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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

18 Months Since Gianni Paladini Took Over at QPR

It's now eighteen months since Gianni Paladini staged a Boardroom "coup" against then Chairman Bill Power. So much has happened since. But just a reminder of that period.

A Reminder of what was Said and done at the time - Flashback

A couple of days after the "change", Gianni Paladini offered his persepctive for the first time on the official site. (At the time of this statement, Paladini had not yet officially been appointed the new Chairman)

QPR Official Site - August 30, 2005 BRIGHT FUTURE

Gianni Paladini has promised a bright future for Queens Park Rangers following the changes at Boardroom level last week.

Bill Power is no longer Chairman and Mark Devlin's position as Chief Executive was made redundant following a Board meeting at Loftus Road.

But the Director insists that the decisions taken were made with only the Club's interest at heart and he has played down suggestions of turmoil at the highest level.

"I am still friends with Bill. We go out for lunch and we talk on the phone every day. I have no problem with Bill.

"This is not about individuals or personalities, it is about the future of this great Club and all of us - Bill included -want nothing more than to see QPR continue to grow and improve."

Paladini is also sympathetic with supporters who may have been worried about the situation.

He appreciates that the supporters are concerned and has stressed that their feelings are at the forefront of his mind.

"The supporters are what makes this Club great and from the moment I arrived at Loftus Road I have been overwhelmed by their passion and devotion.

"All supporters will worry when they see change and I can understand that. But I believe that change was necessary for long term stability.

"The investors and directors are ambitious - I am ambitious - but we are not turning things upside down. We are going to make sensible steady progress and take Rangers back to where we belong - the Premiership."

Paladini also believes that the root of stability lies with the manager and that is why he hopes to sit down with Ian Holloway this week to discuss a new contract.

"Ollie is responsible for so much that has happened here during the past few years. Our successes on the pitch are down to him and he should be rewarded accordingly."

Death Threats Against Former QPR Player Being Investigated

Police investigating death threats made against Swindon's former QPR winger, Aaron Brown.

Death threats made to Town player
Swindon Advertizer By Gareth Bethell

POLICE are investigating death threats to Swindon Town footballer Aaron Brown.

Malicious phone calls have been made to the club regarding the 26-year-old winger.

The former Bristol City and Queens Park Rangers player fell foul of the fans during pre-season when he requested a move, later admitting he had made a mistake.

More recently he was forced to apologise after gesturing to a section of Robins supporters at the 1-0 defeat to Barnet last week.

His actions resulted in booing from some Town fans against Chester at the weekend.

Brown apologised and manager Paul Sturrock has insisted the player will be staying.

advertisementThe threatening calls were made to the club on Monday and chief executive Martyn Starnes immediately contacted the police.

Swindon police's football liaison officer PC James Neighbour said: "We got a call from the club saying one player had received death threats.

"We obviously take these things seriously and we are looking into it. Inquiries are ongoing.

"We are monitoring the situation and anything that comes in will be treated with the seriousness that it dictates."

Swindon's next game is away to Stockport on Saturday.

PC Neighbour said: "The threats emanate from two things.

"First of all he said he wanted to leave at the start of the season and then there was a hand gesture after the Barnet match.

"We will see how it goes at the next match.

"I am in contact with the club on a regular basis. The chief executive rang it through to us so obviously there is a degree of concern."

Swindon Town declined to comment on the alleged threats.

Anyone with information on the threats should call Swindon police on 0845 408 7000 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111. This is Swindon


Police are investigating death threats made to Swindon midfielder Aaron Brown.

Malicious calls regarding the 26-year-old have been made to the club and messages have even been left on Brown's mobile phone.

The player was recently forced to apologise by manager Paul Sturrock after gesturing to a section of Swindon supporters at the 1-0 defeat to Barnet. His actions resulted in booing from some Town fans against Chester at the weekend.

It was not the first time Brown had fallen foul of the fans. The winger asked for a summer transfer following the club's relegation to League Two but later admitted he had made a mistake and withdrew the request.

Swindon police's football liaison officer PC James Neighbour told the Swindon Advertiser: "We got a call from the club saying one player had received death threats and we obviously take these things seriously.

"We are looking into it and inquiries are ongoing. We are monitoring the situation and anything that comes in will be treated with the seriousness that it dictates. Sporting Life

QPR Chairman Paladini on Gregory Staying On and re The Three New Board Members

Ben Kosky/Kiburn Times - February 28, 2007
Gregory set for new deal
Gianni Paladini will offer John Gregory a two-year contract

JOHN Gregory will be asked to stay on as QPR manager next season - even if the club plunge into League One.

Rangers slid back into the bottom three on Monday following Barnsley's victory at Stoke but, as chairman Gianni Paladini stressed last week, the manager's position is not under threat.

Gregory's initial contract runs out at the end of the season, but Paladini told the Times: "A new contract is already agreed and drawn up for the next two years.

"Whether we stay up or go down, we want John to be the manager here. I've know John for a long time, I have total confidence in him and it's up to him which players he wants to bring in."

Gregory is currently trying to secure the loan signing of a left-back, but is unlikely to make many changes to the starting line-up for Rangers' game at Ipswich on Saturday.

Striker Dexter Blackstock is serving a one-match suspension and the QPR boss confirmed that he will choose between Paul Furlong, Ray Jones and Marc Nygaard to step in at Portman Road.

"We'll leave the door open for somebody at Ipswich and it's entirely up to three candidates to stake a claim," said Gregory.

"My policy has always been to pick the best team to win a game and, if you're in possession of the shirt and doing well, you'll stay in the team - that's my philosophy.

"At one of my previous clubs the chairman criticised me for picking a player ahead of someone else who was earning four times his wages, but he was in the team because he was playing better.

"We were very resilient at Leeds last week and it's important we continue to pick up points on the road in the run-in and show we're not a soft touch."

Gregory has no plans to bring in a temporary member of coaching staff at this stage - even though his assistant Richard Hill and goalkeeping coach Tony Roberts are currently suspended.

Hill was arrested and bailed by police earlier this month following the infamous punch-up involving China's Olympic team at Harlington - and was also landed with an FA misconduct charge on Monday.

The FA have also hit Rangers with a similar charge relating to the same incident - which makes the addition of three legal experts to the Loftus Road boardroom especially welcome.

Nick De Marco, who has acted as the club's legal adviser for some time, joins the board as a non-executive director, along with solicitors Kevin James Steele and Jason Kallis from top law firm Mishcon de Reya.

Steele and Kallis were introduced to Paladini by former QPR director Andrew Ellis and the Rs' chairman said: "They're both season ticket holders in Ellerslie Road and they've offered to help the club.

"It's an honour for me and the board to be working with such a big firm as Mishcon de Reya and it can only benefit the club. I must also thank Andrew Ellis for introducing us.

"Nick has been working with the board for some time. He's an expert in football matters and he's helped us to save the club a lot of money. Kilburn Times

Ian Holloway's Return to Loftus Road (Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times)

[NB: Ben Kosky makes no reference to the "controversy" over what may or may not have occurred after the match.]

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - February 28, 2007
Ollie backs Rangers to beat the drop

FORMER QPR boss Ian Holloway backed his old club to survive in the Championship this season following their 1-1 draw with Plymouth.
The Pilgrims manager, returning to Loftus Road for the first time since Rangers suspended him a year ago, said: "John [Gregory] is a very good manager, he always has been and he can keep QPR up.
"I wish them the very best and if they play with that spirit they won't have any problems - all those players have got to do is recreate what they did today."
Holloway was afforded a generous round of applause from the Rangers fans when he took his seat at the start of Saturday's game - ironically the same spot he occupied for five years after Gregory's recent decision to switch the home and away dugouts.
"It was quite a surreal feeling," Holloway admitted. "QPR was part of my life for five years and I'd never have been able to last five years, in the circumstances I did, without the fans' support.
"I thanked the players who played for me - it was great to see some of them. I had some fantastic times and I'm eternally grateful for that. "There's always a little bit of me that will belong to the Rs, but right now I'm a Pilgrim." Kilburn Times

Also: Ben Kosky's Match Report of QPR 1 Plymouth 1 - Kilburn Times

QPR's Season in Statistics ...A Comparison to Last Season)

This season in statistics: 'Football 365Comparison
In comparison with last season: This season after 34 games, have 35 points Table; last season after 34 games had 42 points (and ended with 50) Table In 2004/2005, QPR had 51 points from 34 games. (and ended the season with 62 points -2004-05 Table
While one can view records and statistics many ways, with starting and ending points, but it's a simple fact that over the last year (between February 28, 2006 and February 28, 2007) QPR's Record is: Played 45 games: 9 Wins - 13 Draws - 23 Defeats: 40 points.

2006-2007 League Record (Thus Far)
Pld W D L F A GD GFA GAA PpG Pts Rank
Home Record 17 6 4 7 23 23 0 1.35 1.35 1.29 22 20
Away Record 17 3 4 10 16 31 -15 0.94 1.82 0.76 13 20
Overall Record 34 9 8 17 39 54 -15 1.14 1.58 1.02 35 22

2005-2006 League Record (at same point last year and one more game played)
Pld W D L F A GD GFA GAA PpG Pts Rank
Home Record 17 7 4 6 19 18 1 1.11 1.05 1.47 25 16
Away Record 18 5 5 8 22 32 -10 1.22 1.77 1.11 20 10
Over Record 35 12 9 14 41 50 -9 1.17 1.42 1.28 45 13

'Football 365 Season's Statistics Comparison

In 2004/2005, QPR had 30 points from their first 18 games (which included THE Seven Game Winning run)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

QPR Reserves Crash 6-1: "Furs on Target" is the Headline of the Club's Official Report

[QPR Reserves lost tonight 6-1 to Southampton. The poor result was contrasted by a match report on the club's official site headlined "Furs on Target." In some good news, in the Championship, QPR's relegation Rivals Leeds and Luton both lost.]

The Club Official Site noted that "Joe Gallen and Joe Dunbar take charge in the absence of Richard Hill, while gaffer John Gregory will be watching from the stands."QPR

Official Site - FURS ON TARGET

Paul Furlong was on target, but a superb second half display from the Saints put Rangers Reserves to the sword on Tuesday evening.

The R's led 1-0 as the clock ticked down towards half-time, but a goal just before the break and five more in the second half clinched a comfortable victory for the hosts.

Despite conceding six goals, R's custodian Jake Cole impressed, as did Stefan Bailey and Under-18 skipper Andrew Howell.

Southampton included seven first team regulars in their line-up, while Rangers started with the fit-again Stefan Moore on the right hand side of midfield.

After Cole came to Rangers' rescue with a series of fine saves in the opening exchanges, it was Furlong who handed the R's a surprise 23rd minute lead.

After cruelly being denied a last minute goal for the R's against Plymouth on Saturday, the evergreen striker picked his place from the spot, after Shabazz Baidoo was sent tumbling to the ground inside the box.

The lead lasted until just before the break though, when Bradley Wright-Phillips fired past Jake Cole from 15-yards.

Buoyed by their goal on the stroke of half-time, Southampton went ahead on 54 minutes, when Wright-Phillips cut in from the left flank, coasted past Pat Kanyuka and drilled home his second of the night beyond Cole.

The inspired Wright-Phillips was also at the heart of the hosts' third goal three minutes later, getting to the by-line and sending an enticing ball into the box, which Leon Best converted with aplomb from close range.

Saints all but sealed the result on 61 minutes, when Inigo Idiakez spotted Cole out of position and sent a stunning free-kick into the back of the net, when both his fellow players and Rangers defenders, were expecting a cross.

Bradley Wright-Phillips bagged a brace

Substitute Jamie White unleashed a venomous 16-yard drive past Cole to make it five on 78 minutes, before Idiakez set the seal on a comfortable home win with a sixth in the first minute of added time.

Southampton Res: Bialkowski, James, Pele, Cranie, Mills, Belmadi, Licka, Idiakez, Dyer, Wright-Phillips, Dyer.
Subs: Rudd, Dutton-Black, White, Baseya, Poke.

QPR Res: Cole, Goode, Howell, M O'Brien, Kanyuka, Milanese, Moore, Bailey, Furlong, R Jones, Baidoo.
Subs: Goodchild, Coyne, Maguire, Rose, Brown. QPR Official Site

Saints Reserves hit QPR for six at Staplewood to make it 10 wins out of 10 for the season.

A thumping 6-1 win moved Stewart Henderson's men within touching distance of the Pontins Holidays Combination League title as a strong side turned on the style after the break.

Despite battering the visitors, Southampton were held 1-1 at half-time. They dominated the game but fell behind on 24 minutes to a dubious penalty when Pele was harshly called for a foul

Paul Furlong scored with the visitors' only shot on target while Saints repeatedly went close.

They had efforts by Mario Licka and Leon Best disallowed for offside after three and 40 minutes.

And Rangers keeper Jake Cole kept his side in it with point-blank range saves to deny Pele and Best. He also tipped over a spectacular long-range drive from Inigo Idiakez.

The pressure finally told on the stroke of half-time when Bradley Wright-Phillips drove through a crowd of bodies from eight yards.

Half-time: Saints Res 1 QPR Res 1

Saints effectively wrapped up the game with three quickfire goals soon after the break.

On 55 minutes Wright-Phillips scored his second after good work by Josh Dutton-Black who put him through on goal.

Four minutes later Wright-Phillips turned provider passing across the face of goal to give Best a tap-in.

And on 62 minutes Idiakez scored an outrageous 35-yard free-kick from out near the right touchline. He shaped to cross it but then spotted that the keeper had moved off his line and cheekily beat him at his near post.Substitute Jamie White made t 5-1 on 78 minutes with a low effort from the edge of the area.

Baseya shot against the base of a post before Idiakez wrapped it up in injury-time with a spectacular effort from 25 yards.

Saints Res: Bialkowski, James, Pele, Cranie, Mills, Belmadi (Dutton-Black 45), Licka, Idiakez, Dyer (White 74), Wright-Phillips, Best (Baseya 74). Subs: Rudd, Poke.

Ipswich Prepare for QPR

A slumping Ipswich with 39 points from 34 games and with a home record of 8 wins, 2 draws and 7 defeats, scored 25 let in 23; Table
Ipswich Results this Season Ipswich Squad

Ipswich Official Site - Boss: We must stand together

Jim Magilton is calling on everyone connected with Ipswich Town to stick together and play a part in the team getting back on track in the Championship.

Blues face QPR at Portman Road on Saturday hoping to end a run of six games without a goal, a run that has seen Town slide down the table.

Speaking to the Club website, Jim said: "I know it's down to the players, the coaching staff and myself to end the spell of results we are having.

"We know we have to turn the corner and start winning games again and I can fully understand the frustrations everyone is feeling at the moment but I can assure you no one is more frustrated than myself.

Jim - stand together

"We're all working very hard on the training ground to put things right but at times likes these - and they happen in football - you have to stand together.

"I've been in this situation as a player and now I'm experiencing it for the first time as a manager and it's hard but I have total belief in myself and in my players.

"We have to stand up and be counted now. There's some negativity in the air but we have to deal with that and overcome it.

"The players are desperate to put on a show for the fans on Saturday, score some goals and win the game. I can see how desperate they are to win and everyone connected to the Club, the fans and the staff, can play their part and get right behind the players.

"The fans have been magnificent this season and my players need them right now. They can lift them but we are fully aware that we have to give the supporters a lift as well."


Ipswich Evening Star - Time to show my mettle - Magilton

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today looked ahead to the next three vital Championship matches and said: “Now is the time for me to show my mettle.”

Ipswich have slipped into the relegation fight after a long losing sequence and they badly need to get back on track with games against other struggling sides.

The Blues entertain Queens Park Rangers at Portman Road on Saturday and then visit Hull on Tuesday before the visit of Southend United the following Saturday.

Magilton would not put a target points tally on those three games, but he does know the importance of pocketing at least six points.

He said: “This is the time when I have to show my mettle and get the best out of the squad.

“It is a game we can win, and we are at home.

“We have failed to find the net for some while and this is what we are concentrating on in training this week.

“We will be trying to relax the players as we know it might be a little jittery with outside forces building up to Saturday's match and making it one where spectators may well be sitting on the edge of their seats.

“A goal will make all the difference and I am sure it will calm our players down and they will increase in confidence and become much more of a fighting force once the drought has been broken.”

Ipswich are hoping to have central defender Richard Naylor available again and he has been doing some jogging as he recovers from a badly bruised toe.

The 29-year-old will be stepping up his training as the week goes by but time will tell whether he can return to the team against QPR.

Fabian Wilnis has had a scan on his damaged hamstring and this proved all clear so the veteran defender will be stepping up his training also with the hope of being available at the weekend.

But midfield player Gavin Williams will still be out of action although he is making good strides with a pelvic problem. If his progress continues he could be in line for a recall next week, possibly at Hull on Tuesday.

Magilton, in his first season as Ipswich manager, added: “I have every faith in my squad although we are constantly looking at players who we could possibly bring in.

“There is nothing in the pipeline at the moment, but if the right player becomes available then we will look into bringing him to Portman Road and giving us a boost between and now and the end of the season.

“But if that doesn't happen we have enough ability and desire in the current squad to move us up the table.

“But what we need is a goal and a victory on Saturday. Then we can go from there.”

IPSWICH Town striker Danny Haynes is included in the England Under-19 squad for a friendly against Turkey at Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday, March 21.

The striker won his first international cap when the Under-19's beat Poland 4-1 at Bournemouth earlier this year. Evening Star

The Past Year Makes QPR's Prospects Look Bleak: 9 Wins From Last 45 Games

With Leeds playing at Birmingham and Luton playing Norwich tonight, at the end of the day, QPR's situation could look brighter or with QPR's luck, could look even bleaker.
Obviously one can spin records and statistics many ways, with starting and ending points, but it's a simple fact that over the last year (between February 27, 2006 and February 27, 2007) QPR's Record is: Played 45 games: 9 Wins - 13 Draws - 23 Defeats: 40 points.
To stay up QPR will need from their last 12 games probably something between 12 to 15 points requiring at least 3 and very possibly 4 wins.
The mini surge that QPR had that led to three successive victories culiminating with the win at Cardiff needs to be repeated.

Sheff Wed 34 -4 44
Coventry 35 -12 42
Burnley 34 -2 40
Ipswich 34 -6 39
Norwich 32 -11 38
Barnsley 35 -19 38
Luton 34 -14 36
Hull 34 -13 35
QPR 34 -15 35
Southend 35 -22 31
Leeds 34 -24 31

Remembering Another Bad Time: When it Looked Like Things Couldn't Get Worse

After a weekend return of Ian Holloway to Loftus Road, yesterday (February 26) ironically marked the sixth anniversary of QPR's appointment of Holloway as manager. For almost exactly five years, QPR went through the Holloway era which included both good and bad times both on and off the field. It also included Holloway speeches such as this

Below is an article from the start of Holloway's coming to QPR outlining the problems QPR confronted. Until relatively recently, it looked like the bad days were coming to an end and that QPR were gradually - if painfully - were slowing emerging from the morass.

Rangers disease has fans reaching for the pills
Sean Smith/Soccernet - Tuesday, February 27, 2001

There is an American site on the internet called www.qprinstitute.org, which won't mean anything to most football fans. But in a certain corner of West London the irony of its name and what it stands for has not been lost.

The site opens with the words: 'If you came to this site because you are having suicidal thoughts or feelings, please contact a counselor (sic), mental health center (sic) or emergency services.' Many fans of the West London club would be convinced that this is a kindly message of help from their own club. But in the US QPR stands for 'Question, Persuade, Refer' - in other words it's a site for Suicide Prevention Training.

In the UK these days, the same three letters bundled together stand for something very similar. And Monday's decision by QPR's board of directors to appoint Ian Holloway to replace the retiring Gerry Francis as manager had many fans wondering whether this was just another good reason to reach for the bottle of pills by the bedside table. The decision was forced on acting bosses Nick Blackburn and David Davies because the chairman, Chris Wright, is in a sulk after someone shouted at him during another humiliating home defeat.

Since relegation from the Premiership in 1996 times have been hard both on and off the Loftus Road pitch. But relegation was just another symptom of an ongoing disease which was first diagnosed when Jim Gregory - the man who made QPR what it was in the modern era - sold the club to a corporation in 1986. It took a decade for the full-blown illness to appear.

Gregory, who began a successful motor trade business selling vans outside Shepherd's Bush Market, had taken the club from Third Division (South) to the pinnacle of English football and then on into Europe. When he gave the club up he promised the fans that he would sell the club judiciously.

His instincts as a former used car salesman, though, got the better of him and as Gregory retired into obscurity Marler Estates attempted to amalgamate the club with neighbours Fulham. Although fan protests assuaged then-chairman David Bulstrode's desire to meddle with history, worse was to come.

With the death of Bulstrode from a heart attack in 1988, 24-year-old David Thompson took over the chairmanship and the systematic despoiling of the West London club began in earnest. Immediately the impact of Thompson's naivety and sometimes open contempt for the club began to take effect. The season before he arrived QPR finished fifth in the top flight yet soon mid-table obscurity became the rule of thumb until Thompson's policy of selling top players finally took effect and QPR were relegated in 1996.

In Thompson's brief reign (before he left to achieve his long-held ambition of owning a share in Leeds United) QPR had released an entire team of Premiership class players; including four England internationals (David Seaman, Les Ferdinand, Andy Sinton and Paul Parker).

Thompson also chased away Gerry Francis, who transcended the mid-table obscurity with a fifth-place finish in 1993, in his first spell as boss by constantly undermining his authority - particularly when he invited Rodney Marsh onto the board without consulting his manager.

Although there had been some astute buys in the interim (Trevor Sinclair, £750,000; Gavin Peacock, £1.2m) most of the money was wasted or simply disappeared. A typical example is the £1million spent on Australian midfielder Ned Zelic on the strength of a videotape - he returned from whence he came within weeks of arriving complaining of claustrophobia in a big city.

When Chris Wright took over at the helm a new dawn looked certain. The fact that he was a rich benefactor with a 20-year affection for the club added to supporters hopes. But the man who had proved himself a tiger in the music business performed like a wounded teddy bear in the erratic football business world. His plan to amalgamate the club with a rugby club sent shivers down the spines of those fans who remembered all too vividly the constant pitch demonstrations and sit-ins Fulham Park Rangers created.

Wright's plan worked for a time as the new company, Loftus Road plc, was oversubscribed and performed well on the Altenative Investments Market (AIM). Shares rose as high as 108p when they were first floated, but inaccurate business forecasts and poor form on the pitch saw the price tumble to as low as 7 pence. They now stand a single penny higher. Fans who had dreamt of owning a share of their club had got their wish, but in reality they ended up owning a piece of nothing.

As QPR continued to suffer under Ray Wilkins, then Stewart Houston with Bruce Rioch and finally with Ray Harford as boss, Wright eventually managed his only notable achievement to date - persuading Gerry Francis to return to the club he once skippered to second in the old First Division.

But Francis was left to work with the carcass of the club he once knew. What Thompson hadn't plundered and Wright hadn't speculated away, Vinnie Jones' contract had robbed through a mixture of arrogance, ignorance and desperation. Jones was brought from Wimbledon for £500,000 to save QPR from relegation. But thanks to the kind of contract players often dream about, he was allowed to go on strike when he wasn't offered Hardford's recently vacated post and then forced the club to pay off his contract (around £1million) while he pursued his movie career. The Jones debacle sums up QPR's fiscal meltdown.

Despite Francis taking on, and mainly succeeding, in the monumental task of cutting the wage bill in half while still maintaining a respectable squad Francis neglected the fundamentals on the training pitch and the first team's form slid.

QPR finished just shy of the play-off places twice since relegation to the First Division but league form continued to be precarious and the West London club twice avoided the drop by the skin of their teeth - saved the first time thanks to a Jamie Pollock own-goal which sent Manchester City down instead in 1998 and a 6-0 win against Crystal Palace on the last day of the season the following year.

Tenth place under Gerry Francis last season seemed to signal a revival but, even with new players coming in Francis' training methods and tactical nous came into question. The first team squad picked up 26 serious injuries in a season-and-a-half, including six broken legs in six months, and picked up just one win in 19 games since September.

Francis' insistance that he would retire at the end of the season and his refusal to talk to the 18 players out of contract at the end of the season have gone a long way to unsettling a squad which showed a tendency towards brittleness. His negativity in after-match press conferences and constant complaining about the lack of money led to the unprecedented step of a rival manager, Crewe's Dario Gradi, launching a scathing attack on Francis' excuses.

But when Chris Wright stepped down as chairman at the beginning of the month and Francis announced his retirement a fortnight ago, the club suddenly looked exposed. Nobody wanted to take the club on, nobody even wanted to work for it. Coaching staff disappeared as the managerless club floated for ten days in limbo. Most notably Des Bulpin left for relegation rivals Stockport ahead of his former protegee, Ian Holloway's arrival this week.

The fans are 50/50 about the employment of Ian Holloway as the new first-team manager. Many see him as a miracle worker at Bristol Rovers, the more myopic see a man who is too young (37), little experience and was sacked for failure at a relegation-threatened Second Division club less than four weeks ago.

That said he has oodles of optimism and with little or no money likely to be available for some considerable time, Holloway's self-belief and determination to succeed might be the perfect antidote for the club.

Luck and optimism are pretty much all QPR have left to trade on. It's a desperation perhaps personified in the choice of mascot at QPR: Jude, the Stadium Cat. Jude (named after the club's original title, St Jude's) is a six-foot black cat in the spitting image of a real feline who walked into the stadium two years ago when the club was adrift at the bottom of the First Division and at its lowest ebb. The staff took him in and fed him and, low and behold, QPR climbed the table and, finished out of the relegation places come the end of May.

QPR and Jude, though, are running out of lives and with a chairman who wants out and a jittery board will there be anyone left to feed the cat if the Second Division swallows the club at the end of the season? If the board and boss do leave would the last one out please leave out a saucer of milk - it could be the club's only hope. Soccernet

Monday, February 26, 2007

Nostalgia Moment: Ian Holloway Appointed Manager of QPR...Six Years Ago Today

With ironic timing, today actually marks the sixth Year Anniversary of Ian Holloway's Appointment as manager of QPR.

And a reminder of one of the reasons why Holloway is held in such high esteem by quite a number of fans: Posted on QPR1st: "Ian Holloway's inspirational historic speech to QPR fans"

Monday, 26 February, 2001, QPR name Holloway as boss

Queens Park Rangers have named Ian Holloway�as the new manager at Loftus Road.

Former QPR midfielder Holloway - sacked as Bristol Rovers boss last month - takes over from Gerry Francis who announced he was standing down 10 days ago.

I can't wait to take it on and I feel we can kick on from this
QPR boss Ian Holloway

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to take this challenge on and motivate some of these players.

"It was a huge part of my playing career and I felt so proud. Anybody that watched me play could see what I was - whole-hearted and determined.

"This is the biggest club I ever played for and what we achieved in those five years, I was delighted.

"I can't wait to take it on and I feel we can kick on from this."


Holloway has joined Rangers on a contract for the remainder of this season and the whole of next term with options for an extension.

He is optimistic that he can keep the struggling club in the First Division, but insists that it is not just down to him.

"The players have got to work hard and they'll get honesty and enthusiasm from me and hopefully that will rub off.

"We are fully realistic of where we are and what we've got to do."

The former Rovers boss takes charge of first-team affairs on Tuesday and will work alongside his former mentor Francis, who has become the club's director of football.

But Holloway's appointment - which Francis is widely reported to have supported - throws the future of Rangers' assistant manager Iain Dowie into doubt.

Dowie was desperate to take over but, having failed in his second bid to land the job, could be set to leave the club altogether especially if - as expected - Holloway brings in Gary Penrice as his assistant. BBC

For additional re Holloway Appointment: See QPR Report "Five Year Mark"

Photos from QPR and Plymouth

Photos from the QPR vs Plymouth Game and some of the people attending

Plymouth Official Site Photos

QPR Official Site Photos
- Photos

Plymouth Herald Photos

Plymouth Fan Site "Green on Screen" Click on the two small Camera Icons in the center of the page Photos

Two Statements from QPR1st Supporters Trust

From QPR1st Supporters Trust

February 26, 2007 QPR 1st Comment on the report re the alleged post-match re Chairman Paladini and former Manager Ian Holloway - Our chairman's image -

February 26, 2007 - QPR1st Comment on QPR's three new Directors: Nick De Marco, Kevin Steele and Jason Kallis - Three new Directors

FA Charge QPR Over China Brawl: Extensive Press Focus

FA - QPR/Hill charged Monday, 26 February 2007.

Queens Park Rangers FC have been charged following a brawl involving their players and officials and members of the Chinese Olympic team, which occured during the training match on 9 February.

The charge alleges that the club failed "to ensure that its players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refraining from violent and/or threatening and/or provocative behaviour."

Assistant Manager Richard Hill has been separately charged with violent conduct.

The club and Hill have until 12 March to respond. FA


Queens Park Rangers have been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E20 (a) - in relation to the friendly against the Chinese Under-22 National team.

FA Rule E20 (a) states: 'Each club shall be responsible for ensuring (a) that it's directors, players, officials, employees. servants, representatives, spectators and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conduct themselves in an orderly fashion and refrain from any one or a combination of the following; racist, violent, threatening, abusive, obscene or provocative behaviour, conduct or language, whilst attending at, or taking part in a match in which it is involved, whether on its own ground or elsewhere.'

R's Assistant Manager Richard Hill - who is currently suspended - has also been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3.

FA Rule E3 states: 'Participants shall at all times act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute or use any one or a combination of violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.'

The Club will be making no further comment at this stage, as an internal investigation into the matter continues. QPR


FA charges QPR over China brawl
Queens Park Rangers
The Football Association has charged QPR with misconduct after a friendly match against the China's Olympic team on 7 February ended in a brawl.

Assistant boss Richard Hill, who has been suspended by the club until further notice, has been charged with violent conduct.

The club issued a statement stating that "an internal investigation into the matter continues".

The brawl left China player Zheng Tao with a broken jaw.

Report: QPR v China ends in brawl

Hill and the club have until 12 March to respond to the FA charges.

The club have been charged with failing "to ensure that its players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refraining from violent and/or threatening and/or provocative behaviour."

Two days after the incident, a 43-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm.

The man was "bailed to return on a date in March to a west London police station pending further enquiries," according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police. BBC

AP - QPR charged with misconduct by Football Association

LONDON (AP) -Queens Park Rangers was charged Monday with misconduct by the Football Association for its brawl with China's Olympic team.

The FA said the English club failed to ensure "that its players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refraining from violent and/or threatening and/or provocative behavior.''

The Feb. 7 match between China's under-23 team and QPR ended 15 minutes early after players from both teams fought on the field. China's Zheng Tao, who was left unconscious after the brawl, was hospitalized with a broken jaw.

Seven members of the Chinese team were sent home early and China canceled its third scheduled game at Brentford.

QPR suspended assistant manager Richard Hill after the brawl and he has been separately charged with violent conduct by the FA.

The Chinese Football Association did not punish any of its Olympic team players after an investigation.

The Chinese team arrived in England in late January at the invitation of Premier League club Chelsea, which is trying to get a foothold in the lucrative Chinese market.

QPR has until March 12 to respond. AP

Kevin Gallen's Unhappiness with QPR Developments

[This appeared in Friday's Gazette but was only placed online today]

Kev's blast for the club he adores

QPR Exclusive by Yann Tear/Ealing Gazette - February 26

IT IS probably just as well for Rangers that Kevin Gallen is forced to sit out this weekend's clash against Plymouth at Loftus Road.

The man with blue and white hoops where his veins should be is so angered by the way the Rangers hierarchy treated him this season, he would surely have bagged a vengeful hat-trick for the Pilgrims.

He is also deeply disillusioned by what he sees as the rapid decline of the club since Ian Holloway was shown the door a year ago.

Gallen is on loan to the West Country club - reunited with Ian Holloway and loving it after helping his adopted club into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a penalty in a 2-0 win over Derby last Saturday.

It has softened the blow of a departure he never wanted and which appears terminal - Gallen admits he does not expect to play for Rangers ever again.

But the pain was still real in the midst of all the joy this week.

"Under the current regime at Rangers, I don't think I'll be coming back," Gallen told the Gazette in an exclusive interview on the eve of a match he must miss under the terms of his loan deal with Argyle.

"I was basically forced to leave Rangers. There was no other option.

"I only started two games up front for QPR this year and scored twice and then I got dropped the next game.

"It was disappointing that it had come to the stage where I thought if I don't go and play football elsewhere, my options would have been very limited to get a club next season.

"My contract's up at the end of this season and if you're not playing and in the shop window, noone's going to take you for a further season. I felt QPR weren't giving me that opportunity.

"I said things to the manager about how I felt and about the things going on behind the scenes but I can't talk about it now because I'm still a QPR player.

"There were things going on behind the scenes that in my opinion weren't right - maybe there were hidden agendas - and I just felt I wasn't getting the opportunity to earn a new contract at QPR.

"I don't know what I did wrong or who I upset down there but that's how I feel."

Gallen continued: "The things they put on the official website when I left gave no mention of how long I'd been at the club and it said I'd scored one goal this season, which wasn't true because I'd scored four.

"I've been a servant there for a long time and I feel I was not treated very nicely and that's how the club is at the moment.

"I could talk all day about it, but I'd get myself in trouble. That said, it's plain to see things aren't right down there.

"Two years ago we were getting average crowds of 15-16,000, now in some games you don't even see a sponsor in the sponsor's lounge.

"I'm really saddened rather than bitter about it because basically QPR's my club and I love the supporters."

The irony for Gallen is that he was dropped from QPR's FA Cup tie with Luton because, had he played, he would now be cup-tied and missing Argyle's great run and his first taste of a quarter-final since 1995 when Man United ended Rangers' interest.

"I got bombed out for the Luton game when we'd won the game before and I was sick to death of getting dropped every time after doing well," he said. "I just had to say 'Look, I can't take it any more.'

"I thought it was a lack of respect. "At the time, I was absolutely raging about it all but now I'm over the moon, of course.

"I'm in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a home tie to Watford to come with a decent chance of getting into the semi-final.

"It's a great turnaround. "It's also been great to see some old faces down here like Ian Holloway, Tim Breacker, Des Bulpin and Gary Penrice and I'm having a really good time down here.

"I'm not allowed to play this Saturday, but I'd love to have taken part just to say good-bye to the QPR fans because I never got the chance.

"Pretty much it looks like I've played my last game for Rangers though I'd like to think one day I'll be back at some stage - we'll have to wait and see. I miss the place."

Rangers may not have Gallen to worry about on the pitch but they can be sure former boss Ollie will be doing his best to mastermind their downfall from the sidelines.

And once again, Gallen does not pull his punches about the significance of that.

"I don't think QPR's been the same since Ollie left, " he said.

"We were very comfortable in mid-table last year with a chance of the play-offs and with decent crowds - now look what's happened. It's disappointing to see the way things are going.

"The way he left wasn't right and he feels the same. He's an honest bloke and I feel I'm an honest bloke.

"Not being treated right by a club I've given nearly all of my career to hurts and Ollie will have the same feelings.

"He worked as hard as anyone I've ever seen when he was at Rangers.

"I'm sure he'll get a great reception from the fans. He did nothing wrong at QPR and got us promoted and comfortable in the Championship and if they'd kept him and added a few players here and there, maybe we wouldn't be in the position we are in now.

"I'm sure he would like to put one over Rangers, not because of the crowd but because of the people in charge.

"He didn't want to leave QPR, he loved it at QPR at at one stage the place was bouncing again with him in charge. Now, it's gone backwards and I'm sad for the supporters who are the people who are going to have to drag it up again. Ealing Gazette

Also this "teaser" from last week Ealing Gazette

Gallen so disillusioned with RangersFeb 22 2007
Ex skipper pours heart out over the breakdown of his relationship with the club he loves By Yann Tear

PREPARE for a sensational insight into the thoughts of QPR hero Kevin Gallen.

The striker has spoken to the Gazette on the eve of what his likely to be a highly emotional clash between Rangers and Plymouth Argyle at Loftus Road.

Gallen is with Plymouth on loan until the end of the season, and although he will not play on Saturday under the terms of the deal that took him to Home Park, he will be on the sidelines.

And it should be quite a day for him and Ian Holloway - now boss of the Pilgrims, of course - as the pair return to the ground they know so well.

Gallen's love affair with the fans and club - which gave him a testimonial in 1995 in recognition of his loyal service - will never die. But he has strong words about the way he feels he has been treated this season and the way the club's fortunes have slipped. Gazette

No Derby's Jackson to QPR

There have been reports that Derby defender Richard Jackson would be joining QPR on loan. Jackson is now injured.

Derby Evening Telegraph - Jacko hit by ligament injury
Richard Jackson's hopes of going out on loan this season have suffered a blow.
The Derby County defender faces between four and six weeks on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury in training.
Rams manager Billy Davies has made Jackson available for loan but the 26-year-old now has medial ligament damage.
Queens Park Rangers and Walsall have shown an interest in the full-back, who has started only five games this season. His last
appearance in the league was at Burnley just before Christmas.... The Rams

QPR vs Plymouth - Additional Post Match Reports

[For photos from the Plymouth perspective - Click on the two small camera icons in the center of the page]

DAILY MAIL/Richard Copeman - A happy return for Ian
Another manager returned to his former club in the capital on Saturday and failed to get the result he wanted.
But, unlike Alan Curbishley at The Valley, Ian Holloway had every right to look like the cat who got the cream.
Having left Loftus Road in acrimonious circumstances a year ago, Holloway has stabilised Plymouth in midtable while propelling them into the nation's consciousness by reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1984, where struggling Watford await.
In contrast, Queens Park Rangers have become, in the words of current boss John Gregory, 'a soap opera' due to their on and off- field shenanigans.
And this soap opera could clearly end with the most unsatisfactory of conclusions - relegation.
But Holloway's exit from Rangers, a club he served for a decade as player then manager, clearly still grates, especially the much-repeated allegation that he made the first move towards what proved an aborted switch to Leicester.
Holloway said: "We were 12th with 15 games left and I was told to go and talk to Leicester. I didn't ask to go and talk to Leicester, I was told to. Facts are facts, end of story."
Holloway, however, was never going to gloat on his return - it was all about the twinkle in his eye. He still has a lot of friends at Loftus Road and he was not about to burn any bridges. "I've got no problems with QPR chairman Gianni Paladini, he's a fantastic bloke and I wish him all the best. We had a big cuddle. It's hard seeing Rangers where they are, but we all have to battle."
There was plenty of passion, if little creation, before Plymouth took a 32nd-minute lead as Krisztian Timar's flick from a Paul Connolly free-kick allowed Lilian Nalis to head home.
Somewhat surprisingly, however, the hosts avoided defeat as the excellent Lee Cook volleyed home after what looked a blatant foul on Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick.
Opposite number Lee Camp had been key to Rangers staying in the game as he stood firm against a barrage of long balls and crosses.
Camp is in his second spell on loan from Derby, having helped the west London club win promotion from League One three years ago. He's back until the end of the season as he bids for a recall to the England Under 21 side.
He said: "I'm surprised with what has happened, but there's a long way to go in the season and, with four or five wins, you can soon pull away from it."
One thing that has not changed at Loftus Road is the likelihood of a memorable quote from Holloway.
He said: "People call me madcap, but that's rubbish. I am not mad and I do not have a cap."
Classic stuff. Daily Mail

Telegraph/Nicholas Harling - Hollow return for Holloway

The metaphoric red carpet at Queens Park Rangers, laid out for former manager, Ian Holloway, was virtually pulled from under his feet amidst terrible feelings of guilt.
The hospitality to Holloway, whose five years as Rangers' manager ended in rancour a year ago, came in the symbolic gesture of granting him the familiarity of the home dug-out.
Yet, confirmation that Plymouth's build-up to their FA Cup quarter-final would be no picnic, came with the ferocity of Rangers' initial onslaught which would have brought a goal from Dean Blackstock but for the outstretched legs of Luke McCormack. The goalkeeper was soon to suffer a horrific collision with Adam Bolder and Martin Rowlands but recovered after treatment, only to be much abused again in the lead-up to the goal which gave Rangers a precious point. He was hustled into dropping a corner, which presented Lee Cook with a controversial equaliser.
"Plymouth have probably got every justification for feeling hard done by," said Rangers' manager, John Gregory. "Players don't surround the referee for no good reason." The chief protestor, Lillian Nalis - who had headed Plymouth in front - was booked and later sent off for kicking the ball away, to leave Gregory among the sympathisers. Telegraph


ARGYLE goalkeeper Luke McCormick had no doubts he was fouled during the build-up to QPR's equaliser in the Pilgrims' 1-1 draw at Loftus Road.

"I definitely, definitely had two hands on the ball," said Luke. "They knocked the corner in; I knew [the ball] was mine; I went up for it and, just as I've made contact with it, I felt a bump in my back which sent me on to my front. It was a foul.

"As far as fouls on goalkeepers go, I don't think you will get more obvious than that. The referee should have been in a good enough position."

McCormick made a string of fine saves that kept the Pilgrims in the game, but even that could not sweeten the bitter taste of the goal he conceded.

"From a personal point of view, I was pleased," he said. "It's always nice, making saves.

"But you would rather concede one of those, than a dodgy one because of the referee's decision. Plymouth Official

Clive Whittingham/QPR Rivals Match Report

Simon Skinner/QPR Net - Match Report

15 Coventry 35 -12 42
16 Burnley 35 -2 41
17 Ipswich 35 -8 39
18 Norwich 32 -11 38
19 Luton 34 -14 36
20 Hull City 34 -13 35
21 QPR 34 -15 35
22 Barnsley 35 -23 35
23 Southend 35 -22 31
24 Leeds 34 -24 31
Table/The Times

"Paladini doesn't help himself"

Charles Sale/Daily Mail
Palladini [sic] doesn't help himself

QPR chairman Gianni Palladini, presiding over a club in freefall, didn't help himself at on Saturday when he upset his own supporters with his attitude to his former manager Ian Holloway, now in charge of visiting Plymouth.
Holloway was signing autographs outside Loftus Road after the match when Palladini rushed up to him and mockingly asked for his signature. Daily Mail

[NB: This was the focus of messageboard discussion over the weekend with different interpretations offered over what exactly occurred or how serious had been the QPR Chairman]

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ten More Weeks: Twelve More Games...QPR's Month-by-Month Record

Ten More weeks and Twelve More Games to go and QPR remain in big trouble with 35 points from 34 games. Meanwhile a variety of off-the-field "issues" continue as ever: the latest of which, reportedly occurred yesterday after the game. QPR probably need to win 4 of their last 12 games (and get a couple of draws). It's obviously doable.
In their last 17 games since their epic win at Cardiff: QPR have taken 12 points: Won 3, drawn 3 and lost 11. Scoring 9 goals. Conceding 24.

By QPR Standards, February was actually a relatively good month for QPR (in ON the field, league, accomplishments!). QPR won one game (Burnley at home); drew twice (Leeds away and Plymouth at home); and lost once (Southend away 0-5!) (5 points from 4 games)

January saw our home draw and away defeat to Luton in the FA Cup. In the League, one win and three defeats (3 points from 4 games).

December: One win and Five losses (3 points from 6 games).

November: Started very, very well: Three Consecutive Wins (The best run since some time before Holloway left) culminating in the televized victory at top-of the table Cardiff...And then the crash began: Two defeats - (9 points from 5 games)

October: 3 Draws and 2 Defeats (3 points from 5 games)

September: 1 draw and 2 losses (leading to Waddock's Departure); 2 wins for John Gregory. (7 points from 5 games)

August: 1 win, 2 draws, 2 losses (5 points from 5 games)


February 1 win, 2 draws, 1 loss (5 points from 4 games)
January 1 win, 3 lost (3 points from 4 games).
December 1 win, 5 losses (3 points from 6 games).
November: 3 Wins, 2 losses (9 points from 5 games)
October: 3 Draws,2 Defeats (3 points from 5 games)
September: 2 wins, 1 draw,2 losses(7 points from 5 games)
August: 1 win, 2 draws, 2 losses (5 points from 5 games)
35 points from 34 games
Results & Fixtures

Additional PRE-Match Comments by Gallen & Holloway

This is Plymouth - GALLEN RUES LOAN CLAUSE 24 February 2007
Striker Kevin Gallen will be at Loftus Road today even though he cannot play for Plymouth Argyle against Queens Park Rangers (3pm).Gallen, 31, is on loan to Argyle from QPR until the end of the season after falling out of favour at the west London club.
But the Hammersmith-born goalscorer has not been allowed by Rangers to play in this afternoon's Championship clash.
Gallen scored from the penalty spot for QPR on Argyle's last visit to Loftus Road in October 2005, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
He has netted 97 goals in 404 first team appearances for Rangers over two spells at the club.
Gallen told Herald Sport: "I'm looking forward to going back. It should be a good game.
"I wish I was playing, to be honest. It would have been nice."
Gallen will, however, have a chance to catch up with his brothers Joe and Steve, who both work for QPR.
Joe is Rangers' head of youth while Steve is the under-16s coach.
Gallen has played eight times for Argyle and scored two goals, including a penalty in the 2-0 victory over Derby County in the FA Cup fifth round last Saturday.
"When I signed the paperwork to come here (Argyle), QPR didn't put it in that I couldn't play against them," he said.
"It was all typed out and we sent it by fax and initially I thought I could play, but when they sent it back they had added an extra clause in biro saying I couldn't play.
"I was gutted at the time. I would have loved to play because I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to the QPR fans
Argyle go into today's game on the back of two successive home wins - first against Derby and then Colchester United (3-0) in the Championship on Tuesday.
Gallen said: "Talking to the lads, they were probably the two best performances of the season.
"They must be full of confidence going into today's game. Both teams will be desperate to win it, but for different reasons.
"QPR need to win or they could find themselves in the bottom three and Plymouth need to win keep our play-off ambitions alive."
Gallen has started the last two matches with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake as his strike partner and he has been impressed by the former Manchester United prospect...
his is Plymouth

11:50 - 23 February 2007
Ian holloway has insisted that picking up three points is all that matters when Plymouth Argyle play his former club Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road tomorrow (3pm).It will be the first time Holloway has been back to the west London club since taking over as the Pilgrims' boss last June.
The 43-year-old was QPR manager until last February when he was controversially suspended - or put on 'gardening leave'.
Rangers' chairman Gianni Paladini claimed he had acted because Holloway had expressed an interest in the then vacancy at Leicester City.
Now, 12 months on, Holloway has taken Argyle to 11th position in the Championship and the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
QPR, meanwhile, are now managed by John Gregory after the sacking of Holloway's predecessor Gary Waddock earlier in the season.
Rangers are 21st in the table, two points clear of the relegation zone.
Much of the pre-match build-up has been about Holloway's return to Loftus Road, but he was adamant the result was all that concerned him.
Holloway said: "I don't know how I will feel. The three points are all that matters.
"I'm very proud to be taking my new team there and I shall be trying to win the game with the same passion that I used to try to win for them.
"I'm desperate for three points and I shall be doing all I can to get them.
"If I do see some of the wonderful people that were there, that will be a bonus. But I want to get off the bus, do my job, and get back on the bus with three points in the bag.
"That's how I feel. It's as simple as that."
Holloway has not only managed QPR, leading them to promotion in the 2003/04 season, but he played 171 games for them over a five-year period until 1996.
Argyle coaches Tim Breacker and Des Bulpin are also returning to QPR for the first time after they followed Holloway to Home Park.
Considering his long association with Rangers, it would be a surprise if Holloway did not receive a warm welcome from their fans.
But he said: "I'm not expecting anything and I'm not hoping for anything. They will give me whatever they think I deserve, and that's life.
"I will ignore it and get on with whatever I'm doing anyway because it's a total distraction one way or the other.
"It's what I think that matters - not what anyone else thinks."
Then in his own inimitable style, Holloway compared his situation to being a fish.
He said: "I haven't been feeling that well this week and on Wednesday night I was having a cup of cocoa.
"I was thinking that being a football manager is like being a fish.
"One minute you are in a tank, and your tank is everything. Then you find yourself flushed down the toilet and you don't know where you are.
"It's really weird, because to a fish that tank must be everything.
"All of a sudden, when you are thrown out, you are still swimming but you can't get back in your tank. It's horrible.
"I have had to experience that. I have had it at Bristol Rovers, where I cared so much and I thought the world would stop if I was out of my tank, but you still keep swimming, don't you?
"Now I'm in another tank and you have to adjust. It's really, really strange I have to say."
Holloway insisted he would not have a problem with meeting Paladini either before or after the game against QPR. "I haven't got a nasty bone in my body," he said.
QPR need maximum points tomorrow to ease their relegation fears but Holloway added: "It doesn't matter to me where they are.
"What matters is us needing three points, them needing three points and, hopefully, my team will be better than theirs.
"I'm very optimistic it will go our way if we keep doing what we have been doing."
Meanwhile, Holloway has suspended 18-year-old striker Reuben Reid for two weeks after Rochdale abruptly ended his loan spell with them.
Reid was supposed to spend the rest of the season with Rochdale, but he made only two substitute appearances for the League Two club before returning to Home Park.
This is Plymouth

Three New Board Members Announced by Chairman Paladini

Updated: February 26: The new Board Members are now listed on the Club's Official Site: Chairman - Gianni Paladini
Non-executive Directors - Franco Zanotti, Olga Paladini, Antonio Caliendo, Nick De Marco, Kevin James Steele, Jason Kallis Board

Not actually announced on the club's website; and not yet listed on the Club's Staff Directory - but yesterday's match programme notes from Chairman Gianni Paladini announced that the club had appointed three new (non-executive) Directors.
The three new people are: Nick De Marco, whose joining the Board has been rumoured on the fan messageboards for the past couple of weeks. De Marco is a fan and messageboard poster - and a barrister who for the last couple of years has been the club's voluntary "Legal Advisor."
The other two Directors are Kevin Steele and Jason Kallis both of the law firm Mishcon de Reya . Exactly why these two specific people have been invited to join the Board is not really clear, although there is of course messsageboard speculation.
The Mishcon de Reya profile of Kevin Steele says "Partner "Expertise - "Kevin specialises in advising property investors and developers, professional construction consultants and contractors on all issues relating to building and engineering contracts and ancillary documentation, together with advice on other areas relating to construction matters, such as party walls, insurance and environmental issues. He also assists clients in dispute resolution and is experienced in bringing and defending claims in the Technology and Construction Court, in arbitrations, adjudications and mediations." Steele
The profile of the other new director, Jason Khallis simply lists him "Position: Solicitor - Profile
The three new Directors join Chairman, Gianni Paladini; QPR Holdings Chairman Antonio Caliendo along with Franco Zanotti and Olga Paladini.

Press Reports & Post-Match Comments as Ian Holloway's Plymouth Drew 1-1 at Loftus Road

Updated 11:30 am GMT:

Sunday People - By ROBERT PAUL

IAN HOLLOWAY left his old Loftus Road stamping ground with his dignity intact and a point on an emotional first return to the club where he remains a cult hero.
The 32nd-minute opener from skipper Lilian Nalis - later sent off for two needless yellow cards - ensured 'Olly' departed with something from the club where he was lauded as both player and a promotion-winning manager.
Lee Cook's controversial 59th-minute equaliser spoiled what would have been a real fairytale homecoming for Holloway, whose five-year tenure ended last February, with an extended gardening leave session before taking over at Plymouth.
Holloway said: "I told my players not to get caught up in the emotion of it. I almost did once or twice, but I'm delighted I kept my dignity.
"It was all a very surreal experience - I didn't really enjoy it.
"I wish it had ended in a different way and I wish things were said that were right
"And I wish Rangers all the best because you don't give five years of your life without caring. I had some marvellous moments here, but you've got to move on."
The result was a relief for Rangers' relegation-threatened manager John Gregory, a former Plymouth boss, but he sympathised with Argyle's protests because keeper Luke McCormick was fouled for Cook's equaliser. People

Plymouth Official Site - Ian Holloway - HAPPY WITH A POINT
ARGYLE manager Ian Holloway admitted "we didn't quite get things right today" after a QPR comeback saw his current and previous clubs draw 1-1 at Loftus Road.
Argyle captain Lilian Nalis scored the opener after 32 minutes before being sent off later on, partly for protesting about Lee Cook's second-half equaliser which appeared to come after a foul on Pilgrims' goalkeeper Luke McCormick.
Ollie said: "I wouldn't have complained that much if QPR had got all three [points] if they had stuck in one of the chances they had created, but I didn't like the one they got.
"I thought the referee should have disallowed it, then my captain out there would not have got sent off.
"When you get an equaliser in that fashion, which was so obviously a foul to me, I'm a little bit hurt.
"It was blatant. Everybody in the ground saw it. I think the referee, when he sees that, will [realise he has] got it wrong
"On the balance of play, I felt that we were fortunate to go out with a point in the end, the way the game was going."
Nalis received his first yellow card for remonstrating with referee Richard Beeby about the QPR goal and a second for dissent following a skirmish with Rangers' midfielder Gareth Ainsworth.
"I felt we showed a lack of discipline," said Ollie. "Lil got booked for moaning about [the goal] - you are never going to change their mind - and then he kicks the ball away.
"He hasn't put a foot wrong for me since I've been here - he's a wonderful fella - but he could have cost us, big time.
"I said, at half-time, 'Don't get caught in it'. Sometimes the extra emotions are a waste of energy. Under pressure, you have to be able to take it, deal with it and be calm.
"With a young team, I needed people like Lil doing that.
"I told him not to get caught up in the emotion of it - I almost did, once or twice, but I'm delighted I managed to keep my dignity."
Ollie felt that Argyle did not get the rub of the green from Beeby.
"In such a fervent atmosphere and with challenges left, right and centre, you expect them to come out 50-50," he said.
"All do I know, when I was a kid and I tossed a coin, sometimes it was heads and sometimes it was tails, and I thought that, if fairness is fairness, then Gareth Ainsworth, who I brought here and who I'm very proud of, should have been booked at least a couple of times, and, as for [Adam] Bolder, lunging in right, left and centre."
Following the recent victories over Derby and Colchester, Ollie admitted: "We were a bit off it, but you are not always going to be as good as we were in the last two games.
"This pitch is quite compact and the crowd are on top of you. Whether some of my young ones were quite up for it or ready, I don't know, but they have grown in stature.
"That wasn't us, really.
"[Rangers] were absolutely out of the box, flying. It looked like they had the bit between their teeth. Well done to them, and onwards and upwards for all of us.
"They had a couple of clear-cut chances, and I can't remember that many for us. I would have wished, in an ideal world, that they would have scored, then some of our lot might not have been able to make any excuses."
Asked about the warm reception he received from Rangers' fans, Ollie said: "I'm very pleased I get the reception I do from the Plymouth fans.
"I'm not very pleased when people keep calling me 'madcap'. I'm passionate, but I'm certainly not mad and I haven't got a cap. You get labelled, but it's absolutely rubbish.
"Now, I'm a Pilgrim; I am member of the Green Army; I have got the number 12 on my pyjamas. Plymouth

Telegraph - Andrew Warshaw - Holloway feels at home

A week after the excitement of steering Plymouth into the FA Cup quarter-finals, Ian Holloway returned to his old stamping ground for the first time yesterday and saw his team add to the impending sense of doom in this part of west London.

As expected, the eccentric Pilgrims manager got a warm reception at the club he managed for five years prior to moving to Devon last summer,and left with a point that heaped even more anxiety on struggling Rangers.

To make Holloway feel even more comfortable in familiar surroundings, he was given his old dugout back by Rangers manager John Gregory - a nice gesture, yet hardly one that could disguise the unease around Loftus Road. While Holloway has made an immediate impact in his native West Country, turmoil is the only word to describe recent events at Rangers.

First there was the mass brawl against a Chinese Olympic team which led to suspension of assistant manager Richard Hill, then the unrelated departures of the goalkeeping coach and press manager. Combine that with a recent slump on the pitch that had seen Rangers take only seven points from 27 prior to yesterday, and you can see why the natives are getting so restless.

Gregory was given the proverbial vote of confidence in the programme by his chairman. Gianni Paladini. who denounced all speculation about the manager as "nonsense" and said he had "no intention" of sacking him Yet with Rangers lurching from one crisis to another, the one confidence boost Rangers needed was on the pitch. They had a strong start, Luke McCormick pulling off an excellent double save from Dexter Blackstock and the much-touted Lee Cook in the first minute of the game. But with 32 minutes on the clock, it was the 3,000 visiting fans who were in full voice as David Norris' free kick was headed home by captain Lillian Nalis.

Parity was gained just before the hour. Gary Ainsworth's goal-bound shot was deflected wide and, from the resultant corner, Cook forced the ball over the line despite fierce protests from the Plymouth players that McCormick had been impeded just beforehand.

Nalis' sending-off for a second bookable offence 10 minutes from time gave Rangers renewed heart. Try as they might, they simply could not claim a winner despite strong appeals for a penalty and a Paul Furlong strike in added time that was ruled out for offside.

Meanwhile, "we're going to Wember-lee," was the refrain from the Plymouth faithful after watching their heroes cling on for a draw." Telegraph

The Times - February 25, 2007 - Holloway hurt by equaliser
QPR 1 Plymouth 1: Ian Holloway was uncharacteristically restrained on his return to Loftus road, despite only taking a point
Barry Flatman at Loftus Road

Given the celebrity factor surrounding some managers, as much attention was understandably afforded to the touchline as the pitch. And while Ian Holloway, returning to the club that a year ago suspended him on full pay and sent him on extended gardening leave, was by and large a model of restraint in difficult circumstances, he still made more interesting viewing than most things produced by both sets of players.

Holloway was insistent that he merited no fuss on his return to the club he often managed in the most unconventional way for more than five years. In seasons gone by, he had even wandered into the crowd on occasions just before kick-of to gauge the feelings of the fans and he also possessed the potential to do the unpredictable.

“I didn’t really want to come, to tell you the truth, and I didn’t really enjoy it. There’s one or two things that I’d rather not whinge about, but I didn’t like the QPR goal. It was blatant to anybody in the ground and should have been disallowed,” he said.

Perhaps Holloway is mellowing, because when first QPR were awarded a dubious equaliser to cancel out Lilian Nalis’s first-half goal he did not rant at the referee and then refused to react as Nalis was shown a red card for two of the most petty offences.

Plymouth were certainly the more poised and creative team in a fixture that showed the inadequacies of Championship football. The inability to actually score goals has been one of QPR’s major problems this season, as five blanks in their preceding six games demonstrated. With just a minute played, a glorious chance went to waste and once again it looked to be a barren day for the team from Shepherds Bush. First Dexter Blackstock and then Lee Cook were allowed close-range efforts but goalkeeper Luke McCormick was equal to both.

Reverting to type, QPR then struggled with all the hallmarks of a side haunted by the possibility of relegation. Their approach play was devoid of any pattern, there was a huge chasm of green between the midfield and strikers and if the ball advanced to forward areas, shots on goal were snatched and hopeful rather than measured attempts.

Though hardly gloriously inventive in their approach, Plymouth at least seemed more comfortable on the ball, better versed with their tactics and at least likely to cause problems from well-rehearsed set pieces. Therefore, nobody should have been too surprised when they took the lead just past the half-hour mark. David Norris’s free kick was flicked on by Krisztian Timar and captain Nalis broke clear of his marker to score his third goal of the season.

Throughout QPR’s low points this season, and there have allegedly been many, the one reason for optimism is the skill and potential of Cook. He is nimble, tricky and not afraid to try the unorthodox, but whether his 59th-minute equaliser adds anything to his value or indeed was a legitimate goal is open to debate. After a corner was swung into the goalmouth, there was sort of melee more associated with park football. Blackstock appeared to have a header blocked before Cook finally stabbed home from close range with McCormick certainly looking impeded. Doubtless angry that the lead had disappeared, Nalis pointed to his captain’s armband as he argued vehemently but his rank did nothing to avoid a yellow card. With 11 minutes left, the Frenchman was also shown red as he kicked the ball away. Plymouth were forced to weather an stoppage time scare when substitute Paul Furlong seemed to have claimed all three points after he volleyed into the net from close range but a linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

Star man: Michael Mancienne (QPR)

Player ratings. QPR: Camp 6, Mancienne 8, Cullip 6, Stewart 6, Timoska 5, Ainsworth 6, Lomas 5, Bolder 5, Rowlands 6 (Furlong 79min), Cook 7, Blackstock 6

Plymouth:McCormick 7, Connolly 6, Timar 6, Seip 6, Sawyer 5, Gosling 5 (Halmosi 63min), Nalis 5, Norris 7, Sinclair 6, Ebanks-Blake 6 (Hodges 82min), Fallon 6

Scorers: QPR: Cook 59 Plymouth: Nalis 32

Referee: R Beeby

Attendance:13,757 The Times

QPR 1 Plymouth Argyle 1: Cook spoils Holloway's comeback
By Amar Azam at Loftus Road

Published: 25 February 2007

A second-half goal from Lee Cook ruined Ian Holloway's return to his former club Queens Park Rangers. Plymouth Argyle, who he joined after he left West London last February following a five-year spell, failed to build on a lead given to them by captain Lilian Nalis. They were left to share the points with John Gregory's men in an enjoyable game at Loftus Road.

There was little between the teams in an entertaining start to this contest. The home side almost took the lead in the opening seconds, but Plymouth's goalkeeper Luke McCormick blocked chances from Cook and Dexter Blackstock in quick succession.

Plymouth, in confident form having lost just twice since the start of the year, responded well. On 13 minutes striker Sylvain Ebanks-Blake had a powerful drive saved by Lee Camp. As the half wore on, Plymouth composed themselves and on 32 minutes took the lead through Nalis after he headed home a free-kick from Paul Connolly.

QPR were much stronger after the break and equalised on 59 minutes. Cook bundled in the ball after Plymouth had failed to clear a corner. Plymouth's players protested that McCormick had been fouled in the melee and it seemed the case was justified.

Plymouth's response was disappointing. Their reluctance to push forward only served to boost the confidence of QPR who thought they had the winner late on but Paul Furlong's effort was ruled offside. Nalis was sent off on 80 minutes after kicking the ball away in anger, his second booking of the game. Independent


John Gregory praised his side, despite admitting they should have made their numerical advantage count late on.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk in the wake of the 1-1 draw with Plymouth Argyle, Gregory said: "It was a battle today. We scrapped for everything.

"We really went for the three points and although I'm happy with the performance, I'm not satisfied with the result.

"The important thing is that we're still hanging in there.''

Gregory added: "A good barometer of a football match is how busy goalkeepers are and Luke McCormick was by far the busier of the two.

"Lee Camp had very little to do in the second half, apart from gather a series of crosses.

"All in all it was a sound performance and I'm delighted with the lads.''

Rangers trailed to Lillian Nalis' 32nd minute opener, before Lee Cook put the hosts on terms on the hour mark.

Argyle's players were incensed that referee Mr Beeby failed to spot an apparent nudge on goalkeeper Neil McCormick in the build-up to the goal - and Gregory sympathised with his opposite number, Ian Holloway.

"I can sympathise with Ollie for our goal - maybe there was a nudge on their keeper.

"But in general, I think Ollie will leave here more relieved with the point.

"The chance was there to get the three points, but it wasn't to be today.'' QPR


Plymouth boss Ian Holloway attacked referee Richard Beeby for allowing the goal which forced his 10-man team to settle for a 1-1 draw at former club QPR.

Holloway, who managed Rangers for five years before being placed on gardening leave last February, saw his team take a 32nd-minute lead through Lilian Nalis in this Coca-Cola Championship clash, but Lee Cook equalised for Rangers following a goalmouth scramble 14 minutes after the break.

Holloway admitted his former club had merited at least a point, but was convinced there had been a foul on his goalkeeper Luke McCormick before Cook's leveller.

"I would not have complained that much had QPR won, but I didn't like the goal they scored," said Holloway, who saw Nalis sent off for a second booking 10 minutes from full-time.

"The referee should have disallowed it. Everyone in the ground could see it was a foul on our goalkeeper.

"The ref got that one wrong, but QPR deserved at least a point."

Holloway received a warm reception from the home supporters, but was keen to reduce the level of emotion surrounding the match and took his seat in the dug-out only seconds before kick-off.

Holloway's departure from Loftus Road came under controversial circumstances, and many Rangers fans believe the club have gone backwards since he left.

Holloway continued: "There will always be a part of me which belongs to Rangers, but I am a Pilgrim now.

"No matter what happened at QPR, I tried to keep my dignity, and put the club badge first. I like to think I managed that.

"But I wish QPR well, and I wish John Gregory well. He is a good manager, and always has been.

"He can keep them in this division, and that is what I would like to see him do

Hull's win over Birmingham means Rangers are above the relegation zone on goal difference alone, and manager John Gregory admitted his team might have enjoyed the rub of the green with their equaliser.

Speculation at the beginning of the week indicated that Gregory was to be dismissed and replaced with former Nottingham Forest and Luton boss Joe Kinnear, only for chairman Gianni Paladini to insist there was no truth in the rumours.

Gregory said: "Gianni was a bit upset with the story which came out, because there was nothing in it.

"He wanted to assure me of that. The players read these things and they start to wonder about the future, so Gianni tried to calm the situation down.

"The opportunity to win was there for us today, especially after Nalis was sent off. Their goalkeeper made two or three very good saves.

"Plymouth probably had every justification to complain about the goal. Players do not surround the referee for no reason." Sporting Life

Ian Holloway felt Queens Park Rangers' equaliser should have been disallowed, while John Gregory supported the Plymouth Argyle manager's argument.

Upon his return to Loftus Road, former R's boss Holloway saw his Plymouth side take a 32nd minute lead through Lilian Nalis, who was later sent off.

Lee Cook levelled for QPR in the second half, and while Holloway had no complaints about the eventual outcome, he was upset with the equaliser, feeling keeper Luke McCormick had been fouled.

"I would not have complained that much had QPR won, but I didn't like the goal they scored," said Holloway.

"The referee should have disallowed it. Everyone in the ground could see it was a foul on our goalkeeper.

"The ref got that one wrong, but QPR deserved at least a point."

Holloway also backed Gregory to keep the club in the Championship, adding: "I wish QPR well, and I wish John Gregory well. He is a good manager and always has been.

"He can keep them in this division and that is what I would like to see him do."

Gregory could understand Plymouth's frustration with Cook's goal, but cursed missed opportunities which denied his side a much-needed win.

"The opportunity to win was there for us today, especially after Nalis was sent off," said Gregory.

"Their goalkeeper made two or three very good saves.

"Plymouth probably had every justification to complain about the goal. Players do not surround the referee for no reason." Skysports

See Also Earlier QPR-Plymouth Reports - QPR Report

Saturday, February 24, 2007

QPR Held to a 1-1 Draw by Ian Holloway's Plymouth

After today's 1-1 draw, QPR are now out of the bottom three only on goal difference.
Burnley 40
Ipswich 39
Norwich 38
Hull 36
QPR 35
Barnsly 35
Southen 31
Leeds 31


Plymouth Official Site Match Report

THE win that he privately craved eluded Argyle manager Ian Holloway as his former club came from behind to ensure the same score between the two sides the previous two times they had met, including last season in London.

It is a result that did not serve the best interests of neither Holloway's current side, who are becoming detached from the Coca-Cola Championship play-off race, nor his previous one, who remain in potential relegation trouble.

How the home side failed to win the three points they so urgently need is beyond most observers, given that they were afforded every assistance by referee Richard Beeby.

The official first allowed Lee Cook's 59th-minute equaliser to stand despite clear fouls on Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick.

After that little helping hand, Beeby then ensured Argyle would have to play the closing stages with only ten men after dismissing Pilgrims' skipper Lilian Nalis, who had headed the Greens into the lead after half an hour, for two yellow cards.

The irony that the two cards were for dissent directly caused by Beeby's poor performance was presumably lost on the official.

Holloway, given the honour of once again occupying the home dug-out by his current successor at Loftus Road, John Gregory, made one enforced change to the starting line-up that progressed to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and subsequently walloped Colchester in midweek.

That switch was in the van, where loan Ranger Kevin Gallen was forced out by the terms of his temporary move from west London to the Westcountry, allowing record Pilgrims' signing Rory Fallon into what is becoming - with Watford on the horizon - an increasingly competitive line-up.

Gregory, briefly a former Argyle caretaker-manager in the Ken Brown-David Kemp interregnum and, subsequently - and equally briefly - a player, kept faith with the exact same 11 that had drawn 0-0 at Leeds in midweek.

The Rs'a attack was therefore led by Dexter Blackstock, who had a successful loan spell at Home Park from Southampton under Bobby Wiliamson's stewardship, and Cook, one of only a few players still at Rangers who were protégés of Holloway.

Kemp, incidentally, was an interested spectator at Loftus Road, along with his manager at Stoke City, Tony Pulis, who enjoyed an interesting walk from his car to the ground past a considerable number of the Green Army.

It will have given him a taster of what he can expect when he brings his Potters, whose weekend game was delayed until Monday evening, to Home Park next Saturday.

Argyle should have been behind before the pre-match applause for Holloway from all sides of the ground had died down.

Blackstock seized on a mistake by the normally 100% reliable Marcel Seip to find himself clear on goal with only McCormick to beat. Some 'only'. The Argyle goalkeeper spread himself quickly at Blackstock's feet to block his erstwhile former team-mate.

The early break set the pattern for the game's opening, however, with Argyle well and truly all hands to the pump to prevent Rangers from cashing in on some decent amounts of possession.

Gradually, though, the Pilgrims' patience saw them edge their way back into the game, and the contest was much more even by the time Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's opportunistic leftt-foot strike from 20 yards was fumble-saved by Lee Camp.

The match settled into a battle for midfield supremacy in which either side nullified the best attempts of the other. For Argyle, Fallon showed himself to be a willing workhorse, and Scott Sinclair was a wound spring that could not fully uncoil itself.

Whenever Argyle stepped up the pace, they immediately became a handful for the Rangers' defence, who were also not very keen at set-pieces. Nalis had already gone close with one header, when escaped the zonal marking to reach David Norris's corner unimpeded, before he broke the deadlock.

Norris was again the provider, his free-kick - and Norris was noticeably much more on dead-ball duty than he has ever been previously - reaching the Frenchman by way of Krisztián Timár's flicked back-header, and the Argyle skipper nodded the sweetly simple move home with precision, rather than power.

Argyle made it to the interval without looking like either scoring or conceding again, although it was a closer run thing with regard to the latter, than the former, when Rangers' captain Steve Lomas played in Adam Bolder.

McCormick rushed from his line to win what was no more than a 50-50 ball, collided with Bolder, and, as he grabbed at the loose ball, took a shoeing from Blackstock and Martin Rowlands as he lay on the floor.

McCormick emerged for the second half, seemingly none the worse, to face, not only the Rangers' attack, but also driving rain.

Argyle's labours were made more difficult, shall we say, 'esoteric' decisions from Beeby, who was clearly on a different wavelength to most other people in Shepherd's Bush.

As the clock clicked round to the hour-played mark, Beeby surpassed all previous idiotic decisions he had made up to that point by allowing Cook's scrambled goal following a right-wing corner to stand, oblivious or ignorant of the fact that McCormick had been the victim of attention that, away from the football pitch, would have earned the perpetrators a criminal record.

Nalis, a most reasonable man, was so infuriated by the shambolic officiating that he earned himself a yellow card for his protestations. To compound matters, immediately after the goal, Argyle won every itsy-flitsy 50-50 decision going.

Holloway sent on Péter Halmosi for young Dan Gosling and the Hungarian winger's first contribution to proceedings was to play Norris in, only for the Argyle number seven's low drive to be met by a good save from Camp.

Beeby was soon back to his worst, sending Nalis off for what will probably turn out to be dissent after the Frenchman's frustrations at yet another random free-kick award led to him kicking the ball away.

Gregory went for broke, introducing Paul Furlong, who nearly repaid the man who resurrected his career by firing in a shot that McCormick had to be alert to keep out.

Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): 20 Lee Camp; 38 Michael Mancienne, 4 Danny Cullip, 25 Damion Stewart, 27 Sampsa Timoska; 11 Gareth Ainsworth, 16 Steve Lomas (capt), 7 Adam Bolder, 14 Martin Rowlands (29 Paul Furlong 80); 32 Dexter Blackstock, 17 Lee Cook. Substitutes (not used): 12 Jake Cole (gk), 24 Pat Kanyuka, 31 Ray Jones, 37 Jimmy Smith.
Booked: Bolder 28, Cullip 90.
Argyle (4-4-2): 23 Luke McCormick; 22 Paul Connolly, 5 Krisztián Timár, 19 Marcel Seip, 18 Gary Sawyer; 30 Dan Gosling (16 Péter Halmosi 64), 7 David Norris, 4 Lilian Nalis (capt), 26 Scott Sinclair; 9 Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (20 Lee Hodges 83), 33 Rory Fallon. Substitutes (not used): 13 Mathias Kouo-Doumbe, 29 Luke Summerfield, 32 Bojan Djordjic.

Sending-off: Nalis 80 (two yellow cards).
Booked: Nalis 60, Timár 85, Norris 90.
Attendance : 13757
Referee: Richard Beeby (Northamptonshire)

Attendance: 13,757 (2,600 away est.).
Plymouth Official Site

Honours finished even on Ian Holloway's return to W12, despite a spirited second half display from the R's.

Ten-man Plymouth held on for a share of the spoils, after goalscorer Lillian Nalis saw red for two bookable offences late on.

After Dexter Blackstock's first minute miss, Rangers fell behind on 32 minutes, when Nalis applied the all-important touch to Sylvain Ebanks-Blake's flick on.

Undeterred, the R's produced a gutsy second half performance and deservedly levelled matters on 59 minutes, when Cook poked home from close range after a goalmouth scramble.

Buoyed by the creditable point up at Elland Road four days earlier, John Gregory named an unchanged side.

The Pilgrims were minus the services of Kevin Gallen (ineligible) and Barry Hayles (toe), so Rory Fallon partnered Sylvain Ebanks-Blake in attack.

'Ollie's' appearance in the Argyle dugout was greeted with cheers from both sets of supporters, but it was the Hoops who came out of the traps firing on all cylinders.

Indeed the R's should've been ahead inside the opening 60 seconds.

Hesitancy in the heart of the Argyle defence allowed Blackstock the freedom of the penalty area, yet having created room for a shot, he fired straight at Luke McCormick.

The loose ball fell perfectly into the path of Cook, whose right footed half-volley was expertly tipped to safety by the inspired Argyle custodian.

Cook was certainly at the heart of the R's fast start and when he broke free 25-yards from goal, only a perfectly timed blocked from Krisztian Timar thwarted the roaming attacker.

Camp had to be at his agile best in the 13th minute - diving full length to his right to save Ebanks-Blake's stinging left foot drive.

Blackstock was winning his fair share of headers against the imposing figure of Pilgrims centre-half Timar and when his knockdown fell at the feet of Gareth Ainsworth on 22 minutes, only a timely deflection prevented the Rangers winger from firing another shot on target.

After playing second fiddle to the R's for prolonged periods, Plymouth provided a brief reminder of their intentions on the half hour, but Nalis' looping header finished the wrong side of Camp's crossbar.

Rangers clearly didn't heed the warning though and when the same player was given the freedom of the penalty box again two minutes later, he made no mistake, heading Ebanks-Blake's flicked header from David Norris' free-kick past Camp and into the bottom left hand corner.

Despite the setback, Rangers ended the half in the ascendancy.

Steve Lomas sent Rowlands clean through on goal, only for the onrushing McCormick to save with his feet. Blackstock was first to pounce on the rebound, but McCormick again did his job, saving at the second attempt.

Sampsa Timoska came to the R's rescue at the start of the second half, timing his last-ditch tackle to perfection to prevent Ebanks-Blake racing clean through on goal.

Rangers were left wondering what might have been on 55 minutes, when referee Mr Beeby turned down vocal appeals for a spot-kick.

Ainsworth appeared to be punched to ground as he competed for an aerial ball with McCormick, but the official felt otherwise, allowing play to continue.

After a relatively quiet first half by his own exceptionally high standards, Cook provided the catalyst for a Rangers revival just before the hour.

Moments after providing a chance for Ainsworth, which was deflected round for a corner, the mercurial attacker was in the right place at the right time to prod the ball over the line at the second attempt, after McCormick had initially fumbled Rowlands' set-piece under pressure from a sea of bodies on the six-yard box.

Plymouth were aggrieved at the referee's decision to allow the effort to stand, with Nalis booked for his part in the protests.

Undeterred, it was the visitors who created the next opportunity of an enthralling contest on 66 minutes.

Seconds after entering the fray as a second half substitute, midfielder Peter Halmosi played an inch-perfect pass into the path of David Norris, whose first time effort across the face of goal was superbly parried by Camp.

Rangers broke at pace almost immediately, with Blackstock's glancing header drifting wide of the far post after an exceptional Ainsworth delivery.

The R's were enjoying the lion's share of possession and territory by now and when Rowlands broke through the last line of the Plymouth defence, his attempted lob from an acute angle finished a yard or so over the bar.

Sensing his side were on top, Gregory switched Rowlands and Cook, with the latter occupying a role in his preferred left wing position.

Blackstock glanced yet another header wide on 78 minutes, before the visitors were reduced to ten men, when Nalis was shown his second yellow card for kicking the ball away in frustration at the award of a Rangers free-kick.

Paul Furlong entered the fray with 11 minutes remaining and it was he who went closest to clinching all three points for the R's late on, only to see his half-volley tipped round by McCormick on the stroke of full-time QPR

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