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Saturday, November 08, 2008

QPR-Cardiff: Post Match Comments and Reports...Briatore and Ecclestone's Pre-Match Involvement

- Gareth Ainsworth praised the R's resilience, as Gavin Mahon's late header clinched maximum points for the hosts against nine-man Cardiff City.
- Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, the R's Caretaker Manager said: "It's a fantastic result.
"The lads kept believing right to the end. I never doubted them.
"I think we got the rub of the green with the first sending off, but to be fair to the lads, they kept going and Gavin Mahon came up with a fantastic header to win us the three points."
Ainsworth's three second half substitutions were praised by the nations media after the full-time whistle, but the man himself chose to divert the attention elsewhere.
"I went in the dressing room afterwards and told all the lads they played their part - the 16 that were in the squad and the staff as well," he said.
"Each and every member of staff - from the bottom to the very top - have backed me and the QPR dressing room is a very happy place right now." Ainsworth did reserve special praise for his match-winner, Mahon, however, commenting: "Gavin's been left out a few times recently, but he's the ultimate professional and I'm delighted that he's come up trumps with the winner today."
Ainsworth added: "The sending off's helped, but we still looked solid.
"We pride ourselves on our defending and we were always very confident we could keep a clean sheet.
"Of course we'd have liked to have scored a few more, but 1-0 is as good as 5-0 for me and we've got the three points on the board and closed the gap on the top-six.
"I'm a very proud man to be leading QPR - and tonight is very special for me against one of my former Clubs." QPR


Cardiff boss Dave Jones was furious with referee Lee Probert after seeing his side lose two men and their unbeaten away record with a 1-0 defeat at QPR.
The Bluebirds played for an hour without their captain Darren Purse following his straight red card for a late tackle on Lee Cook.
They held out until 10 minutes from time, when substitute Gavin Mahon headed QPR's winner, and then had full-back Miguel Comminges sent off for dissent, his second bookable offence.
"They talk about respect but how much respect for the game did the ref have?" said Jones
"Purse was never a sending-off and Miguel talked to the linesman and got sent off for it. If referees make decisions like that all season it will be crazy.
"What's the point of appealing? We won't get any joy because they are a law unto themselves.
"The referee and his assistants have to look at themselves. Is he good enough to referee at this level? I say no. His performance was not acceptable. Even Gareth Ainsworth said it was not a sending-off."
Ainsworth, still in caretaker charge of QPR following Iain Dowie's sacking last month, admitted: "I thought it looked harsh and I told Dave and Darren that."
Cardiff gave Michael Chopra his second debut after he rejoined the club on loan from Sunderland, and even with 10 men they looked the more likely to score.
But the striker, who hit 22 goals in 44 games in his first spell with the Welsh side, could not find a way through and it was left to Mahon, a 67th-minute substitute, to score the game's only goal with a superb header from Peter Ramage's cross.
QPR co-owners Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone - no strangers to late drama themselves following last weekend's climax to the Formula One season - were in attendance and even gave the players a pre-match pep talk.
"Flavio was in the dressing room with Bernie Ecclestone, motivating the players and geeing them up," explained Ainsworth.
"Flavio likes to be involved, he's a winner through and through in sport and it's fantastic to have him on board. And it's great to see Bernie Ecclestone here - he's a bit of a lucky charm for us at the moment.
"I have no problems with them being in the dressing room before the game and nor do the players."
Ainsworth, who expects to still be in charge when Rangers head to Manchester United in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, added: "Gavin came up with a fantastic header for us. We'll take the three points and we are well in touch with the top six." Sporting Life

Guardian/Paul Doyle - Mahon clips the wings of nine-man BluebirdsObserver report Match facts Championship
- Substitute Gavin Mahon headed an 83rd-minute winner against nine-man Cardiff to give QPR their fourth consecutive home win and enrich a match that for a long while dwelled well below the poverty line.
Caretaker manager Gareth Ainsworth's hopes of being entrusted with the job long-term had been dented in the last game, when Ipswich scored twice from set pieces at Portman Road to inflict Rangers' first defeat of his reign, and within 30 seconds of this match that failing resurfaced. Fortunately for Ainsworth, Cardiff centre-half Roger Johnson headed the ball over the bar after meeting it unchallenged from a corner.
Rangers' primary problem in the campaign so far, however, has been at the other end; going into this game no team outside the Championship's bottom two had mustered fewer goals this season. Early on there was little indication that this was about to improve, as shoddy control by Dexter Blackstock killed an opportunity created by a deft delivery from Emmanuel Ledesma.
Cardiff looked more sprightly up front despite the loss through injury of the division's top scorer, Ross McCormack, and his trusty sidekick, Jay Bothroyd. To compensate, manager Dave Jones had brought Michael Chopra back to the club on loan from Sunderland, and the man who hit 22 goals for the Bluebirds during the 2006-07 season came close to opening the scoring in the 14th minute. After wriggling free of his markers, he fired a low shot just wide.
After a scruffy start, Cardiff were the first to introduce finesse to proceedings when, in the 21st minute, Peter Whittingham and Stephen McPhail exchanged a classy one-two before a delicate curler from the latter forced Radek Cerny into a fine fingertip save.
Such elegance was sadly lacking six minutes later, however, when visiting captain Darren Purse went for a bouncing ball but arrived fractionally later than Lee Cook, whom he greeted with an unsightly clatter. Most likely maladroit rather than malicious, but the defender was shown a straight red card.
Despite their numerical advantage, QPR did not threaten until the 38th minute and even then Ledesma's 25-yard volley was too weak to trouble Tom Heaton. Their ideas deficit was highlighted two minutes later, when Cook was dispossessed while dawdling on the edge of his own area. Gavin Rae spared him by slashing over the bar.
At half-time, Ainsworth evidently instructed his charges to play with more width and right-back Peter Ramage began to venture down his flank regularly, hitting the outside of the post with a misdirected cross in the 48th minute.
Yet Cardiff were not cowed and continued to carry a threat of sorts. Eddie Johnson was the less lively of their forwards, but he did draw a decent save from Cerny with a low, long-ranger in the 49th minute.
However, the game needed inspiration from somewhere. Ainsworth hoped Akos Buzsaky might provide it and, after coming on in the 54th minute, he almost delivered, racing on to a ball only to blaze it into the stands from 14 yards. Moments later, Eddie Johnson shanked a shot wide at the other end.
Finally, in the 81st minute, moments after Cardiff were denied what they felt to be a penalty for a perceived foul on Chopra by Fitz Hall, the home side snatched a winner from the most rudimentary of moves. Ramage boomed in a diagonal cross and Mahon planted a fine header into the top corner.
Four minutes from time, Miguel Comminges became the second visitor to be dismissed when he spoke out of turn to the referee and received a second booking. Guardian

Mail -- QPR 1 Cardiff 0: Super-sub Mahon wins it as mega-rich QPR see off nine-man Cardiff

Gavin Mahon climbed off the bench to sink nine-man Cardiff as QPR got back to winning ways in the Coca-Cola Championship.
City, who lost captain Darren Purse to a straight red card in the first half, looked set to hold out for a point with Rangers toiling in attack.
But in front of co-owners Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore - no strangers to late drama following last weekend's climax to the Formula One season - Mahon popped up to secure the points with 10 minutes remaining.
-Cardiff full-back Miguel Comminges was then booked twice in the space of two minutes to compound their misery.
Michael Chopra, who rejoined Cardiff on loan from Sunderland this week after snubbing QPR, worked hard up front but could not find a way through on his second debut as his side slumped to a first defeat on the road this season.
Caretaker boss Gareth Ainsworth, who tasted defeat for the first time at Ipswich last week, now takes his side to Manchester United in the Carling Cup on the back of a morale-boosting win - although on this evidence Sir Alex Ferguson will not have any sleepless nights between now and Tuesday.
The Bluebirds almost went ahead in the opening minute when Roger Johnson met Peter Whittingham's corner with a firm header which flew just over the top.
Chopra got his first sight of goal in the 12th minute, turning in the area and firing an angled drive wide of Radek Cerny's right post.
Stephen McPhail came even closer 10 minutes later after Whittingham reached the by-line and cut the ball back, the midfielder's first-time shot forcing a fine fingertip save from Cerny.

But City were reduced to 10 men after 28 minutes when Purse went in high, and fractionally late, on Cook and was instantly dismissed by referee Lee Probert.
Emmanuel Ledesma forced a save from City goalkeeper Tom Heaton with a volley from outside the area, while Whittingham fizzed a shot just over the crossbar as the half drew to a close.
After the break, Cerny saved from Eddie Johnson and the on-loan Fulham forward also dragged a shot wide.
Samuel Di Carmine fired over for the hosts, while a Peter Ramage cross had Heaton back-pedalling but the keeper just managed to stop the ball from crossing the line.
Heaton then palmed away a fierce drive from substitute Akos Buzsaky, with Patrick Agyemang flagged offside as he attempted to convert the rebound.
For City, Chopra felt he should have had a penalty when he was clumsily felled by Damion Stewart, and Roger Johnson headed wide
But it was Rangers who secured the points in the 80th minute when Mahon rose highest to nod Ramage's deep cross back past Heaton and into the net.
Comminges, who was booked for a foul on Buzsaky moments earlier, then saw red for dissent to cap a rotten afternoon for the visitors. Mail

See also: QPR Shatters Cardiff's Unbeaten Away Record: The Two Clubs Official reports

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