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Monday, February 11, 2008

QPR's Southampton Win: Further Match Reports

Daily Mail/Ian Gibb - Luigi talking Rangers out of trouble
Luigi De Canio still needs an interpreter, like his Italian compatriot Fabio Capello, but the QPR boss's players are getting the message — and the fans speak his language, too. Striker Rowan Vine, rejected by Southampton as a trainee, masterminded this win against his first club and said: 'The manager has got an interpreter so he gets his points across and he is a passionate man.
"A lot of times you can tell what he wants just by his actions. You see the look on his face and know he is serious about certain things. He has brought a lot of passion to the club."
So much so that the Rangers players are already discussing promotion, yet when Vine arrived on loan in October they were rock bottom and looked doomed. Vine added: "It would be a massive turnaround to make the play-offs.
"Now we are above Saints and everyone is talking about the play-offs. When I first arrived on loan they hadn't won in the first eight games, lost the ninth and at last got three points in the 10th. We were still in the bottom three. I thought it was going to be a grind.
"We have done brilliantly to get off the bottom. There is a feeling in the dressing room that we don't want to get beaten and we are looking solid."
De Canio must have feared the worst in the first minute when keeper Lee Camp skidded out of his area with the ball in his hands and Darren Powell put Southampton ahead from Adam Hammill's resulting free-kick.
Bradley Wright-Phillips and Stern John contrived to miss simple chances that would have finished the contest.
Vine then cut through the Saints defence to give Martin Rowlands the equaliser and began the move for Patrick Agyemang's first goal for a 2-1 half-time lead.
And when Jermaine Wright blundered for the second time by handing Agyemang his seventh goal in only five games, QPR were in the clear to claim revenge for a 3-0 defeat at Loftus Road. Certainly, John's late goal was no consolation for Saints.
De Canio loved the massed travelling fans singing his name, saying: 'They are as passionate as me about the club and it makes me full of pride to hear them. It shows the relationship and feeling that has built between us."
But ask him about being only six points from the play-offs and he replies: "How far are we from the bottom three? If we are moving further away from that I'm happy."
Southampton, down to 18th, couldn't be in worse shape mentally to go to high-flying Stoke tomorrow but co-manager Jason Dodd insists he and colleague John Gorman still believe their bright, attacking style can work — despite the appalling errors at both ends.
Dodd said: "We are confident in the system. If we weren't, we'd start playing 4-4-1-1 or going out with a defensive mind. But we feel we've got the players who are good enough and Stoke might be the place to find out if they can react the right way to this disappointment." Mail

Telegraph/Huw Turbervill - Stern John haunted by costly miss
To say everything went downhill for Southampton after Stern John's stunning miss would be an understatement. They had taken the lead after 57 seconds and, with 36 minutes gone, found themselves with three players up front and two defenders to beat.
Jason Euell's cross landed perfectly for John. He had all the time in the world but, from 12 yards, blazed the ball 12 yards over. It was extraordinarily nonchalant for a striker with such a good record. He had only two minutes to reflect how costly that might be, as Martin Rowland finished neatly.
Worse followed before half-time. A cross bounced over Jermaine Wright and Patrick Agyemang, in phenomenal form since leaving Preston last month, volleyed it in.
A defensive mix-up then let Agyemang in for his seventh goal in five games.
Southampton's misery was complete when their captain, Youssef Safri, kicked Agyemang and was shown a red card.
That they scored in the first minute, through Darren Powell, and in injury time, through John, at last, became academic.
Rowan Vine, who was at Southampton as a teenager, had sympathy for John. "The ball bobbled and he had more time than he thought, but if that had gone in it would have been different," he said. "If you don't take your chances, they'll haunt you."
Match details
Southampton (4-4-2): Davis; Thomas (Viafara 52), Powell, Davies, Wright; Hammill (Saganowski 46), Safri, Euell, Surman; Wright-Phillips (Lallana 68), John.
Substitutes not used: Bialkowski, Idiakez.
Goals: Powell (1), John (90)
Booked: Powell, Viafara.
Sent off: Safri.
QPR (4-4-2): Camp; Mancienne, Rehman, Connolly, Delaney; Lee (Buzsaky 46), Mahon, Rowlands, Ephraim (Leigertwood 83); Vine, Agyemang (Blackstock 79).
Substitutes not used: Pickens, Stewart.
Goals: Rowlands 38, Agyemang 45, 60.
Booked: Buzsaky, Delaney.
Referee: A Taylor (Manchester). Telegraph

Boss delight as striker gets his Rs in gear Southampton 2 QPR 3
Patrick Agyemang grabbed his seventh goal in five matches since his £350,000 transfer from Preston and then got a blast from manager Luigi De Canio.
Powerful Agyemang is only now at 27 beginning to fulfil the potential he showed as a teenager at Wimbledon and De Canio wants to know why.
Asked through his interpreter why Agyemang has suddenly become so lethal, De Canio did not hold back.
He said: "Patrick should thank me. He should ask himself why he is scoring goals now and not so many before."
Agyemang's career tally stands at 56 league goals from 292 appearances and four of his eleven this season have come against Southampton, having hit two for Preston in a 5-1 win.
Striker Rowan Vine reckons it is no surprise that Rangers have won five of their last seven league matches since De Canio started his Italian revolution at Loftus Road.
Vine said: "He has to work through his interpreter at the moment but he gets his point across with great passion. Language does not matter.
"He just has to shoot you a look for him to get his message through to us.
We know exactly what is expected from us from the expression on his face."
Vine, discarded by Saints as a 13-year-old when Alan Ball was manager, reckons he made the right choice in stepping down a division from Birmingham. He said: "I think I read the script right. We have been bottom of the division this season and now we are thinking in terms of the play-offs. It is not beyond us.
"I have no regrets about moving. When Alex McLeish became manager at Birmingham he made it clear to me he wanted to bring in his own players.
"There has been a massive turnaround at Rangers. We have the mentality to win games and if we carry on this good run who knows what we can achieve?"
Southampton acting boss Jason Dodd refused to condemn leading scorer Stern John for a contender for miss of the season when Saints were leading 1-0.
Dodd said: "Had he scored then it could have changed the whole match. But Stern is big enough and brave enough to take the stick he got from the crowd.
"Stern is not the type of guy to hide and he stuck at his task and got a goal near the end.
But missed chances are costing us dearly. We gave QPR three soft goals and paid a heavy price."
Darren Powell and John scored for Southampton in the first and last minutes either side of Agyemang's double and another from Martin Rowlands. Mirror

Also: Earlier Compilation of Reports and Comments

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