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Monday, November 10, 2008

Ainsworth on Job and Briatore Involvement...Lee Cook on Ainsworth and Briatore...Ainsworth on Old Trafford...Lee Cook Proving Himself

Update: Meanwhile, twice-on-loan-to-QPR, Michael Mancienne again makes the Championship "Team of the Week". And a repost re Footballers and World War I

Gareth Ainsworth - South Wales Echo
“...The lads are backing me all the way and I am proud to be at the helm for QPR and tackling everything head on. We play at Manchester United in midweek and I won’t shy away from any challenge.
There has been no talk of time limits in my capacity as caretaker. We are going to Old Trafford and I will get on the coach as manager.
Our club owners, Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, were in the dressing room before the game. That’s not a problem. The final team is mine, the strategy is mine, substitutions mine. They want to keep an eye on their investment
.” WalesonLine

London Enquirer/Paul Warburton - Cook: Give Gareth the job
- Lee Cook believes Gareth Ainsworth should be handed the QPR manager's job on a permanent basis.
- Caretaker Ainsworth is taking a 20-strong party to Manchester United for the Carling Cup tie at Old Trafford tomorrow night, and his former roommate reckons he's done enough to end speculation about the next permanent boss.
- Cook said: "Maybe a win at United could clinch it for him - but it's going to be a tough, tough game. I love Gaz, and all the players are behind him."
- But although Cook joked he would check his contract to see what bonuses await if Rs prevail in the Theatre of Dreams, the winger would prefer a win over Burnley next Saturday if forced to choose.- He added: "The league game is more important. Burnley are above us, and a win against them could put us in the top five...." London Enquirer

TEAMTALK - Ainsworth relishing Fergie tussle
- QPR caretaker boss Gareth Ainsworth admits he will be pinching himself when he glances along the touchline at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.Just over three weeks ago, the veteran QPR winger was an occasional bench warmer and reserve team coach at Loftus Road.
But as caretaker boss following Iain Dowie's sacking last month, Ainsworth is now preparing to lock horns with Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United in the fourth round of the Carling Cup.
"I'll admit I will be in awe of him, he's a great manager," said the 35-year-old. "If you'd asked me a few weeks ago then not in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be pitting myself against him.
"It's going to be a massive challenge for us and an amazing experience for the boys. Some people say they won't play their first team but their second team is pretty good as well.
"We'll just take it as it comes. I'll be a very proud man to be in the opposite dug-out to Sir Alex, it will be a big moment in my career." Teamtalk

Daily Mail - I'll show Hodgson he was wrong by knocking Man United out the Cup, says QPR's Cook

QPR winger Lee Cook feels Tuesday’s Carling Cup tie at Manchester United can help him prove to Fulham boss Roy Hodgson that he was wrong to not give him a chance at Craven Cottage.
Lawrie Sanchez brought Cook, now 26, to Fulham in the summer of 2007 but a knee injury meant the highly-rated midfielder missed the first half of the season.
By the time he regained his fitness, Hodgson was at the helm and farmed Cook out on loan to Charlton.
The former Watford man eventually rejoined QPR this summer having never made an appearance for the Cottagers.
And having missed Rangers’ shock win at Aston Villa in the last round, he is now desperate to show Hodgson what he missed out on.

'Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance there after my injury,’ he said. ‘I’ve had to come out on loan and start again really.
'It’s disappointing that I wasn’t given a chance but I’m back at QPR now and trying to get them back into the Premier League where Fulham are. Maybe one day I can prove myself to them when I play them.’
And Cook feels, despite his setback, he does still have the talent to perform at the highest level.
He said: ‘Definitely. It’s a confidence thing. I know the ability is there, it’s just getting the confidence.
'And when you put the two together, confidence and ability, no one should be able to stop you.
'I’m hoping United play a decent side so you can test yourself against the best.
'They lost on Saturday, so Ferguson is probably going to try to get them going again.
'It could be one of those backlashes but we’ve got to go there and just perform the way we can.’
Questions have been asked about how much influence of QPR owner Flavio Briatore has in the Rangers dressing room but Cook feels the Italian’s pre-match visits alongside F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone are nothing to worry about.
‘It’s great. They were down in the dressing room before the game against Cardiff to give us a bit of a gee up and it was good,’ he said.
‘The players enjoy it. Flavio is very passionate about this place and he wants every player to show a lot of passion and commitment
'Show passion, show commitment, show you want to play for this football club. Hopefully now the F1 season is finished, Bernie will start getting involved a little bit more.’
Meanwhile, Rangers caretaker manager Gareth Ainsworth is relishing going head to head with Sir Alex Ferguson.
‘‘I’ll be a very proud man to be in the opposite dugout to Sir Alex Ferguson,’ said the former Wimbledon midfielder.
'I’ve played against United in my Wimbledon days but I’ve never met Sir Alex. I admit, I will be in awe. I think he’s a fantastic guy, a great manager and not in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be pitting my wits against him.’
And what about stealing a win at Old Trafford and taking QPR a step closer to Wembley?
‘We’re the underdogs, we’re not expected to win anything, but if we show the passion we showed against Cardiff, we can achieve anything at this club.
'We want to go there and give a good account of ourselves and who knows what can happen’, he added. Mail

[Views of Ainsworth as QPR Manager at QPR Report Messageboard

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