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Monday, December 29, 2008

QPR vs Watford: Reports, Managerial Comments and QPR Buying Plans

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The Times/Gary Jacob - Paulo Sousa set to buy after dismal display
- Their wealthy owners and romantic history conjure powerful dreams, but truth pays no regard to sentiment and the depressing fact remains that 12 years and nine managers after Queens Park Rangers dropped down from the top flight, on this evidence, they are not equipped for a return. It might one day feature as a Trivial Pursuit question that they ended the inaugural Premier League in 1992-93 as London’s best club, but what they would give now simply to mix it with the likes of Fulham.
- Their desire to stake a position in the play-offs places overflowed into impatience, predictable use of the long ball and a lack of composure. Abysmal passing and control, ballooned crosses, punts from the back and little threat in front of goal - it is hard to imagine that there has been a more dismal match in the Coca-Cola Championship this season
- Watford, in the thick of a relegation battle and run down by one of the worst defensive records in the division, can, at least, be excused their determined, if poor, display.
- Paulo Sousa has earmarked a list of bargain players to sign in the transfer window, but maybe the QPR first-team coach should start by identifying his best team. For the second match running, the Portuguese made six changes, offering the excuse that tiredness can lead to injuries.
- Heidar Helguson fluffed a header when unmarked from a free kick ten yards out and forced a decent save from Scott Loach after a goalmouth scramble in the closing moments. “We never had the killer instinct,” Sousa said. “The owners and I both know what we want. We never had the confidence to control the game.”
- Watford’s best chance fell to Lee Williamson, when the midfield player found himself unmarked six yards from goal, but poor control allowed Radek Cerny to grab the ball. Late on, Williamson’s curled free kick struck the inside of the post.
- “To be a success, we need those painful moments,” Brendan Rodgers, the Watford manager, said. “If we won here, no one could have argued.” The Times

Daily Mail/Ben Hunt - QPR 0 Watford 0: Rangers denied valuable points by stubborn Hornets
- Queens Park Rangers will need to tempt the chequebook out of co-owner Flavio Briatore’s pocket if his Premier League dream is to become a reality.
Hot on the heels of Boxing Day’s draw away to Charlton, Rangers served up this dire goalless draw for their fans at Loftus Road.
Head coach Paulo Sousa is hoping his transfer targets come thick and fast in January to boost any chances of muscling in on the promotion race.
- Scramble: Heidar Helguson (left) and Dexter Blackstock (second left) of QPR battled to win the ball against Ross Jenkins (centre) and Lee Williamson (second right)
- The Portuguese said: ‘We have identified our targets. If we get them in January, then it will be OK because it will increase our quality.
‘I am a little bit disappointed with the first half today. In the second half, we made some adjustments and we started to create a few opportunities.
- 'We just need a killer instinct.’
Lee Williamson’s free-kick against the woodwork in the second half for Watford was as close as either side went to breaking the deadlock.
- QPR’s best chances fell to Heidar Helguson but the striker could not find a way past goalkeeper Scott Loach.
Watford manager Brendan Rodgers said:‘We were terrific. A point was the least we deserved.’ Mail

- Paulo Sousa believes the R's deserved more than a point following the 0-0 draw against local rivals Watford.
- Sousa watched on from the dug-out as Rangers went close on a number of occasions in the second half, only to be denied by Hornets custodian Scott Loach.
- "I was disappointed with the first half, but more than pleased with the second period," he told www.qpr.co.uk.
- "We conceded a lot to a good Watford side in the first 25 minutes, but after that we controlled the match.
- "We made a change at half-time and the intensity of our performance improved.
- "We had good chances to win the match in the second half, but the ball just didn't go in for us."
- Sousa explained his decision to make six changes to the R's starting XI for the second time in as many matches, adding: "The nature of this Championship forces you to make turnovers.
- "It is a squad game and I am pleased with how all the players have performed in the last two matches.
- "I think we deserved more than the two points we got against Charlton and Watford, but we are still on a positive run."
- Sousa admitted he is looking to strengthen his First Team squad in January, but isn't over-concerned if he doesn't.
- "We have indentified the areas we want to strengthen and hopefully we can bring in the players we want," he said.
- "It is not a case of having to strengthen, but we would like to add some players in one or two areas. Even if we can't, I am confident we can push on in the New Year, because I have every confidence in this group of players.
- "We go back to playing one match a week in the New Year, which will allow me to implement my ideas on the training pitch and that is very good for us." QPR

Telegraph/Gemma Clarke - QPR manager Paulo Sousa laments lack of 'killer instinct’ - Queens Park Rangers (0) 0 Watford (0) 0
- QPR manager Paulo Sousa admitted after a game of stalemate that his side had lacked the “killer instinct” to finish off struggling Watford.
- Yet it was the visitors who had been in control for the first half, creating several good chances. Jon Harley whipped in a cross from the left but it fizzed past Lee Williamson and Tamas Priskin as goalkeeper Radek Cerny did enough to put them off.
- Williamson was in a good position to put Watford ahead again but in controlling Ross Jenkins’ cross with his chest, he gave Cerny a chance to come out and collect. A corner from Williamson was flicked on by Adrian Mariappa to Priskin at the far post, but the Hungarian headed wide.
- As the first half drew to a close, Watford came close again as Williamson’s powerful, curling shot from outside the area edged past the post.
- It was enough for Sousa to make a change at half-time, bringing on Dexter Blackstock for Lee Cook. QPR went on the attack from the restart. Patrick Agyemang fired in a shot from close range but his effort rebounded off keeper Scott Loach’s face and a befuddled Blackstock missed the chance to follow up. Agyemang later miscued a chance during a goalmouth scramble.
- Watford came back to life with just under 10 minutes left as the impressive Williamson beat Cerny with a powerful free-kick, but he was denied by the post. The last chance fell to QPR, via a Watford defender, as Mariappa deflected Hogan Ephraim’s cross inches over the crossbar.
- “I was a bit disappointed with the first half,” Sousa admitted. “Watford have a lot of quality and mobility. In the second half we changed one player and started to take control and create opportunities. But sometimes you need a killer instinct.”
- Watford manager Brendan Rogers said: “I’m really pleased. I thought we were terrific, especially first half. It was always going to be a difficult game, they are very strong at home and have a very good manager. A point was certainly the least we deserved.” Telegraph

Sky/Rob Carragher - Sousa ready to invest
Rangers looking to remedy failings as Rodger lauds his Hornets

-QPR manager Paulo Sousa has admitted that there is room for improvement from his side after they played out a goalless draw with Watford at Loftus Road.
- Sousa fielded a much changed side as he attempted to rotate his squad, but the fresh legs did not reap reward as they failed to defeat the Championship strugglers.
- "I'm a little bit disappointed with the first half," Sousa conceded.
"At half-time we made some adjustments and the team then began to control the game and make some chances. Sometimes a team just needs to have that killer instinct.
"I made a lot of changes because we had two games in two days and I have faith in my squad. I didn't want to risk some important players getting injured."
Different systems
The failure of the backup players has prompted calls for January investment, and Sousa has revealed that signings have been lined up.
"We have identified our targets," he added.
"We know what we want and if it's possible to get them in January I will be happy, but if they don't come I am happy with the players I have and happy to work with them.
"I want to have the opportunity to play with different systems and give us the possibility to play in different ways."
Meanwhile, recently appointed Watford boss Brendan Rodgers has hailed his team's performance against one of the league's better teams.
"I was really pleased. I thought we were terrific - especially in the first half," beamed Rodgers.
"We came to a difficult place to play and I felt we were very good. The second half was a bit more even but a point was still the least we deserved.
"It was very important that we kept a clean sheet. We're the fourth highest scorers in the division but if you look at the defensive side, that's not been so good.
"If we're going to aspire to be better then we have to defend better as a team, and today we did very well.
"Anyone who has watched us recently will see there has been an improvement." Sky

Watford Official Site - RODGERS: "WE WERE THE BETTER SIDE"
- AFTER his side's 0-0 draw with QPR at Loftus Road, Brendan Rodgers emphasised his satisfaction at the boys' performance, especially following the Boxing Day defeat to Bristol City.
- "I'm very pleased," said the Watford manager who presided over his first away point as boss.
- "I felt since I've come in, we've made progress and some of the performances have been very good.
- "I was aware defensively we weren't strong as a team, and you can't always blame the back four and the goalkeeper; you defend as a team."
- "We were very good the other way and I felt that we were making great progress until the Bristol City game, and at this level, the minute you take your foot off the pedal slightly, you'll get punished, and that's what happened to us."
- With the Northern Irishman's wish of a clean sheet coming true, he praised the players' attitude at Loftus Road.
- "When we're defensively strong and the motivation is good, we play a terrific quality of football.
- "I thought we looked strong defensively today. I've talked to the players about my idea of always dominating and controlling a game, but sometimes you can control the game without the ball.
- "In the first half we were dominant but when you play against good teams, there will be moments when you don't have the ball, but you can still be comfortable as long as your organisation and structures are right, and that's what I felt we were.
- "At half time I felt there was only one team that could win it and that was us.
- "In the second half it was more even and we started playing more on the counter attack, because they were being a little more direct and offensive.
- "We nearly nicked it back at the end with a wonderful free-kick from Lee Williamson."
- And for Rodgers, the only way is up from here.
- "I'm happy for the players in that they've grown the resilience and quality to put in a performance like that a couple of days after one of what was clearly the worst performances since I've been here.
- "That shows that when they're right on it, that they can be as good as any team. I think today, that you could argue that we were the better side here in the 90 minutes."
- With the Yellow Army in full force supporting the players, Rodgers said how important the win was for the fans too.
- "Today, I was pleased for the supporters, they must be pleased too. They were here with a great support, they came to roar us on and the least we wanted to give them was a point and we did." Watford

- See Also: QPR Drop Two Points at home to Watford

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