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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Next: QPR at Sheffield Wednesday (Tonight)

-- Comparing What QPR and Sheffield Wednesday are Charging for their 3rd FA Cup Ties: QPR against Championship team, Burnley. Sheffield Wednesday against Premiership team, Fulham.

- Visit the QPR Report Messageboard for additional football articles and for posters' perspectives: Feel free to offer your own! See:
-- One Year Ago, Jim Langey Died (RIP): The Eulogies & Memories
-- Nineteen Years Ago, Don Howe's Managerial Home Debut - and Les Ferdinand's First QPR Goals: Against Chelsea!
-- Credit Crunch/High Prices Makes Fan Less Tolerant
--Premier League's Richard Scudmore Faces Parliament
-- FA Set to Investigate Non-League Game Over
"Unusual Betting Patterns"

QPR play Sheffield Wednesday, tonight (Tuesday) at Hillsbrough.

QPR with two away league goals all season; the last being by Martin Rowlands in mid-September! QPR have had at some great victories at Hillsbrough (think the season's finale, with QPR winning promotion under Ian Holloway; and under Terry Venables, Simon Stainrod's hatrick) - and some terrible defeats (Think 1-7 back under Jim Smith)!

- 12th placed Sheffield Wednesday (with 29 points; and a home record of 6 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats; scored 13 conceded 6 )take on 8th place QPR with 32 points (away record 1 win, 4 draws, 5 defeats, scored 2 conceded 11.)

Stats: Current Table .......Sheffield Wednesday Results....Sheffield Wednesday Squad....

- Previous Results: Head-to-Head Results

The two clubs last met, in March 2008 at Hillsbrough, with Wednesday winning 2-1 and QPR feeling robbed. QPR's team: Camp, Delaney, Stewart, Mancienne, Blackstock, Buzsaky (Balanta 75), Rowlands, Connolly, Agyemang, Vine (Ephraim 63), Leigertwood (Mahon 65). Subs: Pickens, Rehman. (Ephraim sent off in the 92nd minute). - Sheffield Wednesday 2 QPR 1: Match Reports

Previews of Tonight's Game:

Sheffield Wednesday Fan Site, OWLS ALIVE

- QPRNet/Ron Norris & Simon Skinner

- LoftforWords/Clive Whittingham Match Preview

South Yorkshire Star - By Paul Thompson - Chances are QPR will start scoring away from home soon
- WEDNESDAY tonight are bidding to cash in against the team with the worst away scoring record in the Championship.
QPR have netted only twice in their 10 away league games.
- They also have no goals to show from their last six trips – seven if you count a 1-0 defeat at Manchester United in the Carling Cup.
- New manager Paulo Sousa says after a 1-0 home win against leaders Wolves: "Our next two games are away, where our performances have not been so good.
- "But if my team create as many chances as they did against Wolves, then we will start to score goals away."
- Wednesday can still expect a significant test: despite that scoring record, QPR earned a 0-0 draw at Palace in their last away match and are eighth in the Championship table.
- Rangers have compensated for a shortage of away goals by being tight at the back: on their travels they have conceded only 11 goals – only two teams have let in fewer than that.
- The Owls remain the team with the highest number of away goals conceded, 26, but a haul of nine points puts them 17th in the away table, four places higher than Rangers.
- Martin Rowlands was the last QPR player to score an away goal – a winner at Norwich on September 17 – and he was the difference against Wolves last Saturday with a superb, dipping strike.
- "It was a great performance but more importantly we needed three points," says Sousa.
- "I'm proud of the players, they are working very hard and they have beaten the team at the top of the league.
- "When you have time to work with the players the team becomes better, and you could see that in that game."
- Sousa, only 38, was appointed last month after the exit of Iain Dowie.
- The former Portugal midfield star won 51 caps and spent five years as assistant to the then national team manager Luis Felipe Scolari.
- Sousa's clubs in his playing days included Benfica, Juventus, Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund.
- His QPR side's top scorer with nine goals is Dexter Blackstock, who got two in a 3-2 defeat at Hillsborough two seasons ago.
- All of Blackstock's goals this season have been at home except for one in the Carling Cup in a 3-2 win at Swindon.
Wednesday beat Rangers 2-1 in March, coming from behind with goals by Graham Kavanagh and Deon Burton.
- Adam Bolder, who was on loan from Loftus Road, was ineligible for that game and has not been in Rangers' recent plans – he has been out on loan at Millwall.
- QPR's second stab this week at improving their away record will come at Plymouth on Saturday. The Star

- Manager Paulo Sousa is relishing taking charge of the task to break Rangers' away day scoring hoodoo, as the R's travel to Hillsborough to lock horns with Sheffield Wednesday tonight (Tuesday).
- Despite not scoring on the road since a Martin Rowlands thunderbolt secured all three points against Norwich City back in mid-September, Sousa is convinced this particular unwelcome statistic will soon be a thing of the past.
- Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, the Portuguese boss is optimistic goals are just around the corner for his in-form side.
- "When you have time to work with the players, the team becomes better, and you could see that against Wolves. But our next two fixtures are away, where our performances have been not so good," he said.
- "Of course, I am waiting for the next match so we can change that.
- "(Against Wolves) we showed that we can create chances and that's something I've been working on a lot. When you win, things come into place. You are relaxed, more confident and individual quality shines through. That includes our strikers and I have no doubt that they will score goals."
- Saturday's 1-0 victory over table-topping Wolverhampton Wanderers gives Rangers a platform from which to build a push for the play-off places, but Sousa knows that picking up points on the road is vital if the Club is to achieve its targets.
- But the former Portugal international believes the R's performance in the recent goalless draw at Crystal Palace bodes well for the future.
- "The team has a great intensity to it at home, but it needs to replicate that away from home as well. Against Palace we did very well," he said.
- "For 60 minutes we controlled the game and that's not easy against a team like Palace. We had the better opportunities to win the game and we haven't scored on the road for a while, but we are always working on that and we will score eventually.
- "Through hard work, we will achieve our targets and one immediate target is to score away from home. I think we are doing the most important thing already and that is creating chances and again you will see that in the next match."
- Rangers could be without the services of top-scorer Dexter Blackstock for the trip to the Steel City, after the striker was forced off against Wolves owing to a back injury.
- However, Fitz Hall is available once again following the completion of a three match suspension. QPR

Sheffield Wednesday Official Site - Consistency is key for Laws
- Brian Laws has been pleased to secure seven points from the last three Owls matches and insists a consistent team line-up has been key to that success.
- The Wednesday manager has had to make few changes recently and the fact the team have secured positive results in that time has encouraged Laws no end.
- Injury has seen Jermaine Johnson and Steve Watson unavailable but Tony McMahon's return to Middlesbrough allowed Frank Simek to return at Southampton on Saturday. Otherwise though, Laws' personnel have largely remained the same.
- "I am trying to get a settled side as much as I can and the evidence is there for people to see that when we've had a settled side the better our results have been," Laws said.
- "In the last three games we have only made one real change and that has been forced upon us so we know that we can achieve a good run of results with the players we have fit at the moment."
There were no fresh injuries for Laws to report on Monday morning and he is unlikely to be forced into wholesale changes as Queens Park Rangers come to town on Tuesday evening.
"Everybody has reported back in ok after Saturday's game," the manager said. "We've got one or two sniffles around but other than that there is a bit of tiredness from Frankie Simek and we would all expect that because it was his first 90 minutes for a year.
"The 17 players I had with me on Saturday are there for the game against QPR and the added bonus is that Steve Watson (hip) looks like he will be available to be added to the squad."
Laws went on to praise the exploits of Marcus Tudgay, who has scored in his last three games from right midfield but wants to see more goals from all areas of his team.
"Marcus is a fantastic player, he is good to work with and an excellent pro," Laws beamed. "He has the attributes which any manager would die to work with. The fact that he will play wherever necessary to be in the side without moaning about it is an excellent quality too.
"Without doubt, his best position is as a striker but, as it stands, until we have everybody fit he is going to have to play in a deeper role whether it is on the right or left. Whatever role he is asked to play he has done very well and he certainly hasn't been shy to score from the right-hand side. I know he wants to get into the striker position but he is also happy to be contributing to good results for the team."
Laws continued: "I'd like to see our other midfielders score a few more goals. James O'Connor has certainly showed throughout his career that he can get goals and Sean McAllister has a habit of arriving late into the penalty area. That is a positive aspect of his game and if he keeps getting into those positions he will score more goals.
"I want more goals from everybody though, it's not just the likes of Clarke, Jeffers and Tudgay who need to score but our defenders and midfielders as well when they have the opportunities."
On Tuesday's visitors to Hillsborough, Laws expects a tough test from a talented squad pushing for a top six place.
"I watched QPR's game against Wolves and they deserved to win again," Laws insisted. "They are the rich team of the country and when you look at the squad of players at their disposal it is fantastic.
"They are probably underachieving a little bit because their expectations are to be in the top six. They have got a chance to be in there but they have started slowly.
"I have seen that their quality is starting to shine through now and they deservedly beat Wolves at home on Saturday. They will be a real threat to us, especially from set plays so we are going to have to make sure we defend properly." Sheffield Wednesday

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