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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

QPR After Lita?...Sunderland Confirm QPR Miller Interest...Rowan Vine Hopes for Promotion-Push Comeback

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Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times -Rangers look for Lita fuel
- QPR will launch a seven-figure bid for Leroy Lita in an attempt to reignite their flagging challenge for a play-off place.
- Rangers are five points short of the top six following Saturday's 1-1 draw with Coventry - their third consecutive failure to win at home.
- Goals have been hard to come by all season and Lita, who is unable to dislodge Kevin Doyle and Noel Hunt from Reading's starting line-up, has caught the eye of late.
- With Patrick Agyemang currently on the sidelines after surgery on a thigh problem, Lita's pace and power would add an extra dimension to the Rs' front line.
- The striker, who came off the bench to score Reading's final goal in their 4-0 rout of Watford on Friday, turned down a move to Championship rivals Sheffield United earlier this week.
- The Blades had targeted Lita to replace James Beattie - who was sold to Stoke City on Monday - but they were unable to persuade him to move to Bramall Lane.
- Lita netted seven times in a successful loan spell at Norwich earlier in the season and the Carrow Road club are also interested in a permanent deal, but Royals boss Steve Coppell has publicly stated he has no desire to sell.
- Nevertheless, the 24-year-old forward is out of contract in the summer and an offer in excess of £1m would almost certainly tempt the Berkshire club to do business.
- Rangers reported on Monday that Agyemang's surgery had been successful, but the former Preston striker is still expected to be out of action for several weeks.
- That leaves Dexter Blackstock, Heidar Helguson and Samuel Di Carmine as their only available frontmen, with Angelo Balanta due to remain on loan at Wycombe for another month.
- The club have already spent £2.5m since the transfer window opened to sign Helguson, Wayne Routledge and Gary Borrowdale, as well as completing the formality of Lee Cook's permanent return from Fulham. Kilburn Times

Sunderland Official Site - QPR and Miller

Ricky Sbragia has confirmed that Liam Miller could join QPR on loan for the rest of the season.
And with the midfielder's Sunderland contract up in June, he could have played his last game for the club.
Sbragia, the manager, said: "There's been some interest in Liam from QPR, so something might happen there.
"They've made an enquiry about him and we're just waiting to see the full extent of their interest, but it looks like it could be a loan. They've put a feeler out, certainly."
Miller, who has played just four games for Sunderland this season, joined the club in August 2006.
The Republic of Ireland international and former Manchester United player has scored three goals in 60 appearances for the Black Cats.
Sbragia has said that he needs to trim Sunderland's squad and if Miller leaves he will follow Graham Kavanagh and Ross Wallace out of the Stadium of Light door.
The Sunderland boss, meanwhile, has said that he is not interested in signing Manchester City defender Tal Ben-Haim.

Sbragia is on the lookout for a new defender during the January transfer window but Ben-Haim is not on his list." Sunderland

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Rowan ready for the run-in
- ROWAN Vine is convinced he can make his comeback from injury in time to steer QPR into the top six this season.
- The Rangers striker has not played since breaking his leg in a freak training ground accident nine months ago, but is making good progress following a second operation.
- "It's going as well as I could have hoped," said Vine. "I had a scan which showed the problem bone's healed really well, so I've started rehab and I'm as positive now as I've been through the whole thing.
- "I'm definitely confident that I'll play this season and I'm working hard for it to be as early as possible.
- "The earliest I've got my eye on is March and if I can get back then, I'd be really happy.
- "I don't want to write the season off completely and hopefully we'll be in a position to be challenging. The play-offs are reachable.
- "Last year at this point we were in a much worse position than now, but still had a really good run and people started talking about the play-offs. There's no reason why we can't go on another good run, get into the play-offs places and stay there."
- Vine, who moved to Rangers just over a year ago in a £1m transfer from Birmingham, played a key role as the team began their resurgence under Luigi de Canio.
- And he feels the Rs are now better equipped to reach the play-offs, as long as they can start converting their recent clutch of draws into victories before too long.
- "I think we've been more solid at the back," Vine observed. "We haven't conceded silly goals week in, week out, which was happening last season - but we haven't been getting the goals either.
- "It's frustrating watching because I want us to do well, with or without me in the team, and we've drawn a few too many games recently that we should have won, especially at home.
- "But the positive we can take is that we're unbeaten at home for a little while now and if we can turn those draws into wins, we should be in a good place."
- Vine himself has spent much of the last year in the same place - the treatment room at Harlington - but his improvement has meant waving goodbye to his former colleague on the injured list, Akos Buzsaky.
- Wheareas Vine has high hopes of returning to action in the coming months, the Hungarian midfielder can only look towards the 2009-10 campaign as he recovers from a cruciate ligament injury.

- "Obviously I don't want anyone to be injured, especially someone that can do a job, but if you're injured, you prefer someone to be injured with you," Vine added.
- "They can sympathise with you and share some of the disappointment. In the summer, Akos had the ankle injury and we were sort of toe-to-toe for a little while, then he pulled away and I was sorry to see him go!
- "Now the shoe's on the other foot and he's the one waiting. It's a lot harder when you're the only one in there. Kilburn Times

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