QPR Report Twitter Feed

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Half a Year Since Chairman Paladini's Perhaps Most Notable Statement and Strong Denounciation of "a Tiny Minority"

This past July 31, there were assertions on QPR Fan Messageboards that players had been locked out of the club's (rented) Harlington training ground. There was a brief 'snippet' re this rumour in the July 31 Evening Standard. There was no official statement/comment re this by the club. The following day, Chairman Paladini issued a statement on the official site which among other things, denounced a f ew who "seem intent on Damaging Team Morale and destroying the club"
Besides expressing great optimism about the forthcoming season and declaring "The Club is in a better financial position than it has been in for a number of years," Chairman Paladini also made reference to "brand new QPR tailor-made suits for every player" whose existence remain somewhat of a mystery. And the Chairman also characterized an Evening Standard story as "I have been advised it is libellous and our lawyers will be contacting the Standard immediately to demand a retraction." If there ever was legal action or a retraction, it was not subsequently noted by the club.

Having just returned from the R's pre-season tour of Italy, QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini can't wait for the big kick-off.
"The trip to Sorrento was a great success, providing the players and coaching staff with an opportunity for some intense training and team bonding.
"Despite the players staying in one of the town's grandest hotels, and having been fitted with brand new QPR tailor-made suits for every player, the trip paid for itself and the Club even managed to make a tiny profit from it.
"Gary, Macca and the coaching staff are now ready for the new season. I believe we have a much improved squad, with summer signings including Armel Tchakounte, Jamaican international defender Damion Stewart, Egutu Oliseh, Adam Czerkas and the much talked about Nicky Ward, and the important re-signing of Lee Cook for two more years.
"Many of last season's first team have improved over pre-season and it has been particularly pleasing to see Martin Rowlands back to full fitness. A number of the youth squad have made tremendous steps forward during pre-season and will be fighting for places in Gary's first team.
"It is frustrating that, despite all the hard work everyone has been doing during pre-season, a tiny minority of people seem intent on damaging team morale and destroying the Club in the run up to our important first game.
"Not only have they once again invented wholly false rumours about the state of the Club, but unfortunately a couple of journalists with a record of writing stories against QPR, and with links to some of the individuals intent on destabilising the Club, have blown up these rumours and made up stories from nothing.
"Last week it was suggested in some of the press that we were putting QPR up for sale. Unfortunately the journalists responsible for this story failed to even check the official statement from Antonio Caliendo, Chairman of Holdings, on the Club's official website, making clear the Board's continued commitment to QPR.
"I have always said if someone with QPR's best interests at heart wants to come along and buy out the existing Board we would not stand in their way. Nothing has changed and nobody has come forward. We will continue to seek out new investors to take the Club even further forward, but as Antonio made clear last week, we are committed to QPR.
"The Club is in a better financial position than it has been in for a number of years. Things are still tough, but we have reduced the annual debt by millions and intend to reduce it further. Yet ridiculous rumours still seem to be invented by a few people for reasons beyond me.
"The latest is the absurd rumour suggested on a message board that the players were locked out of the Harlington training ground, when in fact Gary Waddock had just given them the day off as they had only recently arrived back from a busy schedule in Italy.
"The same newspaper that had to apologise for a series of inaccurate stories about me last season, the Evening Standard, then chose to repeat this wholly false rumour as fact without even checking with me, the coaching staff, or even Imperial College - the owners of the training ground.
"In an article by a journalist named Wayne Vesey, under the headline 'Locked-out Rangers are unable to train' the Standard claimed that the Club was locked out of the training ground on Monday. Such a clearly false statement damages the reputation of the Club, and the morale of the players and supporters. I have been advised it is libellous and our lawyers will be contacting the Standard immediately to demand a retraction."QPR fans will ask themselves why should people invent such rumours? The purpose can only be to destabilise the Club and to injure the morale of players and fans just days before the season kicks off. The Club will not allow another season to be derailed by these people.
"The Board, Gary Waddock and the coaching staff, and the players and other members of staff, are all united in our focus to move this great club forward and to achieve success this season on the pitch. We believe we have the squad and the resources to do so. We will not allow a tiny group of people, driven by an agenda that has nothing to do with football, to destroy this Club.
"I urge all fans to treat such rumour-mongers with the contempt and scepticism they deserve. They have been claiming we would go into administration every week for the past year, and they never admit they are wrong when we don't.
"They claimed we were locked out of the training ground before and even that the groundsmen would not cut the grass at the stadium. They predicted we would spend all the Club's money on agents' fees when we have spent less than nearly any other club in this division. They predicted we would sell off Loftus Road and all our best players because we could not afford their wages.
"Just yesterday they claimed we were locked out of the training ground because we could not afford the rent; but today, as scheduled, our players are training at the training ground. On each and every occasion their rumours have been proven false.
"As I believe you say in England, when someone cries wolf so many times, people stop listening. But every time the rumour-mongers are proven wrong they invent another rumour, so desperate to be proven right and for the Club to fail.
"For the last time I say to those who's criticism of the Board has developed into an agenda to undermine the Club, if you know of a better alternative to take QPR forward with the necessary funding to support it, then please let us know. Otherwise stop pursuing a divisive and destructive agenda. The Board, the players and staff and the thousands of fans of QPR will not allow a small selfish group to ruin the season for the rest of us.
"I know most QPR fans will be sensible enough to take every rumour and press speculation with a hefty pinch of salt. We seem to be in the 'silly season' right now - only today I saw an article in the Mirror claiming I had rejected an offer of £3million for Danny Shittu from Wolves and would only sell him for £10 million.
"The story is, of course, rubbish. As I have said all along, we don't want to sell Danny, but if someone comes in with an offer of £3million or above it will be up to him to decide. Nobody has made such an offer and so Danny will be starting the season with us.
"So as we prepare for the opening game at Burnley on Saturday, and then two exciting home games against Leeds United and newly promoted Southend United, I cannot wait for the football to start and for the players to do the talking on the pitch."And I urge every single QPR fan to get fully behind Gary and the boys and help them to turn this into a glorious season. Come on You R's!'' Gianni Paladini QPR

CLUB STATEMENT Queens Park Rangers Football Club would like to issue the following statement to clear the air over yet more wildly inaccurate reporting in the press and on various message boards.QPR staff were admitted to the training ground on Monday. No players were refused admittance to the ground yesterday. This is because no players turned up as it had been decided to give them an extra day off after their pre-season tour to Italy. The players are back at the training ground today (Tuesday) working hard for the opening match of the season at Turf Moor on Saturday. We can confirm that there was no Portsmouth player on trial with the Club either yesterday or today. It should also be noted that the items printed in the press had not been checked with either QPR or Imperial College before being published.And remember... www.qpr.co.uk is the R's official website - where all the breaking news comes first and fastest. QPR

QPR Chairman, Paladini Denies "Locked Out of Training Ground" Rumours
Mirror August 1, 2006 - RANGERS RENT ROW MYSTERY
Paladini last night denied his players had been locked out of the training ground because the troubled Championship club had not paid the rent.
Several QPR players claimed they were turned away from their Harlington training HQ when the gates were locked in the latest apparent financial setback.
Rangers may be entrenched in debt, but Paladini stressed the rent was paid to Imperial College on July 18.
And he also insisted star defender Danny Shittu would not be sold before Saturday's kick-off - despite Wolves' £3million offer.
Paladini said: "We can prove the rent was paid and our manager Gary Waddock was there yesterday and allowed in.
"The players were simply given a day off and that is why they were not at the training ground yesterday.
"It's been a very difficult time for the club - the worst I can ever remember.
"As for Danny Shittu, we have had two offers but we are determined not to sell him. If we could not pay our rent then we would have sold him to Wolves a long time ago.
"There are about three or four clubs interested in signing him and we've had contact from Birmingham, West Brom and Norwich.
"If I can get a bid for £10m then we will listen, but if we don't get that sort of money then he'll start the season with us." Mirror

Paul Furlong Loan Bid Rejected ...Other Reported Efforts

Dorset Daily Echo - Kevin Bond
"[Bournemouth Manager] KEVIN Bond is unlikely to pursue his interest in Dimitrios Zografakis -....Bond told the Daily Echo: "...I also made an enquiry with John Gregory about Paul Furlong but he said he wouldn't let him out on loan at this moment in time." This is Dorset

Vital Football "Cullip signs, 3 others reject QPR"
"....Tottenham`s Reto Ziegler has been in discussions with officials at Loftus Road over a loan move until the end of the season but has ultimately decided to go and play for six months in Italy with Sampdoria.
The club also sounded out Derby County over out of favour goalkeeper Lee Camp but have been knocked back. .....
The club also approached Southampton with a view to signing their defender Martin Cranie but with Cullip and Bolder arriving in his two positions already the interest wasn`t taken any further."
Vital Football

And QPR 15-year old Dean Parrett is supposedly joining (or has joined) Spurs). But besides newspapers saying it, it has not been confirmed on the QPR or Spurs Official Sites.
QPR-MAD "Wonderkid Parrett joining Spurs"

Ex-QPR Trialist, Wayne Henderson Joins Preston

Brighton Official Site -Henderson Joins Preston By Paul Camillin
Albion have sold goalkeeper Wayne Henderson to Preston North End for a fee of £150,000, potentially rising to £200,000 dependent on appearances. He has agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal.
Irish international Henderson handed in a written transfer request on Monday, which the club accepted and the player completed his move to Deepdale today, after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.
Chairman Dick Knight explained, "We are sorry to see Wayne go, but felt we could not ignore a second transfer request from the player. I was aware of Preston's interest and so moved quickly to conclude the deal.
"We did not want Wayne to leave, but I am satisfied with the deal. I'm sure Wayne will be delighted with joining Preston and I would like to wish him all the best in his future career."
Albion boss Dean Wilkins added, "I think from Wayne's point of view he found it difficult being left out. From my point of view I thank him for his service to the club.
"He has always been professional when he has played, but I felt he handed in his transfer request a little too soon.
"He's got his reasons for doing that, and part of that is because of his international career, but I feel that he has served the club well and I wish him all the best for the future." Brighton

July 2005 - Aston Villa Mad
QPR home in on Henderson
Story by John Atkin 21 July 2005
Wayne Henderson is set to join Queens Park Rangers after moving to Loftus Road on loan.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper, who trained with Bristol City last week, has been unable to force his way into the reckoning at Villa Park and is thought to be keen to secure first-team football. Quoted on the club’s official site, goalkeeping coach Eric Steele said: “QPR have been expressing an interest in Wayne for some time. He will train with the club for two days and then will be available for QPR’s game with Charlton at the weekend.” Were he to make a permanent move to west London, the youngster would rejoin Stefan Moore who moved earlier this summer. Aston Villa Mad

ONE Signing: Cullip In...Ward Out (on Loan)... Despite QPR's Plight/Lack of Goals: No Other Signings

Despite having scored five goals in their past 12 league games (10 of which were lost), QPR today made one deadline day signing - and it wasn't a forward. Manager John Gregory while praising his new signing declared ..."I would have liked to have added more, but our current economic state would suggest that I had to juggle things around in the best interest of the club at this particular time." He went on to praise Chairman Paladini (although some supporters might disagree with that conclusion) "The Chairman has been tremendously supportive in both enabling me to bring the three players in, as well as shipping a few out." QPR

QPR Official Site - CULLIP SIGNS
QPR are delighted to announce the signing of experienced Nottingham Forest defender Danny Cullip.
Following his release from The Reds, the 30 year-old centre-half has penned an 18 month deal at Loftus Road and in doing so, becomes gaffer John Gregory's third signing of the January transfer window.
Cullip - whose previous clubs include Sheffield United, Brighton & Hove Albion, Brentford, Fulham and Oxford - spoke exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk moments after signing the deal.
"When the chance came up to come here, it was an easy decision to make,'' he said.
"John didn't need to sell the club to me at all. I know what QPR are about, a lot of my friends are supporters, so I jumped at the chance.
"All I can say is that I'll come in and give my all. I'm up for a fight, I enjoy a battle and hopefully we can get enough results to ensure we stay in this division.
"There are some huge games coming up and I can't wait to get started.''
Gregory was equally delighted with the signing, adding: "We needed a player with his kind of character. He's a leader, an organiser and in my opinion he's a winner.
"He's an out-and-out defender, who will help the inexperienced players that we have in the heart of our defence.''
Cullip - who is in line to make his QPR debut against Burnley on Saturday - will wear the number four shirt.
*A full interview with Danny Cullip will be available on QPR World tomorrow (Thursday). QPR

Gaffer John Gregory has revealed his delight at the signing of defender Danny Cullip.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk after the former Nottingham Forest player put pen to paper on an 18 month contract, Gregory said: "We needed a player with his kind of character. He's a leader, an organiser and in my opinion he's a winner.
"He's an out-and-out defender, who will help the inexperienced players that we have in the heart of our defence - he will certainly assist the likes of Michael Mancienne, Damion Stewart and Sami Timoska.''
Gregory continued: "He's won play-off finals, promotions and is a real battler. I'm bringing him in not only for his defensive qualities, but also for his leadership skills.''
Despite admitting it was tough to do business, the Rangers gaffer is pleased with his January dealings, commenting: "We've had to move eight players on to bring in three fresh faces, but I'm delighted with the three we've brought in. All three of them will play a big part in our battle to survive this season.
"I would have liked to have added more, but our current economic state would suggest that I had to juggle things around in the best interest of the club at this particular time. I've always stated that we've got far too many players here - which has not been the players' fault - but I've done the best I can in very trying circumstances.
"The Chairman has been tremendously supportive in both enabling me to bring the three players in, as well as shipping a few out
"The loan market is still there if we feel we need to make the necessary changes again, but I don't foresee anything immediately.'' QPR


Danny Cullip has left Nottingham Forest for Championship side Queens Park Rangers.
The free transfer deal was completed this afternoon after the 30 year old defender had passed a medical at Loftus Road.
His departure follows 24 hours after Forest had announced the signing of 21 year old central defender Luke Chambers from Northampton Town.
Cullip joined Forest from Sheffield United before the start of last season but persistent hamstring problems restricted him to 14 appearances in the 2005-2006 campaign.
Although not in the side recently, he has figured more prominently this season and the former Oxford, Brentford, Fulham, Brighton and Sheffield United played 38 Forest games in total. Nottingham Forest


Midfielder Nicky Ward has joined Brighton & Hove Albion on loan until the end of the season.
The Australian international - who joined QPR from Perth Glory in the summer - has made 21 appearances in all competitions for Rangers this season, scoring one goal.
However, he has not featured in John Gregory's plans since the 2-2 draw with Luton Town in the FA Cup on Saturday 6th January and has now joined up with the League One side. QPR

Brighton On Signing Ward - Albion Net Aussie Playmaker By Tim Dudding
Albion have made a second swoop on transfer deadline day, netting QPR playmaker Nick Ward on loan until the end of the season.
The 21-year-old Australian midfielder has played 21 games for the R's since arriving from Perth Glory in the summer, scoring one goal, in the 2-0 win over Southend in August.
An exciting flair player, Ward's progress has been watched by manager Dean Wilkins and Chairman Dick Knight since last October, when they spotted him playing in a reserve team game for the Londoners.
Wilkins told seagulls.co.uk, "I watched him in October and spoke to Gary Waddock, who brought him to QPR. He speaks highly of him.
"He's a very attack-minded midfield player and he will bring much-needed competition to the squad."
Ward has been selected for the Australian national squad - although he has yet to make his debut - and only narrowly missed out on a place for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
He is also on standby for the Socceroos' friendly with Denmark next week to be played, ironically, at Loftus Road.
Ward also scooped the Australian League 'Rising Star' award in 2006 and was included in a 'Who's Who' of the best young players to watch on the official FIFA website.
Describing the difference between English and Australian football, he said, "The game is a lot slower over in Australia, mainly because of the heat, whereas here it's a lot quicker with not as much time on the ball.
"I like to play good football, that's what I've always tried to do. I like to get the ball down and pass it, get forward and score goals." Brighton

www.qpr.co.uk takes a look at the career of the R's latest signing - no-nonsense centre half Danny Cullip.
Danny Cullip joined Nottingham Forest on the eve of last season, with The Reds paying Sheffield United an undisclosed fee for his services.
Cullip's first season at The City Ground proved to be a frustrating one though, with persistent hamstring problems restricting him to just 14 appearances in all competitions.
Undeterred, he's returned stronger than ever this season, making 25 appearances at the heart of The Reds defence, prior to his last outing on New Years Day, when he was shown a red card in Forest's forgettable 5-0 defeat to fellow League One high-fliers Oldham.
Prior to his move to Forest, the no-nonsense defender made 15 appearances for the Blades following a £250,000 switch from Brighton & Hove Albion in December 2004, but moved on after falling out of favour with manager Neil Warnock.
During his five-year spell with Brighton, he was appointed captain and twice scooped the south coast club's 'Player of the Year' award.
Cullip started his career with Oxford and had spells with Fulham and Brentford before his career really gathered pace with Brighton.
Everyone at the Club wishes Danny a successful stay in W12.

Eight Hours Left: No Announced QPR Transfers...A Definite No: No Ziegler From Spurs to QPR (Gone to Italy!)

QPR have been "reliably" linked to at least two players: Danny Cullip at Nottingham Forest and Spurs Reto Ziegler. Thus far no announcement re Cullip and Ziegler has gone off on loan to Italy.

Yesterday John Gregory said on the Official Site
"John Gregory is refusing to rule out the chance of bringing in one more player before the transfer window slams shut at midnight on Wednesday.
Hot on the heels of adding Adam Bolder to his squad over the weekend, Gregory revealed exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk that there could be one more deal in the pipeline ahead of the transfer deadline.
"Hopefully we'll be able to bring in one more before Wednesday's deadline and he would go straight into the side,'' Gregory told www.qpr.co.uk.
"We've been in the hunt for a number of players since I arrived here in September, but we're not going to just change faces for the sake of it.
"The one's that come in have to be better than the one's they're replacing, but hopefully we'll be able to bring one more in before the window closes.'' QPR

Spurs Official Site- Ziegler to Sampdoria
Agreement has been reached with Sampdoria for the loan transfer of Reto Ziegler until the end of the season.
The Swiss international joined us from Grasshoppers in August 2004 and went on to make 31 appearances in his first season, scoring one goal at the Lane against Everton.
Last season the 21-year-old spent time away from the Lane on loan at both Hamburg (14 appearances) and Wigan (13), the latter spell including a substitute appearance against Manchester United in the Carling Cup final.
He has featured in four First Team games this season and now heads off to Genoa and the team that currently sit 10th in the Serie A standings.

QPR's Dean Parrett to Spurs?

Evening Standard
"It is expected to be a frantic day at White Hart Lane — Edgar Davids having finally completed his move to Ajax yesterday — with Jol also hoping his board complete the signing of Queens Park Rangers prodigy Dean Parrett.
Sportsmail revealed last Saturday that Parrett, 15, is wanted by both Chelsea and Tottenham, but it appears Jol is on the verge of winning the race for his signature

Matt Rose on His Time at QPR, Injuries & Under John Gregory (Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times)

Ben Kosky - Kilburn Times - Rose was expecting the boot
LONG-SERVING defender Matthew Rose realised his days at QPR were numbered within a few weeks of John Gregory's arrival at Loftus Road.
Rose, 31, was frozen out almost as soon as Gregory took over from Gary Waddock in September, and this week finalised a deal to end almost a decade's service to the club.
The former England under-21 international, who signed for Rangers in a £500,000 switch from Arsenal in 1997, insists he wanted to spend the rest of his career at Loftus Road.
But, despite a shocking seven-match spell which saw the Rs concede 16 goals in October and November, Gregory refused to consider selecting the experienced Rose, claiming at one stage that the player was injured.
"It was clear I wasn't in John Gregory's plans," Rose told the Times. "I was happy and settled at QPR, but things happened that were out of my control.

"I travelled to Cardiff with the squad in November and, when I couldn't even get on the bench, I realised which way it was going. That's how it is in football and hopefully, as one door closes, another one opens.
"It's like any job - if you get up in the morning and you're not enjoying going to work, it takes its toll on yourself and your family and you realise there's a lot more to life than football.
"I had a little niggle which I got put right in December and, if I was in the manager's plans, I'd have had it done sooner, but then it was a case of making sure I was fully fit for when I got things sorted with QPR."
Injury problems blighted Rose's career at Loftus Road, perhaps illustrated best by the fact that he made just 261 appearances for the club in those 10 seasons.
Brought to Rangers by his former Arsenal coach Stewart Houston, Rose began at right-back, but went on to feature as a central defender, sweeper, midfielder and left-back under a succession of managers.
It took Rose until February 2000 to register his first QPR goal, in a 1-1 draw at Barnsley, but he went on to score seven more - the best of which came against Brighton and West Ham during the Rs' run of seven straight wins under Ian Holloway in 2004.
It was Holloway who oversaw the highlight of Rose's QPR career during that year - promotion back to the Championship was particularly sweet for the defender, a member of the side relegated three years earlier.
Rose added: "Winning promotion was certainly the highlight. We'd been through a lot of lows, but we had a great day at Hillsborough and to be part of that was wonderful.
"Certain things have happened since then that could be taking the club backwards. I hope not because, after 10 years, QPR will always be a big part of my life.
"There have been a lot of jokes made about my injury problems, but I've always given my best for the QPR supporters and I think they appreciate that.
"The fan base is unbelievable - even now, they're still turning up in their thousands - and I hope for their sake that the club doesn't go down. They don't deserve that."
Rose became the second senior player to leave Loftus Road this month after club captain Kevin Gallen, who rejoined former boss Ian Holloway at Plymouth, initially on loan for the remainder of the season.
But QPR have yet to confirm whether they will award Rose a testimonial - the usual reward for 10 years' service - which had been verbally agreed with former chief executive Mark Devlin.
As someone who gave the best years of his career to Rangers, Rose surely deserves that. Kilburn Times

Paladini Reaffirms No Cook Sale...re Transfers in... and on Savings From Released Players (Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times)

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Reto waiting in the wings - 30 January 2007
QPR have launched a bid to bring Tottenham wide man Reto Ziegler to Loftus Road before the transfer window closes.
Rangers hope to borrow the Swiss international for the rest of the season - but have made it clear that they do not view him as a replacement for Lee Cook.
Tottenham are among the Premiership clubs to have inquired about Cook in recent weeks, but have been categorically told the £10m-rated winger is not for sale.
If Rs manager John Gregory lands Ziegler, he plans to play him as a left wing-back, with three central defenders and Cook featuring on the left of a three-man midfield.
Gregory wants Nottingham Forest defender Danny Cullip to be one of that centre-back trio, although a deal is yet to be finalised.
The former Fulham and Brentford defender, 30, has also accumulated plenty of experience in the Championship with Brighton and Sheffield United, but is thought to be keen on a move back to London.
QPR chairman Gianni Paladini told the Times: "We've agreed everything, more or less - it's a case of whether Forest will let him go before they bring in a replacement.
"[Damion] Stewart and [Michael] Mancienne are doing very well, but John prefers to play three at the back and we need someone with experience to guide the younger players through.

"People are still phoning up about Cook, Jones and Blackstock, but I've made it clear they are not for sale. We don't want to commit hari-kari and the board are unanimous in that."
Gregory clinched his second signing of the transfer window last weekend when Derby midfielder Adam Bolder, 26, turned down a move back to his hometown club, Hull, to rejoin his former boss.
Bolder, who made 181 appearances in nearly seven years at Pride Park, will help plug the gap left by the hamstring injury that is likely to rule Marc Bircham out for the season.
But the exit door has also been busy at Loftus Road, with squad players Matthew Hislop and Jon Munday leaving the club alongside the out of favour Matthew Rose.
In all, eight players have been released in the last six weeks and Paladini added: "When you terminate a contract, you save at least 50 per cent of what you would pay if the contract ran to its end.
"We've reduced the wage bill by £500,000 in recent weeks and that's an important part of what we're trying to do to get this club out of trouble
. Kilburn Times

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

QPR Drop Into The Relegation Trio with a Loss at Barnsley

QPR, who are in the middle of a terrible run, lost again tonight. From QPR's Last 12 League Games: 10 Losses and 2 wins: Form QPR lost 0-2 at Barnsley with goals in the last minute of each half. As a result of this loss, Barnsley go above QPR. As other results also went against QPR, QPR are in some trouble. It might be noted that the transfer window closes at Midnight, Wednesday, so QPR have 24 more hours to buy or sell.

League Table After Tonight

17 Norwich 29 -11 34
18 Leicester 29 -9 33
19 Barnsley 30 -15 32
20 Hull 30 -11 31
21 Luton 30 -14 31
22 QPR 30 -12 30
23 Southend 30 -21 27
24 Leeds 29 -22 27

John Gregory's Post-Match Comments - QPR Official Site "We'll Battle On"
"John Gregory vowed that there is more to come from his men and predicts there will be a few more twists and turns yet.
After what he admitted was a disappoiting display, the gaffer was resolute in his admission that Rangers would continue to battle against the current lack of form.
"We had the majority of the play in the first half, they got their chance and took it whereas we didn't take the three or four that fell our way.
"It's a massive concern obviously, we've been down the bottom fighting relegation all season, but I'm sure there will be more twists and turns before this campaign finishes.
"You can't knock our spirit, if there's one thing these lads can do it's fight and I know they will come good.
"Tough times don't last, but tough guys do."
JG was concerned that the result would have been a lot different had the referee given a second half penalty.
"I saw it, all eleven players saw it and so did all of the fans. But when times are hard you don't get the breaks." QPR

John Gregory's men slipped into the relegation zone after a disappointing result against fellow strugglers Barnsley.
It was billed as a 'must win' game, but Rangers failed to take anything from Oakwell as the Tykes won this batle at the bottom.
The first half was quiet and careful from both sides, who were both clearly well aware of the dangers that one simple mistake could create.
And it was one lapse in concentration that allowed Marc Richards to put the Tykes ahead in first half injury time.
The second half failed to bring better news for Rangers as a penalty decision was waved away before Brian Howard sailed the ball over Royce from 20 yards out in the 90th minute
John Gregory called upon new signing Adam Bolder to take up a place in the middle of the park and up front, Paul Furlong joined Dexter Blackstock in the attack.

Zesh Rehman carved out the first of Rangers' attacks when he stormed down the right flank, sold a dummy to his marker and crossed for Blackstock to just head wide of the post.

Antony Kay then almost gifted Rangers the opener when his stray leg diverted Lomas' cross into the arms of Nick Colgan in the Barnsley goal.

New signing Adam Bolder was certainly vocal in the middle of the park and was full of orders and arm movements for his team mates.

With 15 minutes on the clock, Cook swung in a free kick from outside the box which narrowly evaded Damion Stewart at the far post as Rangers grew ever closer to breaking the deadlock.

The action then became as quiet as the Oakwell crowd where a strange 'reserve game' atmosphere was only ever broken up by the vocal travelling support, who though short in numbers, were in fine voice.

With three minutes of the half remaining, Jimmy Smith became the second Rangers man to have a certain goal denied thanks to an unassuming defender. Paul Reid deflected Smith's cracking strike over the bar, despite not knowing too much about it.

But the game took a turn for the worse when Barnsley pulled ahead.

Deep into injury time, Marc Richards stole through, completely unopposed and stuck home the ball past Royce to completely shock the visiting team. Seconds after, the referee blew for half time to signal the worst possible end of the half for Rangers.

Barnsley signalled their intentions in the second half by sitting ten men behind the ball quite literally, moving only to hit Rangers on the break. Even despite their drastic measures, the defending was still quite comical at times.

Rangers were still carving out space though. Blackstock forced Colgan to save at his near post before Furlong cannoned the ball over the bar from close range.

With 20 minutes of the second half played, John Gregory and the travelling support behind the goal were all on their feet when referee Boyeson waved away their appeals for a penalty. Rangers felt that their shouts of hand ball were strong, but the official refused to budge on the matter.

Gregory then introduced Ray Jones and Gareth Ainsworth at the expense of Furlong and Lomas in a bid to get a grip on the game.

Cook continued to ravage the Tykes defence with some formiddable twists and turns, but his finishing was wayward when he blazed the ball over the bar.

Barnsley then enjoyed a spell of pressure causing Rangers to live on the edge at times.
It finally paid off when Brian Howard lobbed Simon Royce in injury time once again after spotting the keeper off his line in the 90th minute. Despite the four minutes of stoppages, Rangers were out of time.
Barnsley: Colgan, Hassell, Reid, Togwell, Richards, Howard, Kay (K Reid 74), Eckersley, Nardiello, Devaney, McCann
Subs: Lucas, Coulson, Atkinson, Mattis
Scorers: Richards 45, Howard 90
Bookings: Togwell
QPR: Royce, Rehman (Nygaard 85), Bolder, Lomas (Ainsworth 74), Cook, Stewart, Timoska, Furlong (Jones 70), Blackstock, Smith, Mancienne
Subs: Cole, Kanyuka
Bookings: Timoska, Mancienne
Att: 9,890
Ref: C Boyeson QPR


E-mail this article E-mail Article Print this article Print-Friendly Subscribe to sportinglife RSS feed Subscribe to RSS Feed
Digg this story post this story to del.icio.us - social bookmarking site Post to del.icio.us

By Ross Heppenstall, PA Sport

Barnsley manager Simon Davey compared Brian Howard to Wayne Rooney after his spectacular strike sealed a priceless 2-0 Coca-Cola Championship win over relegation rivals QPR.

Tykes midfielder Howard capped an impressive display with a delightful chipped effort in the closing stages to add to Marc Richards' opener.

The goal was similar to Rooney's second strike in Manchester United's 2-1 FA Cup fourth-round victory against Portsmouth last weekend.

"It was Wayne Rooney-like," said Davey. "It was a cultured finish and he's won the game for us with an excellent goal, so you can't argue with that.

"We're very pleased to get the victory and we've said in the last couple of weeks it's the result that matters.

"We've now put together two wins and that's what we need at this stage of the season."

Richards regained his scoring touch when it mattered most as Barnsley secured a priceless victory that saw them leapfrog Rangers.

Goalless in his previous 15 appearances and under increased pressure following the arrival of Hungary forward Peter Rajczi, the striker responded in the best possible manner.

His close-range finish put the Tykes ahead on the stroke of half-time and Howard's last-minute strike from 20 yards sealed the points.

Davey added: "Pretty football doesn't get you results and if we need to grind out results - get everybody behind the ball and put a chance away when we get it - then that's what we'll do.

"Rangers were very physical and it was the same when we went down to Loftus Road.

"I don't think there's a player under 6ft 3in there and they put us under pressure at times.

"But we withheld the pressure and defended magnificently. I don't look at the table but if we keep picking up points then I'll be happy."

It was tough on John Gregory's side, who now reside in the relegation zone, as they created a succession of half-chances only to be thwarted by an excellent defensive display from Barnsley.

This was the Tykes' second successive win and the availability of Rajczi for Friday's trip to Cardiff will serve as another boost to their survival prospects.

The striker, who has been capped nine times and scored 23 goals last term in domestic competition, has agreed to a loan move from Ujpest Dozsa until the end of the season with a view to completing a permanent deal in the summer.

He was ineligible to face Rangers as he awaits international clearance and was forced to watch in frustration from Oakwell's main stand.

Davey added: "He should be available for Friday's game at Cardiff but he'll have to work hard to get into the side and rightly so."

Rangers, who handed a debut to Adam Bolder in the centre of midfield following his arrival from Derby, created the better chances for much of the game.

But, as John Gregory admitted, they badly lacked a killer touch.

"I thought we had dominated the first half and put a lot of pressure on them but we got punched on the nose when Richards scored," said the Rangers boss.

"We know that through this difficult period, it will turn. Tough times don't last but tough people do and this lost certainly just kept going and going.
"This lot have never given in and that's why the fans have stuck with us, home and away.
"What we might lack in quality, we certainly make up for in our effort and our enthusiasm.
"The results will turn because, once again, the boys gave everything." Sporting Life

BBC - Barnsley 2-0 QPR
Barnsley leapfrogged relegation rivals QPR, who plunged into the bottom three as a result of the defeat at Oakwell.

Marc Richards put the home side ahead on the stroke of half-time and, despite a suspicion of offside, he converted a Martin Devaney cross from close range.

Rangers mounted an impressive fightback but Paul Furlong and Dexter Blackstock failed to capitalise when presented with promising chances.

Barnsley wrapped up the win when Brian Howard chipped in from 20 yards.

Barnsley manager Simon Davey:
"We're pleased to get the win and we've said in the last couple of weeks it's the result that matters.

"We've now put together two wins and that's what we need at this stage of the season.

"Pretty football doesn't get you results and if we need to grind out results then that's what we'll do." BBC


A WONDER goal by Brian Howard put the icing on the cake as the Reds battled to claim a fine victory at Oakwell against Championship rivals QPR.

Reds boss Simon Davey, unsurprisingly, kept faith with the side that did so well at Luton last time out. There was no place again in the 16 for Paul Hayes or Paul Heckingbottom and new signing Peter Rajczi got his first taste of Oakwell watching from the stands.

QPR started strongly with full back Zesh Rehman managing to get the better of Adam Eckersley on three minutes down the flank. Rehman's cross was excellent but it was matched by Paul Reid's goal-saving header to clear the danger on the six yard line.

At the other end Daniel Nardiello almost got half a yard to get a shot away in the area on seven minutes but found his path to goal blocked by Damion Stewart.

Another cynical foul by Rangers left Marc Richards in a heap on nine minutes and the striker managed to brush himself down to glance Martin Devaney's free kick against a defender and wide of the target.

Howard, who seemed again to be the target for QPR, was left in agony by another ridiculously heavy challenge on 14 minutes as this time it was Adam Bolder's turn to kick lumps out of the Reds midfielder.

Nick Colgan had to be alert on 17 minutes to grab Lee Cook's free kick under pressure from Stewart and Paul Furlong although Dexter Blackstock's dive to con the foul in the first place under Antony Kay's challenge should never have been allowed.

The Reds were almost punished for some hesitant defending on 21 minutes as Jimmy Smith crashed a shot just wide from the edge of the area after the Barnsley backline had struggled to deal with Bolder's cross.

Sam Timoska and Sam Togwell traded yellow cards before a wonderful piece of play by Howard split the QPR defence wide open on 35 minutes to send Richards in but Simon Royce made an outstanding save although a late offside flag would have ruled out any goal.

Howard almost grabbed the opener on 40 minutes as he broke well from the middle of the park before slamming a left-footed shot high over the top of Royce's goal.

Smith went close again on 43 minutes as he smashed a shot against Kay from 18 yards although the chance was created more by Furlong's handball in the area than anything. From the corner Richards had to be alert to hook the ball over his own bar from six yards out.

The opening goal finally came deep in stoppage time as Richards somehow managed to beat the offside trap to reach Bobby Hassell's cross and coolly slotted the ball past Royce from four yards out.

QPR came out after the break with all guns blazing although they had some kamikaze Reds defending and distribution to thank for much of their early pressure. Cook managed to get in behind Hassell on 50 minutes on cross well but Eckersley really earned his money with an outstanding header at the back post to deny Blackstock an easy tap in.

Smith then took advantage of another defensive slip to hammer the ball across the face of goal on 56 minutes but Furlong could not turn it in from six yards out. Rehman finally forced Colgan into a save on 58 minutes as he met Cook's free kick at the back post but could only head straight at the Reds keeper.

The Reds had a massive let off on 63 minutes as Blackstock's downward header from Cook's cross appeared to strike an arm in the area but the referee gave nothing despite huge protests from the QPR players and bench.

Bolder lashed a wild effort high over on 69 minutes before Timoska went one better by threatening to smash the top row of seats in the North Stand with an equally ferocious strike off target five minutes later. At the other end Richards almost caught out Royce with a snap shot on 76 minutes that the QPR keeper did well to parry away.

Livewire winger Cook had the Rangers faithful on their feet on 80 minutes as he was given time and space to run at the Barnsley defence again but his low shot lacked the quality of his burst through the middle of the park and flew well, well wide.

The Reds could have made the game safe on 87 minutes as Hassell met Devaney's corner with purpose but could not direct his header on target from 12 yards out.

Howard did end the contest in the first minute of stoppage time with another goal of the season contender. The midfielder broke forward before sending an exquisite chip over Royce and into the back of the net from 25 yards. Barnsley

Barnsley Look at QPR...QPR Look at Barnsley

QPR travel to Barnsley tonight for a vital relegation game. Barnsley have just signed Hungarian International Forward, Peter Rajczi. But hopefully he won't be eligible yet to play.
Barnsley Home Record: Won 5 Drawn 4 Lost 5. Scored 17. Conceded 18
QPR Away Record Won 3 Drawn 3 Lost 8. Scored 16. Conceded 24

Championship Table - Table

Barnsley's Results - Results

Barnsley's Squad - Squad

BARNSLEY midfielder Sam Togwell is looking to close the gap at the bottom of the Championship with a vital win over QPR tomorrow evening.
Sam told www.barnsleyfc.co.uk: "QPR will come here for another big game and another great chance to claw back some points and put the pressure on other teams.
"We do not have to get out of the bottom three in January - we have to make sure that we are out of it come the end of the season.
"We have been given a huge lift after beating Luton and we want to build on that with victory against QPR". Barnsley

Barnsley Official Site
REDS defender Antony Kay believes tomorrow's match against QPR at Oakwell is the biggest game of the season today and one his side must win.

Speaking exclusively to www.barnsleyfc.co.uk, Antony said: "This is the biggest game of the season now and we simply have to win. We have to make sure we get back above QPR and keep the rest in touch.

"QPR are a big physical side and it was a scrappy game at their place but they nicked it. We are confident and we have to players to beat them.

"We need our supporters behind us. We know that we have taken a bit of stick at times in the last month and some of it has been deserved. We need our supporters backing and that can help us win the game". Barnsley

GOALKEEPER Nick Colgan is expecting a tough clash against a physical and strong QPR side but believes the Reds will go into tomorrow's match full of confidence.
Nick told www.barnsleyfc.co.uk: "We picked up three points at Luton. It was a good three points and it would be disappointing if we do not get something against QPR. If results go our way then we could climb the table a little bit. Winning breeds confidence and we want to kick on now.
"We played QPR three or four weeks ago and they are a decent outfit. They beat us 1-0 and I was disappointed with the goal although I felt I made three or four good saves in the game. We were disappointed with our overall game down there and we did not really make Simon Royce work too hard.
"QPR are a big strong physical side and we will have our hands full but if we can play in the same way as we did against Luton and have the fans behind us then I am sure we will get the right result". Barnsley

BARNSLEY Football Club are set to complete the signing of Hungarian international striker Peter Rajczi ahead of the transfer deadline.
The 25-year-old hitman has one of the best strike records in Europe after bagging 23 goals for Ujpest Dozsa in Hungary last season. A full Hungarian international, Peter has bagged three goals in nine games for his country.
Born in Lengyeltóti, Hungary, in 1981, Peter joined Ujpest FC in 2003 and his six goals in 22 first team matches in his debut season. He followed that up with 13 in 28 during 2004/2005. Peter really came to the fore last season with 23 goals in 24 first team matches in the top flight of Hungarian football and has been linked with Watford.
Barnsley Football Club have agreed a substantial loan fee with Ujpest Dozsa which will see Peter join the Reds until the end of the season with an option in favour of the Club to conclude a permanent deal in the summer.
The relevant paperwork has been signed and is in the process of being faxed to both the Football Association, the Football League and the Hungarian Football Authorities. Barnsley Football Club will confirm the transfer when the relevant paperwork has been successfully registered both here and in Hungary. Barnsley


It's a six-pointer at Oakwell on Tuesday night for the R's, as John Gregory's men lock horns with fellow strugglers Barnsley.
Very little has changed since the meeting between these two sides just before Christmas - with a relegation dog-fight looming large for both in the second half of the campaign.
Martin Rowlands was the R's hero of the hour on December 23rd, bagging the only goal of the game at Loftus Road.
The trip to Oakwell is just one of three important ties on the immediate horizon for Rangers, who visit fellow strugglers Southend United and Leeds United in the coming weeks.

Rowlands (calf), Marcus Bignot (knee) and Stefan Bailey (suspended) are all unavailable, but Gareth Ainsworth is expected to return following his long term ankle injury.

New signing Adam Bolder is in line to make his full QPR debut in the heart of the midfield, as the R's go gunning for their first away victory since mid-November...
Top scorer (league goals only): Brian HOWARD 7

Last league game: Luton Town 0, Barnsley 2.
Coca Cola Championship. January 20th 2007.
Barnsley: Colgan, Hassell, Paul Reid, Kay, Eckersley, Devaney, Togwell, McCann, Howard, Richards (Kyel Reid 82), Nardiello (Coulson 81).
Subs Not Used: Lucas, Atkinson, Mattis.
Barnsley boss Simon Davey: "I said the team spirit was great this week in training and they have proved that with this result.
"The work ethic was fantastic and we took our chances, which we haven't been doing in the past couple of weeks.
"The whole team worked their socks off to keep Luton at bay and we have to find the consistency that we need now."

Superhoopsbet.co.uk match odds:
Barnsley 11/10 QPR 11/5 Draw 11/5 ...
Head to head:
Barnsley wins: 11 QPR wins: 17 Draws: 9
Last meeting:
Queens Park Rangers 1 (Rowlands), Barnsley 0....
Latest News:
Reid extends Barnsley loan spell
Barnsley have been allowed to extend the loan of West Ham's Kyel Reid until the end of the season.
Left winger Reid, a product of West Ham's academy, joined the Tykes in November from the Hammers on an initial one-month loan.
The 19-year-old has become a first-team regular at Oakwell and has scored one goal in 10 appearances.
Reid was one of a quartet of loan signings made in November by boss Simon Davey soon after his appointment.
(source: www.bbc.co.uk/sport) QPR

Tracy Stent/QPR Rivals - Barnsley Preview

Ron Norris & Simon Skinner/QPR Net - Barnsley Preview

Monday, January 29, 2007

Yet Another QPR Player "Terminated"

Teenage Reserve Defender, Jonathan Munday, who earlier this season, spent a month on loan at non-League Hendon has been released by QPR.

QPR defender Jonathan Munday has had his contract terminated with immediate effect.
The 18 year-old defender joined the Club as a trainee in July 2005, but despite a few squad appearances at the end of last season, he has failed to make the breakthrough to the R's first team.
The Club wishes Jonathan all the best for the future QPR

Official Site - 19.04.2006 HAPPY MUNDAY

-Rangers young-gun Jon Munday has put pen to paper on a one year professional contract with the club.
The 18 year-old defender - who was an unused substitute in Rangers' 3-2 defeat to Norwich City at Carrow Road on Easter Monday - signed on the dotted line at Loftus Road on Tuesday afternoon.
"It's a dream come true,'' said Munday.
"I've achieved my dream in life and now I'm just looking to the future.
"It came as a bit of a surprise to be honest, but I'd like to think it's my reward for all the hard work I've put in during the last few years.
"To be named on the bench on Monday was unbelievable and although the result didn't go our way, it was a day I'll remember for the rest of my life.''
Munday has always been earmarked for a 'bright' future.
His father Mike is a senior lecturer in the pharmaceutical bio-chemistry department at the University of London, while Jon himself is currently studying A-levels in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physical Education
But for the time being, he's more than happy to let his football do the talking.
"Fingers crossed I'll be involved with the first team between now and the end of the season and hopefully next year will be the same.
"Gary's a top manager and is willing to give youth a chance which is fantastic.
"We're all hoping to end the season on a high and I'd love to be part of it.'' QPR

Derby Confirm Bolder Transfer...Ian Evatt Critiques John Gregory...Birthdays for Ex-QPR Mark Stein & Steve Yates

Derby Official - BOLDER FOR QPR
Derby County midfielder Adam Bolder is to join Coca-Cola Championship side Queens Park Rangers today.
The 26-year-old has agreed personal terms at Loftus Road and will put pen to paper on a permanent move to West London for an undisclosed fee.
He will be re-united with former Derby boss John Gregory, who saw Bolder as an intergral part of his team during the 2002/03 season following relegation from the Premiership.
Bolder joined the Rams from Hull City - who had also expressed an interest in re-signing him - in March 2000, and has made more appearances for Derby than any other member of the current squad.
In all competitions Bolder made 121 starts, 60 substitute appearances, and scored 11 goals. Derby Official

IAN EVATT The Times Evatt proves to be Wise signing Ian Whittell
Blackpool 1 Norwich City 1
"...Meagre amenities notwithstanding, the 9,491 supporters on hand played their part in making this tie a competitive and entertaining affair. As did Ian Evatt, the Blackpool central defender. Badly at fault in failing to clear for Darren Huckerby’s opening goal for Norwich City in the first half, the 25-year-old, who was recently signed permanently from Queens Park Rangers after joining Blackpool on loan in the summer, rose magnificently to meet David Fox’s 52nd-minute free kick and head a deserved equaliser for the Coca-Cola League One club.
Evatt personifies the resurgence of Blackpool, who have reached the fifth round only once in the past 48 years. Simon Grayson, the club’s promising young manager, and Valeri Belokon, the millionaire owner from Latvia, have helped to revitalise the club using many players who, like Evatt, were unwanted elsewhere. “QPR bought my contract out at the start of January, I’d had a good loan spell here and was more than happy to sign,” Evatt said. “But I was disappointed and felt let down a bit by how QPR treated me, especially towards the end.
“You just have to hold your head up and keep battling away and I’ve proved today I can play at Championship level, most of the lads have done. Going for promotion, as we are, that has got to give you confidence

Dail Mail Leveller Evatt sends message to Gregory - By COLIN WOOD - Blackpool 1 Norwich 1
Ian Evatt clearly hopes his rescue act for Blackpool will come to the attention of Queens Park Rangers manager John Gregory and everyone at Loftus Road.
Norwich already know to their cost that they should have paid him more attention in a tie at Bloomfield Road which demonstrated that the FA Cup doesn't have to feature the glamour teams to be exciting.
Ian Evatt clearly hopes his rescue act for Blackpool will come to the attention of Queens Park Rangers manager John Gregory and everyone at Loftus Road....
The visitors also had reason to be grateful to Evatt for the defensive mistake that helped set up Darren Huckerby to shoot the opener after the three minutes added by referee Chris Foy had already been played at the end of the first half.
But seven minutes into the second period, they were cursing Evatt as he went forward to head the equaliser.
The tall, 25-year-old central defender feels he has no cause to be grateful to Gregory and QPR, who paid him off before he made his loan to Blackpool a permanent move this month.
Evatt played under Gregory for more than a year at Derby and admitted that he felt his old boss had treated him with "a lack of common courtesy".
Speaking of the latest parting, Evatt said: "He got sacked at Derby while I was there. Having known him a while it's disappointing that I didn't even get a phone call. I felt let down, the way I was treated at QPR towards the end. A few players will say the same thing. I did not speak to John Gregory, full stop."
But after netting his first goal for Blackpool - "the most important I've ever scored" - he doesn't intend to let that bitterness stop him enjoying his time ahead.
His sights are set on promotion to the Championship and a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup - a stage the club last reached 17 years ago.
"I think I've proved against Norwich that I can play at Championship level and I think most of the lads have, as well," he said. "It will be nice to play on a better surface in the replay at Carrow Road. We've got some good footballers who like to pass the ball. We have to go there, test ourselves and see where we go."...

Guardian -Evatt settles the scores of a season Louise Taylor at Bloomfield Road
At half-time Ian Evatt felt absolutely wretched. The Blackpool centre-half had just made a hash of an attempted clearance and presented Darren Huckerby with a goal that, rather against the run of play, put Norwich ahead.
As Simon Grayson, Blackpool's manager, offered consolation, Evatt was probably imagining the expression on John Gregory's face when the QPR manager watched television highlights of his gaffe. "I hold my hands up for the goal but I'm proud of my defending and knew I just had to go back out and play my game," explained a man badly bruised by the way Gregory bundled him out of Loftus Road, but who exorcised his frustration by meeting David Fox's floated free-kick and heading a deserved second-half equaliser.
It earned Grayson's attractive League One side a replay but afterwards Blackpool's villain-turned-hero displayed greater enthusiasm for deconstructing Gregory than discussing the rematch. "I was bitterly disappointed by the way it ended at QPR; I felt a bit let down," said Evatt, who joined Blackpool, where he spent the early part of the season on loan, for nothing this month after QPR terminated his contract. "I didn't get one phone call from anyone at QPR to explain what was happening. And John Gregory didn't speak to me, full stop. That hurt but I've just got to hold my head up and try and get back into the Championship with Blackpool," added the 25-year-old who, although already borrowed by Grayson when Gregory took charge at Loftus Road, believed their earlier association at Derby County entitled him to a debrief, if not a second chance.
Things went badly wrong for the centre-half almost from the moment QPR's former manager, Ian Holloway, paid Chesterfield £150,000 for him and said he was the club's "new Glenn Roeder". Evatt's decent distribution failed to compensate for a lack of pace and a string of mishaps. Grayson, though, detected potential and Evatt has vindicated this by playing an important role in Blackpool's emergence as promotion contenders....
"We're disappointed not to have won," admitted Evatt. "But we'll enjoy the replay. The lads here all love the FA Cup; it definitely hasn't lost its shine for us." Guardian

Evatt - Telegraph Evatt proves worth to Blackpool peers - By Peter Gardner
Iain Evatt summed up the spirit when he declared: "These lads just don't know when they are beaten. We are on a great run in the league and go into every game expecting to win."
Evatt, initially on loan from Queens Park Rangers but secured permanently earlier this month, was punished for his injury-time error that enabled Darren Huckerby to give Norwich a half-time advantage. Evatt atoned seven minutes into the second period, his powerful header following David Fox's free kick evading visiting goalkeeper David Marshall, who kept his team in the competition with splendid saves in his first game of a loan-spell from Celtic.
Evatt admitted: "I hold up my hands for their goal. But my equaliser was the most important goal I have ever scored."
Evatt, who felt let down by his treatment from QPR, added: "Hopefully I'll get back to the Championship with Blackpool. I think I proved against Norwich that I can play at that level as most of the lads have and this type of performance will give us a lot more confidence." Telegraph

BIRTHDAYS: Steve Yates and Mark Stein

Steve Yates - Born January 29, 1970. Signed by Gerry Francis from Brisol Rovers as a replacement for Darren Peacock. Spent several years with QPR - Yates

Mark Stein Turns 40
Signed by Jim Smith in 1988 from Luton for 300,000 pounds (at the same time Simon Barker joined QPR) Played for QPR from 1988-1989. Was a great scorer for subsequent clubs Stoke and Chelsea!
Stein Stein

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Rose's Agent Denies Player's Injury Problems...Bolder Talks about Helping QPR Stay Up

BBC - Rose's agent unhappy with reports
Matt Rose's agent is unhappy at reports the defender's contract with QPR was terminated because of injury problems.
The 31-year-old is now a free agent after he fell out of favour under Loftus Road boss John Gregory.
Tim Bailey said: "Matt's contract was terminated by mutual consent after negotiation with John Gregory.
"Matt is now fit and has been for a while and has no history of being injury prone, having played 242 games since he joined QPR."
The former Arsenal trainee, who left the Gunners for QPR in a £500,000 move in 1997, played in nine of the club's first 10 games this season.
But he has featured only three times for QPR under Gregory - once as a late substitute, plus two starting appearances, where he was withdrawn before the second half.
And he has not made an appearance for the Championship strugglers since he was sidelined in October.
Bailey added: "The manager has chosen not to select him following his injury in October 2006 from which he has now recovered. Prior to then he featured in virtually all of this season's fixtures." BBC

Announced January 27, 2007 - QPR Official Site - FAREWELL ROSIE
Rangers stalwart Matthew Rose has had his contract terminated with immediate effect.
The versatile defender - who made 237 appearances for the Hoops since moving to Loftus Road from Arsenal in 1997 - bows out during his tenth season at QPR, after a career which saw him mature into an accomplished player, capable of playing in defence or midfield.
A series of injuries hampered his Rangers career however, but after a successful operation on his foot in April, Rose was fighting fit for this season.
Rose played an integral part in the club gaining promotion to the Championship. During the 2002-03 season, he made 28 appearances and featured in the play-off semi final first leg against Oldham.
The following year, Rose started the game at Hillsborough which finally saw QPR climb into English football's second tier once again.
Rose continued to ply his trade all over the park for the following two seasons, however, a change in manager saw him fall down the pecking order and only make ten starts this season.
"I'd like to place on the record my thanks to Matthew for his contribution to the Football Club over the years,'' gaffer John Gregory told www.qpr.co.uk.
"Everyone here wishes him great success for the future.'' QPR Official

More on Matt Rose - Background & Interview - QPR Report

New signing Adam Bolder is confident that Rangers can escape the relegation dogfight, otherwise he wouldn't be here.
The midfielder, who joins QPR from top of the table Derby County, has no fears at all of his new side becoming entangled in a scrap at the bottom of the table come May and knows he has a big part to play.
Conversations with Dexter Blackstock convinced the 26 year-old to put pen to paper and he's sure that he's made the right decision.
"Obviously I know John Gregory from his time at Derby and he told me that QPR are an ambitious club and I want to be part of that.
"Dexter played a huge role in my move, I know him from the time he spent on loan at Derby and he convinced me to make the move. It will be nice to have someone I know on my first day in training.
"I like to think that I can bring a lot of passion to the club and of course some goals. I just want to prove that I'm worthy of wearing the shirt."
Bolder will certainly find himself facing a different challenge when he pulls on the Hoops. Tackling the fight at the bottom of the table will be just as fierce as the current top of the table tussle with Derby and Birmingham. But he's certain that Rangers can turn it around.
"It's a massive fight down there at the bottom, but it's so tight that even the smallest of runs can turn it around. I don't doubt the squad's ability, I just think we need a bit of confidence.
"Hopefully that's where I come in and I'm looking forward to the hard work beginning." QPR

Additional on Bolder - QPR Report

25 Years Ago: Last Time a QPR Player Scored Four Goals...as Venables' QPR Marched Towards Wembley

This season marks the Silver Anniversary/Quarter of a Century of QPR's FA Cup (almost) Triumph. (Although the club seems to be focusing far more on another QPR Triumph: the 40th Anniversary of QPR's League Cup Triumph).

Twenty-Five years ago (plus a couple of days) was the last time a QPR player scored four goals in a first team game. That player of course, was Clive Allen. And the match was the 4th Round replay against Blackpool at Loftus Road. Terry Venables QPR won the game 5-1 (Allen 4, Stainrod, Penalty).

The team that night January 26, 1982:
Fenwick Howe Roeder Gillard
Currie Gregory Waddock
Allen Stainrod Flanagan
Sub: Ian Stewart.

[Blackpool are somewhat of a lucky team for QPR. Recalling the 1969 6-1 victory over Blackpool at Loftus Road: Rodney Marsh 3: Barry Bridges 2 and Terry Venables 1); the opening day 5-0 victory over Blackpool in August 2003 (our promotion season); or the season before, the Langley hattrick at Blackpool.) And of course all QPR fans will remember it was Blackpool that QPR pipped on goal aggregate to win promotion to the old First Division.]

Departing Players - The List (Thus Far)

A number of QPR Players have been released in recent weeks:Adam Czerkas, Ian Evatt, Egutu Oliseh, Ugo Ukah (again), Scott Donnelly, Matthew Hislop, Matthew Rose, Jonathan Munday. In addition Tommy Doherty, Sean Thomas and Kevin Gallen are out on loan till the end of the season.

20.12.2006 - CZERKAS DEPARTS Polish front-man Adam Czerkas has had his loan contract terminated with immediate effect QPR

02.01 2007 EVATT DEPARTS QPR have parted company with defender Ian Evatt by mutual consent QPR

08.01.2007 OLI DEPARTS QPR have terminated Egutu Oliseh's contract with immediate effect - QPR

09.01.2007 UKAH LEAVES QPR have terminated defender Ugo Ukah's contract with immediate effect QPR

18.01.2007 DONNELLY DEPARTS QPR midfielder Scott Donnelly has had his contract terminated by mutual consent QPR

25.01.2007 HISLOP DEPARTS QPR defender Matthew Hislop has had his contract terminated with immediate effect QPR

25.01.2007 FAREWELL ROSIE Rangers stalwart Matthew Rose has had his contract terminated with immediate effect QPR

29.01.2007 - MUNDAY LEAVES - QPR defender Jonathan Munday has had his contract terminated with immediate effect

02.01.2007 DOC DEAL QPR have extended the loan deal of Tommy Doherty to Wycombe Wanderers until the end of the season

01.01.2007 LOAN RANGER Goalkeeper Sean Thomas has joined League One outfit Bristol City on loan until the end of the season

10.01.2007 FRIENDS REUNITED Club Captain Kevin Gallen has joined Plymouth Argyle on loan until the end of the current Coca Cola Championship campaign

04.01.2007 TV News FIN LANDS We catch up with Sampsa Timoska hours after he put pen to paper on an 18-month contract with the R's
10.01.2007 Latest ALL CLEAR Sampsa Timoska has received his international clearance

4.01.2007 - BOLDER SIGNS QPR are delighted to announce the signing of midfielder Adam Bolder

12.01.2007 Latest LOAN RANGER QPR have reached agreement with Chelsea to extend Michael Mancienne's loan deal until the end of the season

05.01.2007 Latest THE REAL DEAL QPR hot-shot Ray Jones has ended speculation about his future by signing a three and a half year contract with the R's


1. Simon Royce
2. Marcus Bignot
3. Mauro Milanese
4. Ian Evatt
5. Dan Shittu
6. Tommy Doherty
7. Matthew Rose
8. Marc Bircham
9. Nick Ward
10. Kevin Gallen
11. Gareth Ainsworth
12. Jake Cole
14. Martin Rowlands
15. Dominic Shimmin
16. Steve Lomas
17. Lee Cook
18. Stefan Moore
19. Tchakounte-A
20. Scott Donnelly
21. Paul Jones
22. Shabazz Baidoo
23. Stefan Bailey
24. Pat Kanyuka
25. Damion Stewart
26. Sean Thomas
29. Paul Furlong
30. Marc Nygaard
34. Matthew Hislop
35. John Munday

[Note: No Ugo Ukah in the squad as first announced. [QPR Official Site]

Bailey Suspended...Preston Postponed...How Ex-QPRs Fared Yesterday

Preston Rescheduled: Given that Preston North End - unlike QPR! - have reached the 5th Round of the FA Cup, QPR's scheduled February 17th Home game against Preston will be rescheduled. A new date has yet to be set.

Stefan Bailey Suspended?:
On FA List of Suspensions, is "Suspended: Stefan Bailey 23/01/2007 until 09/02/2007
FA Discipliary List
In addition? Stefan Bailey, Queens Park Rangers FC
Luton Town FC v Queens Park Rangers FC
FA Cup Third Round Replay, 23 January 2007
Charge: FA Rule E3 – improper conduct
Bailey has admitted the charge and requested a personal hearing. A Disciplinary Commission will hear the case on Tuesday 13 February FA Disciplinary

Ex-QPR News: Victory for Ian Holloway/Kevin Gallen's Plymouth in the FA Cup against Barnet (where Clive Allen's son/Les Allen's Grandson/Bradley Allen's Nephew made his debut as a 90th minute substitute)Report ...Ian Evatt mistake led Blackpool a goal; Ian Evatt got the equalizer in the 1-1 draw in the FA Cup game at home to Norwich - Report
Lee Harper let in 5 as MK Dons, managed by ex-QPR's Martin Allen, lost 0-5 at Rochdale. Ex-QPR Loan Lloyd Dyer, was also playing for MK Dons. Ex-QPR loan, Leon Knight came on as substitute - Report
Finally ex-QPR goalie (and current QPR goalkeeping coach) Tony Roberts played for Dagenham as they won 4-1 against Exeter and remain top of the Nationwide Conference. Report

Matt Rose Remembered

After almost ten years, Matthew Rose, now 31, leaves QPR. Signed from Arsenal by Stuart Houston in mid-1997 for 500,000 pounds, Rose played close to 250 league games for QPR, scoring 8 goals. One of those unlucky players, who was often injured.

Matt Rose Statistics - Soccerbase

QPR Net's Ron Norris August 2003 Q&A with Mathew Rose - Interview

QPR Official Site - Rose Statistics
"...Versatile defender Matthew Rose signed from Arsenal in May 1997 for a fee of £500,000.
Rose, who has been capped twice at England Under 21 level, made his Rangers debut on the opening day of the 1997/98 season against Ipswich Town.
Capable in a number of positions, he has matured into a very accomplished player who looks comfortable in possession and reads the game extremely well.
A series of injuries restricted Rose to just 15 appearances in 2005/06, but after a successful operation on his foot in April, he's hoping to hit the ground running at the start of next season.

Season 2006 - 07

Competition Apps
(as sub) Goals Yellow
Cards Red
League 10 (1) 0 1 0
League Cup 0 (1) 0 0 0

Career History:
Club Season Comp. Apps
(as sub) Goals
QPR 2005 - 06 League 15 (0) 0
FA Cup 1 (0) 0
QPR 2004 - 05 League 24 (4) 2
QPR 2003 - 04 League 15 (5) 0
QPR 2002 - 03 League 26 (3) 2
FA Cup 1 (0) 0
League Cup 1 (0) 0
QPR 2001 - 02 League 37 (2) 3
QPR 2000 - 01 League 27 (0) 0
FA Cup 2 (0) 0
League Cup 1 (0) 0
QPR 1999 - 00 League 27 (2) 1
League Cup 2 (0) 0
QPR 1998 - 99 League 27 (2) 0
FA Cup 1 (0) 0
League Cup 1 (0) 0
QPR 1997 - 98 League 13 (3) 0
League Cup 2 (0) 0
Arsenal 1996 - 97 League 1 (0) 0
Arsenal 1995 - 96 League 1 (3) 0

Official Site

Wikipedia on Rose - Wikipedia

Ironically, this was Matt Rose speaking in September 2006 on John Gregory
BBC - Rose demands patience for Gregory By Chris Bevan

QPR stalwart Matthew Rose says fans cannot expect new boss John Gregory to turn the club around immediately.
Gregory was appointed manager of the Championship's bottom club on Wednesday with his predecessor Gary Waddock becoming first-team coach.
Rose, who has played for eight managers at QPR since joining in 1997, told BBC Sport: "Fans will have to be patient.
"Things will take time to settle down while the players get to know the new manager and vice-versa."
The former Arsenal defender, who turns 31 on Sunday, feels he and his team-mates have to take responsibilty for the R's poor start to the season.
"The players have to put our hands up at some stage," Rose added. "It is not all Gary's fault - it is down to us as well.
"It was up to the board and they clearly thought the time was right to try something different.
"But another manager comes, and another manager goes - there have been so many at this club now.
"This is my 10th season here and and I have seen a lot of ups and downs. We cannot get relegated again - we need to stay in this division."
Rose feels Waddock had his hands tied by the R's financial situation and admits the club cannot compete on that basis with the bigger clubs in the Championship.
"Our poor start was down to a combination of things," he explained.
John Gregory (Sep 06 - )
Gary Waddock (Jun 06-Sep 06)
Ian Holloway (Feb 01-Jun 06)
Gerry Francis (Oct 98-Feb 01)
Iain Dowie (Sep 98-Oct 98)
Ray Harford (Dec 97-Sep 98)
John Hollins (Nov 97-Dec 97)
Stewart Houston (Sep 96-Nov 97)
"The club did not have a great deal of money to spend so it was a case of trying to introduce some young players as well as the new signings.
"There is a lot of talent coming through the youth system and Gary was trying to bring that through. The club has to try to find players that way rather than spending millions of pounds.
"It is always going to take time if you are going to do it that way and with as happened with Gary, time is something you don't get if you don't get the results.
"When we played Birmingham, their forward line is probably being paid more than our whole team. You are competing against a lot so it is a case of being patient and building for the future.
"I don't think we were far off but it was always going to be a transitional period. The club was planning more for the future really.
"But as I say, it is a results-business and results-wise things have not gone well so far this season."
Rose still feels the club need to stick to their guns and give home-grown players a chance - but knows they need older heads to guide them along too.
"Unless you get an input of big money you have to rely on your youngsters to come through and perhaps sell them on to make money to keep yourself going," he said.
"But injuries become more of a factor when you are relying on some of your more experienced players to bring them along.
"When a lot of those are injured - and we have been without Martin Rowlands, Gareth Ainsworth and Kevin Gallen this season - then you are just relying on the youngsters and they are being chucked in a the deep end.
"Experience goes a long way - especially in the Championship." BBC

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Derby's Bolder Chooses to Sign for QPR

After beating a host of clubs for his signature, Gaffer John Gregory is convinced Adam Bolder will be a 'huge success' at Loftus Road.
Rangers swooped for the experienced 26 year-old on Saturday evening - with the former Derby County man penning a two and a half year contract.
Speaking moments after a deal had been struck with the Rams, Gregory told www.qpr.co.uk of his delight: "It's a fantastic coup for this Football Club,'' he said.
"We've worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to get him and I couldn't be more delighted.''
Gregory revealed the part played by Dexter Blackstock in attracting Bolder to W12.
"Dexter deserves a huge pat on the back because he's been nagging Adam to come here ever since he knew we were interested.
"They played together at Derby when he was there on loan and he obviously recognised what a decent addition he'd be to the squad.''
Bolder joined Derby County in March 2000 from Hull City, where he had made a number of promising first team appearances and was earmarked as one for the future.
He made his Rams debut versus Manchester United in May 2001, before bagging his first goals in a Derby shirt against Grimsby in August 2002.
In total, Bolder made 181 appearances in all competitions for the Rams, scoring 11 goals.
Gregory added: "He's a fantastic addition to Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
"The Chairman has pulled out all the stops in helping me get him here and I'm convinced he'll be a huge success.'' QPR

QPR Official Site - BOLDER SIGNS
QPR are delighted to announce the signing of midfielder Adam Bolder.
The 26 year-old Derby County midfielder - who will wear the number 7 shirt vacated by Matthew Rose - has put pen to paper on a two and a half year contract with the R's.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, gaffer John Gregory revealed his delight at the news.
"I'm absolutely delighted.
"It's been a bit of a struggle because of interest from a host of other clubs, but we've got him on board and I'm ecstatic.''
Bolder will go straight into the Rangers side for the trip to Oakwell on Tuesday night.
"He's the ultimate professional,'' continued Gregory.
"He's consistent, passionate and has fantastic ability.
"He'll have a massive influence here and I'm delighted he's chosen us. It's a significant coup for this Football Club.''
Stay tuned to www.qpr.co.uk over the coming days for all the reaction to Bolder's arrival in W12. QPR

Derby Rivals on Adam Bolder Departure - Bolder


Derby County Official Profile - Bolder
Wikipedia Profile - Bolder
Bolder - Soccerbase

Hull Manager Phil Brown on Bolder - Evening Telegraph Brown: Bolder can drive us
Phil Brown feels Derby County midfielder Adam Bolder can add "thrust and drive" to Hull City's midfield.
Bolder was talking to his home-town club last night about a possible return, having left almost seven years ago to join the Rams.
Queens Park Rangers, managed by another former Rams boss John Gregory, also want the 26-year-old.
Bolder spoke to Rangers on Wednesday and faces a choice between the London club and Hull.
There has been something of a U-turn by Hull.
Brown originally wanted Bolder on loan but this was ruled out by the player and Derby. Now any deal would be a permanent one.
Brown is well aware of the qualities Bolder will add to Hull's midfield.
"I know what Adam can do from the time when I was in charge at Derby," said Brown.
"He can give us a penetrating thrust from midfield and drive into the penalty box, which is what we're looking for in the three-man system we're currently playing."...
"Evening Telegraph

BBC Derby/Profile Q&A with Bolder (Date??)
In this new series, we take a closer look at Derby County's squad and find out about their life outside football. First up is midfielder Adam Bolder.

So what do you to relax when you're not playing football?

I've started playing quite a bit of golf recently. I've found that quite relaxing, just walking around the golf course. I'm starting to get a bit better at it now.

Were you taken with the Ryder Cup recently?

Yeah I watched a bit of that. I kept my eye on it. I think it's definitely better to play than to watch though.

Who do you model your game on?

Nobody! I'm not good enough to model my game on anyone yet!

Who do you room with on away trips?

I normally room with Jacko but he's been injured for the last few so I've been rooming with Big Mo! If there's a single bed and a double bed then I have to get in the single one. He's a big lad!

If you hadn't become a professional footballer, what do you think you would have done?

I think I probably would have trained and gone in the forces - or become a policeman or fireman. Something like that I reckon.

What sort of music do you listen to?

I've got quite a mixture. I don't dislike anything really, I like a bit of everything.

What's on your car stereo at the moment?

A little bit or R 'n' B, a bit of Coldplay. Nothing major.

What films have you been watching lately?

Oh we've got quite a lot of them. We watch them on away trips.

So you've all got your own personal DVD players to watch on the trips now?

Yeah I think a lot of the lads have them. It's for the long drives. You get bored sometimes so it's nice to relax for a couple of hours and watch a film or something.

Who's got the worst fashion sense at Derby?

Paul Boertien! I think I'm only saying that because he's my mate. He's not the best sometimes! But I think his missus has sorted him out now - she's dressing him a bit better.

And who plays his music the loudest in the changing rooms?

Doyley always has a bit of music on during away trips. He brings his DVD player along and plays a bit of music so I'd have to say him.

What do you watch on TV?

I like to watch Friends when it's on. That's always a good one.

And which newspapers do you read?

I don't read newspapers. I've never really paid too much attention to them.

Favourite holiday destination?

Somewhere that's not too far away because I don't really like travelling. We went to the Dominican Republic a couple of years ago and it rained for ten days out of 14 - we may as well have been in Grimsby!

What was the last concert you went to?

I've never been to a concert! Not one! I did go to the theatre in London to watch Saturday Night Fever with my missus though.

Where did you meet your girlfriend?

Back in Hull. I've known her eight years now so we've been together for quite a long time.

Favourite tipple?

Jack Daniels and Coke.

Your brother plays too doesn't he?

Yeah. He's in non-league at the moment. He was at Grimsby last season but he's at Ossett Town now.

And finally....what's your favourite goal you've scored?

There's not many to choose from! I would say my second one against Grimsby because it was against my brother's team at the time and it was live on Sky. So I'd have to say that one.

Interview with BBC Radio Derby's Colin Gibson. BBC Derby

Played against QPR in Derby's recent win at Loftus Road (missed an easy goal!) Report

Remembering our Last 4th Round FA Cup Game at Home...Against Arsenal, Six Years Ago

Last time we were in the FA Cup Fourth Round, at Loftus Road...Had just played Luton in a replay...And just like then we were in an increasing-relegation fight (hopefully with a different ending this time, just as there was a different result in the replay).

January 27, 2001 - QPR 0 Arsenal 6
Guardian Rangers' stitching comes undone exposing the scars below
Martin Thorpe at Loftus Road Monday January 29, 2001 The Guardian

Gerry Francis got mugged down memory lane and it was sad to see. A likeable bloke and talented manager, he and his beloved Queens Park Rangers were brutally reminded how far they have both fallen since beating Arsenal was as common as a top-10 finish.
A combination of poor managerial appointments and lack of cash have turned the club into a candidate for one of those tabloid before-and-after pictures that show the effects of a bad face-lift.

The contrast must have been particularly galling not just for Francis but Rangers' former Gunners Chris Kiwomya, Matthew Rose, Steve Morrow and Lee Harper. Theirs was the only cup upset on view at Loftus Road on Saturday.
There is one way of looking at this game from which Rangers emerge in a better light. They spurned two great chances before Arsenal went 3-0 ahead, and that was only thanks to two own goals and a deflection.

This was Francis's line of defence afterwards and with games against Fulham and Bolton coming up one can understand him trying to strain positive thoughts from the dregs of defeat.

But even he privately cannot have been blind to the gulf in class, invention, touch, movement and ideas separating the sides. The threat even from this injury-hit Arsenal was evident from the start even if they did need help to cure their recent scoring sickness.

Admittedly, Rangers' policy of pumping high balls into the area did cause early problems and Peter Crouch missed from four yards and then saw his header smuggled off the line.

But having failed to comply with the first law of cup upsets (take your chances) Rangers then forgot the second: keep your concentration and shape.

From the clearance, Arsenal raced to the other end, caught Rangers short at the back and Chris Plummer panicked enough to divert Lee Dixon's cross into his own net. A minute later Sylvain Wiltord's strike hit Ian Baraclough to wrong-foot Ludek Miklosko and the game was all but over.

That Rangers had now been failed by the third law of cup upsets (the need for luck) was rubbed in five minutes into the second half when Rose deflected an Ashley Cole cross past his own keeper.

By then Francis had thrown on a third forward in a gallant attempt to play catch-up. It proved suicidal. Wiltord volleyed in No4 Pires clinically dispatched No5 and Dennis Bergkamp's cool finish completed the rout.

FA Cup
Saturday January 27, 2001
QPR 0-6 Arsenal
14' Lauren
26' Carlisle
32' 0-1 Plummer (og)
33' 0-2 Wiltord
49' Baraclough
50' 0-3 Rose (og)
57' 0-4 Wiltord
59' 0-5 Pires
75' 0-6 Bergkamp
76' Cole
Lee Harper, Ludek Miklosko, Ian Baraclough, Clarke Carlisle, Jermaine Darlington, Steve Morrow, Christopher Plummer, Matthew Rose, Sam Koejoe, Richard Langley, Gavin Peacock, Mark Perry, Karl Connolly, Peter Crouch, Chris Kiwomya, Michel Ngonge

Alex Manninger, David Seaman, Tony Adams, Ashley Cole, Lee Dixon, Gilles Grimandi, Igors Stepanovs, Nelson Vivas, Etame Mayer Lauren, Stefan Malz, Ray Parlour, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord
Venue: Loftus Road
Attendance: 19,003
Corners: QPR 3 Arsenal 10
Goal Attempts: QPR 4 Arsenal 20
On Target: QPR 2 Arsenal 12


ARSENE Wenger fell back in love with the FA Cup last night - thanks to his six-shooting Gunners.

Yes, the Frenchman is all goggle-eyed again and whispering 'Mon Amour' for the world's most famous and oldest club competition.

He may not consider it as important and vital to his season as before, with no Champions League place at stake - but he clearly still wants to win it.

There was no hiding the enjoyment and satisfaction he gleaned from seeing his side blow their London rivals away in a huge puff of smoke at Loftus Road.

It was a clinical, uncompromising performance that left Rangers punch drunk and thankful they don't cross swords them very often these days.

Goals from Sylvain Wiltord (2), Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp, Chris Plummer (og) and Matthew Rose (og) made a mockery of Rangers' hopes of defying the odds.

And Wenger, unlike Maggie Thatcher, was in the mood for doing a quick U-turn.

He insisted: "Our priorities are to do well in both the FA Cup and Championship. Of course I would be very happy if we could go all the way to the Final and win it.

"I just said that it would be silly to throw everything into winning the Cup and neglect the Championship just because Manchester United are looking firm favourites to win the title.

'To lose this game would have been a big disappointment to me and the players - and I think you saw how much it meant to the team to get further in the competition.

"I felt we were always in control. We could have won by more goals but I was happy with the six. But I would have been happy had we won 1-0 as well.

"We had some luck going for us for a change today. It's something that has been against us for most of this season.

"The first three goals went in off their players but from then on you could see our players lift their game and play better."

Gerry Francis' First Division side were simply no match for a group of Arsenal players who clearly do care a great deal about getting to the Final.

The last time these two teams met in cup combat was 11 years ago. On that occasion David Seaman was in goal for Rangers and John Lukic for Arsenal.

Rangers held their own for half an hour during which time Seaman saved twice from the gangly Peter Crouch and Chris Plummer.

He was also relieved to watch a Crouch close-range volley bounce into the side-netting. But no matter how desperate, determined and dedicated Rangers were to the potential giant-killing cause, they were simply out-classed.

You always sensed that the moment Arsenal's mixture of stars found their rhythm it would signal the end of this clash as a contest.

Unfortunately for Rangers that's exactly what happened just after half an hour when Lady Luck scowled down at Francis and Co.

One moment the hooped shirts were begging referee Neil Barry for a goal, the next they were picking the ball out of their own net.

It looked a close-run thing when Ashley Cole hooked the ball from under his own crossbar after Crouch's header from Ian Baraclough's corner flew under Seaman's body.

But while arms went up in vain, and Barry waved play on, Wenger's men merely marched down the other end to score one that did count.

Lee Dixon's dangerous cross from the right was turned into his own net by the despairing Plummer under pressure from Arsenal shirts.

Wiltord hammered in the second blow barely seconds later with a rifling low shot that deflected past helpless keeper Ludek Miklosko.

In the blink of an eye those Rangers' fans hopes were dashed.

And the Gunners' contingent in the 19,003 crowd - easily Rangers' best of the season - sat back and relaxed to enjoy a totally convincing victory.

Another Rangers own goal in the 49th minute put the result beyond question. This time the victim in blue and white was Matthew Rose.

To his utter despair the one-time Arsenal youngster, with Wiltord baring down on him, turned Cole's cross past Miklosko.

Rangers boss Francis used to enjoy his battles with Arsenal during his days as Spurs manager.

He had a half-decent record as well. But he didn't enjoy this encounter.

Wiltord helped himself to his second, and Arsenal's fourth, in the 56th minute - a fierce right-foot volley that flew in off the far post with Miklosko floundering.

When Pires joined in the fun with a fifth - shooting cooly in from Ray Parlour's pass two minutes later - it became painful to watch for the majority of the crowd.

Number six was an ice-cool finish from Bergkamp who had, until then, sat back and watched his team-mates rip Rangers apart. He swept through the defence 15 minutes from time and left Miklosko stranded, tucking his shot beneath him.

Wiltord was denied a hat-trick by Miklosko, who also saved well from Parlour. But six was enough for Arsenal and left Rangers boss Francis moaning: "We didn't get any breaks and played well for half an hour.

"We were on top at the time they scored two quick goals - but now we have to learn from this experience and pick ourselves up." Mirror

Blog Archive