to breaking the deadlock, when he lashed a right footed pile-driver wide in the 85th minute.
QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Blackstock (Sinclair 83), Buzsaky, Ainsworth, Rowlands, Malcolm, Rehman, Nygaard, Leigertwood.
Subs: Cole, Moore, Walton, Balanta.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Hennessey, D Ward, Collins, Olofinjana, Henry, Bothroyd (Keogh 88), ard, Elliott, Gibson, Foley, Gray. Subs: Ikeme, Edwards, Jarvis, Eastwood QPR

Wolves Official Site - QPR 0 Wolves 0
Wolves take a point from Loftus Road after a high-tempo match that saw both sides dominate periods of play but fail to find the net.
Wanderers fielded an unchanged team from last weekend's defeat against Burnley.
The home side were quickly on the attack with Darren Ward having to make a timely interception in the box to halt the advancing Dexter Blackstock.
Wolves countered and a corner from Jay Bothroyd found the head of Neill Collins but his effort went safely into the arms of Rangers' keeper Lee Camp.
Bothroyd rose for a header on nine minutes and clashed with Gareth Ainsworth. The Wolves striker received treatment at the side of the pitch before returning to the action.
Three minutes later, Seyi Olofinjana conceded a free-kick in a central position from 30 yards out. Akos Martin Rowlands tested Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey with a strong shot that bobbled in front of the young Welshman, but he gathered with ease.
The first corner came in the 16th minute. Bothroyd cleared from Buzsaky's flag kick and Ainsworth's ball back in to the box found the head of Damion Stewart who headed just wide.
A mix up between Kevin Foley and Darron Gibson allowed Blackstock a shooting opportunity but his effort deflected out for a corner off the Irish right-back.
Foley then went on an attacking run and played a ball in to Olofinjana but his header was well wide of the target.
As QPR sought to stamp their authority on the game, Ainsworth tried to beat Foley with a long range effort on 21 minutes.
Olofinjana lost the ball in midfield giving Rowlands the chance to strike but Hennessey turned the ball out.
Ainsworth beat Michael Gray to the resulting corner but Blackstock stabbed his effort just wide on 35 minutes.
Then a long range effort from Martin Rowlands had Hennessey at full stretch.
Rangers, buoyed by their victory at Burnley in midweek, were piling on the pressure and Ainsworth had the ball in the net on 38 minutes. However, the referee had already blown as Blackstockwas judged to be pushing in the box.
H-T: QPR 0 Wolves 0
A mistake by Collins should have seen the hosts take the lead on 48 minutes. The ball bounced over the Wolves centre half and into the path of Blackstock but, with only Hennessey to beat, the Rangers forward snatched at his shot and it went well wide of the target.
Ward put in a dangerous cross for Bothroyd who tried to flick the ball over the keeper but failed to get a clean connection.
There were loud appeals for a penalty when Foley looked to have pulled over Marc Nygaard in the 57th minute but the referee, just feet from the incident waved play on.
Two minutes later, good vision from Bothroyd put Elliott through but the striker, whose shot produced a good save from Camp, was off-side.
Wolves were suddenly getting into their stride and Olofinjana came close with a shot on the turn.
Just after the hour mark, Stephen Ward forced Camp to back-peddle and the Rangers keeper just tipped the Irishman's header over the bar. It was Wolves' best period of the game.
A Bothroyd strike was almost turned into his own net by Robert Malcolm as the visitors continued to press forward.
With 20 minutes left on the clock, Wolves should have taken the lead when Gibson crossed and Elliott, just feet from the far post, somehow hit his shot wide.
Undeterred, the Molineux outfit continued to press.
Hennessey was again the Wolves hero with a tremendous save from Rowlands after Blackstock had teed up the ball.
Ainsworth went on a surging run on 85 minutes, his shot shaving Hennessey's post.
Andy Keogh replaced Bothroyd on 88 minutes. Wolves

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