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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dowie Not Planning Sell Camp!...Dowie's Urgent Striker Desire...Interesting Statistical Look at QPR Season Starts....Ainsworth View

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Camp confusion
QPR boss Iain Dowie has no plans to get rid of Lee Camp, despite reports that the goalkeeper has been put up for sale.
Rangers' sporting director Gianni Paladini stated earlier this week that Camp, who has not featured in the league since the summer arrival of Radek Cerny, was available for transfer.
But Dowie insisted: "I haven't put him on the transfer list. Lee trains hard every day and I've got a good relationship with him.
"Obviously he's disappointed that he isn't in the team at the moment, but I expect him to crack on and keep working hard, the same as anyone else in the squad."
Camp, 24, was one of QPR's most consistent performers last season after joining the club in a £300,000 transfer from Derby.
Rangers are reported to be eyeing Peterborough's England under-21 keeper Joe Lewis as a replacement if Camp leaves. Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky Kilburn Times - Dowie's forward thinking
IAIN Dowie has urged the QPR board to sign a striker as soon as possible and end his side's goal drought.
Rangers, whose squad includes just two established forwards in Dexter Blackstock and Patrick Agyemang, have found the net only once in their last four Championship games.
Now Dowie has told sporting director Gianni Paladini he needs a Premier League frontman on loan, but the Rs boss does not anticipate any new arrivals ahead of Saturday's home clash with bottom club Nottingham Forest.
"I've always said we were short in a couple of areas and if we could, we'd like to bring another forward in," Dowie told the Times.
"We've had scouts at games and we've got one or two irons in the fire, but - although things can change very quickly - at the moment we're a long way off from getting there

"Now we've got to concentrate on what we do against Forest and it's important we get back to the excellent home form we had until recently. Even against Derby we didn't play that well, but neither did they and we still had the better chances - and we should have got more out of the Blackpool and Birmingham games than we did.
"The fact is we're still one point off the play-offs and in the last 16 of the Carling Cup without really spending any money."
On paper, the Forest game should represent an ideal opportunity for QPR to recapture their early season form, with Colin Calderwood's side struggling to adapt after finishing second in League One last season.
The Midlanders, who suffered relegation the last time they visited Loftus Road in 2005, have lost six of their last seven league games, but Dowie is backing Calderwood to reverse their fortunes.
"I know Colin well and he'll be smarting a bit with what's gone on this season, but it takes time to settle into this league," added Dowie.
"They've got two centre-forwards who have caught the eye in Rob Earnshaw and Nathan Tyson and they've also got a number of good young players there like James Perch and Lewis McGugan, so there's a good balance.
"We'll treat Forest with the ultimate regard and do our homework all week. I'm sure Colin will be fine and I'll wish him all the best after Saturday."
Apart from long-term absentee Rowan Vine, Rangers have no injury concerns, but defender Damion Stewart is likely to be rested after a gruelling international double header.
Kaspars Gorkss is expected to play his second game in four days for Latvia on Wednesday night against Israel, so Matthew Connolly is the prime candidate to step into central defence alongside Fitz Hall.
Dowie is likely to change the side around again three days later when QPR make their first ever trip to the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City (kick-off 7.45pm). Kilburn Times

An interesting analysis by Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Stats rarely tell the full story
THE first 10 games of a league campaign are often regarded as a fairly reliable litmus test for a club's chances of success.

And, with QPR dropping to 11th place in the Championship after picking up just one point from their last four outings, it's perhaps understandable that fans have begun to question their team's capabilities.

Or is it? A glance at Rangers' recent record suggests that, in fact, the first 10 matches have little bearing on their prospects for the remainder of the season.

This is QPR's 10th season at this level since relegation from the Premier League and the current team's total of 14 points is better than the average return from the first 10 games in each of those campaigns.

Statistically, the Rs' best start came in the aftermath of promotion in 2004/05, when Ian Holloway's side wobbled initially before embarking on a run of seven straight victories.

Ultimately, a lack of depth in the squad cost Rangers the chance of a play-off push and that winning streak proved to be insurance against a relegation battle.

Hopes were high again the following season and QPR garnered 15 points from their first 10 games - yet Holloway's protracted sacking destabilised the club and, although never in danger, they eventually finished just one place above the drop zone.

It was a similar story back in the autumn of 1997, when Stewart Houston had splashed out big money on John Spencer, Gavin Peacock and Mike Sheron and Loftus Road was brimming with confidence.

Houston's team won five of their first 10 games and reached second place in the table - only for the wins and the funds to dry up at an alarming rate and they staved off relegation by just one point.

The next year Rangers could only muster six points in 10 games, but they somehow beat the drop on goal difference thanks to an extraordinary 6-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on the last day.

By contrast, when the Rs' luck finally ran out and they plunged into the third tier in 2000/01, they had actually collected a reasonable return of 11 points from their first 10 games that season.

So what does any of this prove? Well, the most significant statistic when you compare Rangers' recent history is that their best finishes have come in a season WITHOUT a change of manager.

Gerry Francis led them to ninth place in 1999/2000 and Holloway's side ended the campaign 11th in 2004/05. Every other recent season has been a struggle.

Houston's sacking in 1997, Ray Harford's nine-month reign in 1998, the dismissals of Holloway and Gary Waddock... even with the significant investment that followed John Gregory's exit last season, Rangers could only finish 14th.

The message is very clear to those grumbling at Iain Dowie's selections and systems at the moment. Chopping and changing has never got QPR anywhere in the past.

Despite hitting a bumpy patch of late, Dowie has organised his team into a determined unit that can pull off wins at Norwich (with 10 men) and Aston Villa, the kind of results they would never have achieved in recent years.

Coupled with the flowing football we saw at the start of the season, that is reason enough for fans to cut him a little slack. Whether Dowie's bosses are acquainted with reason and common sense, though, is another matter. Kilburn Times

Gareth Ainsworth/Kilburn Times - Step on the Gaz
I'VE never known a footballer play better when he's being booed and I don't like to hear it - but I can understand why it happens sometimes.
If someone's not trying and it's perfectly obvious that he isn't giving 100 per cent, then voicing your opinion is probably justified. But I don't think you can confuse that with a player making a genuine mistake.
The whole issue has come up again because Ashley Cole was booed at Wembley the other day and, without discussing that particular incident too much, I'd like to point out a couple of things.
Throughout my career, I've never come across any player who wasn't giving his all - especially in my time at QPR - and if that was the case, he'd be dug out in training anyway.
Sometimes you get people joining in with booing just because of peer pressure - and David Beckham was a classic example of that 10 years ago.
He got booed everywhere after his red card in the World Cup, but he matured quickly despite that. I bet none of the people who booed Beckham did it when his free-kick took England to another World Cup finals a few years later.
Anyway, after yet another round of internationals, we're back to the nitty-gritty of league games with Nottingham Forest and then Swansea.
Forest have got plenty of firepower with the likes of Rob Earnshaw, Nathan Tyson and Lee Martin, the boy from Man United, so it's surprising that they're down where they are.
I think Forest were one of the victims of the Premiership parachute system - they ended up paying big wages in League One and had to have a bit of a revamp before they were able to start moving up again.
QPR have been there too, so we can empathise with Forest and I'm sure they'll find their feet soon, but hopefully not before we've shown them what we can do.
It's a game where we have to be looking for three points, not that it's going to be any easier than Birmingham was - that's how close the league is and how I think it's going to be all season.
Swansea's going to be tough - they've turned a few teams over already and it's clear that they're not the Swansea of old.
This side get the ball down and play, they've got a good lad up front in Jason Scotland and the new stadium warrants Championship football.
Their manager Roberto Martinez was my room-mate when we played at Walsall a few years back and it looks like he's had a big influence on the game in south Wales.
I should be able to speak a bit more Spanish with him now than I did at Walsall - and hopefully it'll be to offer my commiserations after we take the three points! Kilburn Times

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