QPR Report Twitter Feed

Saturday, January 10, 2009

QPR Vs Coventry - Reports and Managerial Comments

Visit the football-only, QPR Report Messageboard for additional articles, video and posters' opinions. All perspectives welcome! (Also of note: QPR Websites From A-Z)

Northampton Chronicle - QPR boss: I made a mistake today
- QPR boss Paulo Sousa admitted he made a mistake by switching from his preferred diamond formation to 4-4-2 in order to give a debut to winger Wayne Routledge.
Rangers earned a point from a 1-1 draw when Dan Fox's goal was cancelled out by a late equaliser from Dexter Blackstock.
- Sousa said: "We changed our shape and played without training very much because the weather gave us few opportunities to train.
- "When this happens it is better to keep playing the way we were before, so I take responsibility for this.
- looked for a winger and when Wayne came, we wanted to be more open and play with more width. We lost some control in midfield, where we had been playing with four in the middle.
- When you change things it doesn't just click. We want to play a different way, but it does take time.
- "I did try to win the game. We played with just three defenders before Coventry scored and then played with even more forwards.
"Today was disappointing, yes. But the positive thing is that we are building. It's coming." Northampton Chronicle

Paulo Sousa bemoaned a 'missed opportunity,' as the R's were held to a share of the spoils by ten-man Coventry City at Loftus Road.
Stephen Wright saw red in the 36th minute for a reckless foul on Heidar Helguson, only for the Sky Blues to snatch the lead through Danny Fox's fine free-kick.
With the clock ticking down, Dexter Blackstock leveled matters, but Sousa was left contemplating what might have been.
"Of course, I'm disappointed," Sousa told www.qpr.co.uk.
"We have missed a good opportunity to win another home match. We tried to win this game, but we didn't and I take responsibility for that.
"We needed to be more clever - to think and the react."
Sousa added: "When they lost a player, they defended with 10 men. We didn't deal with the situation as I would have liked.
"We worked very hard, but our finishing wasn't as good as I expect. We had good chances, but we suffered through missed opportunities.
"We were superior and then from our silly foul, they scored from 30 metres. Then we controlled it again and we got the equaliser, which I think we deserved.
"We had more than enough chances to win the game, but the ball just didn't go in." QPR

SKY SPORT - SOUSA....Mistake
QPR boss Paulo Sousa conceded he got his tactics wrong by switching from his preferred 'diamond' formation to 4-4-2 in order to give a debut to winger Wayne Routledge.
"We changed our shape and played without training very much because the weather gave us few opportunities to train," said Sousa.
"When this happens it is better to keep playing the way we were before, so I take responsibility for this.
"We looked for a winger and when Wayne came, we wanted to be more open and play with more width. We lost some control in midfield, where we had been playing with four in the middle.
"When you change things it doesn't just click. We want to play a different way, but it does take time.
"I did try to win the game. We played with just three defenders before Coventry scored and then played with even more forwards.
"Today was disappointing, yes. But the positive thing is that we are building. It's coming." Sky Sports

Sunday Times/Ivo Tennant - January 11, 2009 - Danny Fox poaches goal but Rangers catch up with Coventry
LUCKY Queens Park Rangers. A listless performance, lacking in adequate ball control and accurate passing, was redeemed three minutes from full-time through a headed goal by Dexter Blackstock.
Coventry, down to 10 men after 36 minutes, had scored during a second half in which they were hardly disconcerted.
Stephen Wright, once a full-back with Liverpool, had already been booked when he received a red card for missing a loose ball and landing his right foot on Heidar Helguson’s stomach.
All that achieved was to galvanise his teammates, as so often happens, and, strangely, to subdue Rangers. So the expected result came about. Neither of these clubs looks remotely ready to grace the Premiership: there were a handful of chances for Rangers and some resolute defending by Coventry but none of that amounts to deserving of a place near the top of the Championship table.
That said, Danny Fox took his free kick with commendable presence of mind. He is a specialist, too, for this was his Blackstock fourth such goal in six matches, which have been broken up by illness. But where was the goalkeeper? Radek Cerny was still organising his defensive wall and had not sorted out his own positioning.
The goal came in the 73rd minute. Before that, Helguson had driven over the bar in the first half when he should at the very least have hit the target and Blackstock similarly missed a decent opportunity. Damion Stewart, playing without a number on his shirt, had a drive beaten out by Keiren Westwood.
If that was an excellent piece of goalkeeping, Westwood did not cope at all with a high bouncing ball that Blackstock, warding off two defenders, headed past him. “Westy should have come out earlier, but then he has saved us many points in the past,” Chris Coleman, Coventry’s manager, said. “Fox has a sweet left foot and we missed him when he was ill. His decision-making is good for a full-back. Our togetherness when we were down to 10 men was very pleasing.” Coleman, who already has a number of players out through injury, will now have to do without Leon Best, who was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured cheekbone.
- Paulo Sousa, Rangers’ engaging manager, emphasised how disappointed he was and indicated that he has yet to settle on the right formation. “I take responsibility for this, but training has been difficult because of the bad weather,” he said. “We need to be more clever-thinking before acting.” He received the support yesterday of Carlos Queiroz, the former Manchester United assistant manager, who now runs the Portugal team. “I needed a big hug from him, but he was only here because he is going to Old Trafford today.” The master tactician could yet provide the very assistance Sousa requires.
- Star man: Danny Fox (Coventry) Yellow cards: QPR: Routledge, Helguson Coventry: Wright, Fox, Gunnarsson, Westwood Red card: QPR: Wright Referee: K Stroud Attendance:13,330
QPR:Cerny 5, Delaney 6 (Ledesma 73min), Leigertwood 6 (Di Carmine 81min), Gorkss 6, Stewart 6, Rowlands 6, Connolly 6, Ephraim 6 (Hall 89min), Routledge 5, Blackstock 6, Helguson 5
COVENTRY: Westwood 5, Gunnarsson 6, Wright 4, Turner 6, Fox 7, Tabb 6, Doyle 6, Beuzelin 6, Mifsud 6 (Eastwood 84min), Best 5 (McKenzie 66min), Morrison 5 Sunday Times

Telegraph/Clive White - Heidar Helguson fails to shine for QPR in ideal conditions
- Chris Coleman gave Heidar Helguson a warm embrace as the Rangers player left the pitch at the end. Whether it was just a friendly gesture towards a former colleague or because the former Fulham player had missed five sitters against Coleman’s 10 men wasn’t clear, but there was no doubt that the Icelander, in conditions which should have made him feel very much at home, was the key reason why the home side failed to take maximum points.
- In fact they very nearly didn’t take any points at all, equalizing with just four minutes remaining. Paulo Sousa, the Rangers manager, with honesty which bordered on the perverse, partly blamed himself for changing the shape of the side during the week. He probably could have done with a postponement, like neighbours Fulham. He had no regrets about that and none, apparently, about recently making Helguson’s loan move from Bolton permanent.
- For all Rangers’s missed chances – and the unfortunate Helguson was not alone in spurning them – Coventry deserved to take something from this game for the way they maintained an adventurous shape after having Stephen Wright, the former Liverpool and Sunderland defender, sent off after 37 minutes. Keith Stroud, the referee, somewhat harshly adjudged his high boot into the chest of Helguson – it really wasn’t his day – as worthy of a straight red.
- With their first and probably only shot at goal, Coventry equalized when Helguson – yes, him again – needlessly tripped Michael Mifsud. Danny Fox, spotting Radek Cerny, the Rangers goalkeeper, standing by the side of one post as he organized his wall, neatly clipped the free-kick just inside the other. But if left-back thought, he should take the plaudits and he clearly did by running the length of the field to celebrate his fourth goal from free-kicks this season he was in for a surprise.
- “He takes the corners,” said the Coventry manager, “and once they hit us on the counter with a four v two, so I said, ‘Don’t take any more corners or free-kicks unless you’re going to shoot - stay back’. So I’m putting that goal down to me.”
- Why it took Rangers so long to equalise only Helguson will know, once missing so horribly in front of goal that the ball went for a throw-in. They finally achieved it via route one when goalkeeper Keiren Westwood hesitated in coming out to a long ball from Emmanuel Ledesma and Dexter Blackstock headed home.
- What with losing Leon Best with a suspected fractured cheekbone and one or two upcoming suspensions, the luckless Coleman was predicting that the bus would break down on the way home. Telegraph

Sunday Mirror/Graham Otway - Dex is the QPR hero but it's Hel for Heider
- Given his Icelandic upbringing Heider Helguson should have felt totally at home in the freezing conditions at Loftus Road.
- Unfortunately for Rangers, the striker's goalscoring boots were even colder than the weather.
- After he wasted a handful of chances Helguson then went to help out his defence and had a hand in conceding the goal that gave 10-man Coventry a welcome point.
- It was only when Dexter Blackstock seized on a blunder in the Sky Blues defence three minutes from time that Rangers earned a point from a match they should have won with ease.
- In midweek manager Paulo Sousa turned Helguson's loan from Bolton into a permanent transfer and the game was only three minutes old when the striker met Hogan Ephraim's cross but shot tamely straight at visiting keeper Tirien Westwood.
- Then, unmarked 12 yards out, the striker hit the ball into the upper tier of the stand.
- Coventry were reduced to 10 men with the 38th-minute sending-off of Steve Wright, who deserved his red card after escaping earlier for two blatant fouls on Wayne Routledge.
- And as the Rangers fans turned on co-owner Flavio Briatore in the directors' box it was Coventry who stole the lead against the run of play in the 73rd minute. The hapless Helguson conceded a foul and Radek Cerny was completely wrong-footed by the curling 30-yard freekick from Danny Fox.
On 83 minutes, Helguson produced his worst miss when, unchallenged from 15 yards out, he managed to miscue his shot so badly that it skewed away for a throw-in.
With the final whistle just three minutes away City's concentration broke down. Blackstock was allowed to run on to sub Emmanuel Ledesma's long through-ball and head the equaliser past Westwood.
Rangers boss Sousa refused to agree that Helguson's signing was a waste of money after so many chances went begging.
"I had no doubts about making his move here permanent," said Sousa. But he did not mince his words about the free-kick that Helguson gave away to set up Coventry's goal.
"Sometimes you have to be clever," he said. "You cannot make stupid fouls."
Last night City striker Leon Best was taken to hospital with a suspected depressed fracture of his cheekbone after a collision with Matthew Connolly. Sunday Mirror

Heidar fails to make most of chances
HEIDAR HELGUSON’S day went from bad to a whole lot worse as QPR were held to a draw by 10 men.
The Icelandic international striker, one of boss Paulo Sousa’s three New Year signings, missed five outstanding chances — one of which went for a throw-in from just eight yards out.
Helguson then fouled Sky Blues forward Michael Mifsud on the edge of Rangers’ penalty area on 72 minutes, picking up a caution for his troubles.
And, to compound his misery, up stepped Danny Fox to score his fourth free-kick of the season from just six starts.
What Helguson was doing back in defence at that stage of the game — and with Coventry in defensive mode — only he will know.
But, one thing is for sure, he will certainly owe a drink to fellow Rangers striker Dexter Blackstock for his brave point-winning goal four minutes from time.
Blackstock fought off the challenge of two defenders and beat excellent Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Kieren Westwood to the punch to head a brave equaliser.
But Sousa, who had Portugal manager and mentor Carlos Queiroz as his personal guest at the game, was disappointed not only with Helguson but also himself.
Sousa admitted: “This week I changed our shape and the way we played without the opportunity to train properly.
“But I don’t regret it. It is a new step and we are creating better opportunities.
“Helguson certainly needs to be more clever and think more and it is this kind of stupid fault which has cost us so many points since I have been here. We had more than enough chances to win the game.”
But if QPR have serious ambitions of joining the big boys in the Premier League then the likeable Sousa will need considerable help from his ultra-wealthy board of directors.
He added: “The club knows what my priorities are.
“We do not need a lot of players but we do need quality and I have in mind certain players that I want.”
Under Sousa, Rangers have lost only once in 10 games but the far less wealthy Coventry City, under the shrewd guidance of Chris Coleman, have now lost only one of their last seven games.
The Sky Blues’ run is made all the more impressive when you consider their horrendous injury list, which was added to yesterday when striker Leon Best went off with a fractured cheekbone.
And then there is former Liverpool and Stoke defender Stephen Wright, who will now miss three games after his ugly 37th-- minute challenge on Helguson earned him a red card.
Sky Blues boss Coleman was not happy with Westwood’s late race from his line for Rangers’ equaliser but admitted he would have settled for a draw at the break.
He said: “We dug in, did well and did what you have to do when you are down to 10 men.
“Wright was not happy with the decision to send him off and I will have to see it again before I say anything. But, if it was high, we will not be going to the FA.”
Coleman also took a share of the credit for Fox’s goal, adding: “I told him not to take any more deadball kicks unless he was going to shoot. Thankfully, he did just that.”
Coleman is hoping to bring in a couple of loan players to cover his injured stars but also admitted there is money available either now or at the end of the season, thought to be around £4million. News of the World

DAILY MAIL - QPR 1 Coventry 1: Blackstock pegs back 10-man Coventry
Dexter Blackstock rescued a point for QPR as they made hard work of breaking
down 10-man Coventry at Loftus Road.
Blackstock struck three minutes from time to earn the hosts a point against the
Sky Blues, who took the lead in the Coca-Cola Championship clash when Daniel
Fox's free-kick somehow found its way under Radek Cerny.
City looked like taking home the spoils from Loftus Road for the fourth season
in a row when Fox netted in the 73rd minute, a goal made even more impressive
following Stephen Wright's dismissal for the visitors eight minutes before the

The City defender was shown a straight red card for a high lunge on Heidar
Helguson but the hosts failed to make enough of their numerical advantage as
they struggled to create openings thereafter.
Rising stock: Dexter Blackstock handed Rangers a precious point
Helguson and Blackstock spurned good chances for the hosts before the latter
finally equalised in the dying minutes.
The hosts started brightly and had the first shot in earnest when Helguson, who
signed a permanent deal in the week, sent a hooked shot over the bar.
At the other end, Clinton Morrison failed to trouble Cerny with a wild volley
which he sent over.

Both sides started to press forward with intent and it was the hosts who almost
broke the deadlock in the 16th minute as Helguson drilled a rasping volley just
over following Blackstock's knock down.

Wayne Routledge looked the most effective attacking outlet for Rangers and his
trickery on the wing was causing the City defence all sorts of problems.

More often than not, though, the former England Under-21 international was
hampered by the lack of movement from the R's strikers who were stifled out by
the stoic City backline.

A potentially decisive moment in the match came after 37 minutes when Wright
was sent off for his challenge on Helguson.

As expected, the R's held the lion's share of possession after the break, but
rather than pushing home their numerical advantage they lacked any initiative
going forward and were restricted to long-range efforts.

On the few occasions Rangers did manage to break the City defence, the finish
was lacking and Helguson was again guilty of wasting a good chance when he
headed straight at Westwood from six yards.

It was then Blackstock's turn to spurn a good opening minutes later as he
dragged a shot wide when clean through.

The hosts were then hit by a sucker punch as City took the lead in the 73rd
minute totally against the run of play.

Fox curled a vicious free-kick which caught Cerny flatfooted and somehow
squirmed in at the front post.

Rangers' persistence paid off, however, and after 87 minutes Blackstock atoned
for his earlier miss with a header from close range to ease the frustration of
the home fans. Daily Mail

QPR Official Site
QPR had to settle for a point against a determined Coventry City, who were reduced to ten men after 36 minutes when Stephen Wright saw red for a crude tackle on Heidar Helguson.

Despite the R's dominating proceedings, a Danny Fox free-kick handed the Sky Blues the lead after 72 minutes, as Rangers missed a host of chances.

Helguson, Dexter Blackstock and Damien Delaney all saw chances either miss the target or well saved by visiting keeper Kieren Westwood, before Blackstock bravely rose to nod over the onrushing Coventry keeper to hand Rangers a share of the points.

Rangers Manager Paulo Sousa handed a debut to new signing Routledge, placing him on the left wing, with Hogan Ephraim occupying the right wing. Martin Rowlands and Mikele Leigertwood completed the midfield.

Behind them was a slightly changed five. Radek Cerny continued in goal, Matthew Connolly replaced Peter Ramage, and Damion Stewart, Kaspars Gorkss and Damien Delaney all started.

Up front saw another 'new' signing partner Dexter Blackstock. Heidar Helguson recently made his loan move permanent, and made his second R's debut.

Coventry's resources were so stretched they had to make do with a makeshift back four. Usual right back Stephen Wright partnered rookie centre back Ben Turner, whilst midfielder Aron Gunnarsson filled in a right back.

Jay Tabb was also recalled to the starting eleven, alongside striker Clinton Morrison, the latter eager to continue his own scoring record against Rangers.

The opening chance fell the home side's way, as quick passing found Ephraim in space on the right, who delivered a fine-looking cross for Helguson. Despite dropping to the deck, the Iceland international still managed to hook a shot goal-bound that was easily dealt with by Kieren Westwood.

The Sky Blues were by no means letting Rangers have it all their own way however. Morrison blazed high and wide after picking up a Leon Best knockdown.

Helguson went close a second time in the 16th minute when he found strike partner Blackstock in the area and picked up the scraps after the former Southampton man lost the ball in the tackle. Unfortunately, however, he could only smash the ball over the bar when well placed.

The match quietened down into a war of attrition, both sides probing here and there. Tabb volleyed straight at Cerny, whilst Connolly drove well over from the edge of the box.

The match lit up on 36 minutes when Wright, in a bid to halt the progress of Helguson, sliced through the R's striker's midriff studs showing and, despite receiving an earlier booking, the defender was handed his marching orders from referee Keith Stroud with a straight red.

The Coventry backline became even more makeshift thanks to Wright's dismissal and the R's continued to try and assert their dominance over the ten men in dark shirts.

Seconds before half time and finally Rangers made Coventry keeper Westwood earn his pay packet. Left-back Delaney attempted to show his strikers how it's done when a Rowlands corner was cleared into his path and the Irishman's sweetly-struck drive needed a strong save to beat it away from his countryman.

The opening seconds of the second period saw Rowlands strike an effort wide from outside the area as the R's looked to capitalise on their numerical advantage in the 45 remaining minutes.

Coventry made the R's work hard to create any sort of opening but on 55 minutes Blackstock was presented with a glorious chance to continue his fine scoring form this season.

Stewart played a long ball from the defence that caught the Sky Blues defence flat-footed and the R's top scorer was through on goal, but could only drag his effort frustratingly wide of the target.

A second, even easier Rangers chance fell for Helguson seconds later as Routledge, operating on the right now, crossed beautifully for the striker who could only, quite unbelievably, head the ball down and into the gloves of Westwood from five yards.

Rangers were dominating but just could find a way past a stubborn Coventry City. In the latest assault Ephraim fizzed in a low cross that Helguson did well to stab a toe at, but he, along with the rest of Loftus Road, watched aghast as the ball rolled past the post instead of inside it.

The Sky Blues, however, were by no means lying down and continued to pose a threat. And their determination was rewarded when Fox struck the match's opening goal. Helguson gave away a needless foul 25 yards out and Fox stepped up to curl home a beautiful free-kick to hand Coventry the lead.

Sousa instantly rang the changes, introducing the more attacking Emmanuel Ledesma at the expense of defender Delaney.

The R's poured forward in search of a leveller but Routledge drilled his volley wide of the target as he picked up a weak clearance, and then Rowlands followed suit with a long-range strike that whistled wide.

With hope dwindling faster than the temperature, Blackstock rescued his side with an equaliser. Cerny's long punt forward caught out the Coventry defence, and the R's hit-man snuck in between City players to lift the ball over the onrushing Westwood and bring the home side level.

Fitz Hall was thrown on in a bid to snatch a winner but it wasn't to be, as Coventry held firm to record a very fortunate draw.
QPR: Cerny, Delaney (Ledesma 73), Stewart, Leigertwood (Di Carmine 81), Routledge, Blackstock, Gorkss, Rowlands, Connolly, Ephraim (Hall 88), Helguson. Subs: Mahon, Hall, Alberti.
Scorers: Blackstock (86)
Bookings: Routledge (65), Helguson (71)
Coventry City: Westwood, Wright, Fox, Beuzelin, Doyle, Best (McKenzie 65), Gunnarsson, Mifsud (Eastwood 83), Morrison, Turner, Tabb.
Subs: Marshall, Thornton, Wynter.
Scorers: Fox (72) Bookings: Wright (23), Fox (56), Gunnarsson (62), Westwood (90)
Red Cards: Wright (36) Referee: Mr K Stroud
Attendance: 13,330 QPR

Coventry Official Site - FULL-TIME: QPR 1-1 Coventry City
Ten-man Sky Blues came away with a point at QPR after a resilient display.
Stephen Wright had received a straight red card in the 40th minute - but a Dan Fox free-kick had given City the lead. However, despite a solid display, a late Dexter Blackstock goal saved Rangers' blushes.

Chris Coleman had brought back six players from the side who beat Kidderminster last weekend - and there was little sign of rust in the opening exchanges.

The Sky Blues started with a high-tempo in the freezing conditions and good work from Clinton Morrison and Michael Mifsud started a series of four corners in the opening seven minutes.

Their aerial one-two unnerved the Rangers defence and led to the series of deliveries from the returning Danny Fox - but they were scrambled to safety.

City continued to push but Rangers were able to force their first chance. A ball into the box fell to Heidar Helguson eight-yard from goal - but he snatched at the ball on the half-volley to send it high over Keiren Westwood's net.

QPR's main outlet was debutant Wayne Routledge and when he was caught by Stephen Wright in the 23rd minute, referee Keith Stroud produced his first yellow card of the game. However, the home side failed to make the resulting free-kick count.

The game suffered a lull soon after with neither side mustering an opportunity. Routledge proved to be the dangerman for Rangers with his pace proving tricky to deal with.

But encouraged by the vocal travelling support, City had their best chance when a flick on from Best was volleyed by Tabb - for Radek Cerny to save.

Then, Stroud changed the match in the 37th minute by issuing the straight red - City's first of the season. Wright - who had already been booked - challenged Heidar Helguson and appeared to catch him accidentally with a high foot. But referee Keith Stroud deemed the challenge dangerous and issued marching orders.

Coleman responded by moving Aron Gunnarsson to centre-back, Tabb to right-back and Morrison to left midfield.

City tried to see-out the half but still managed to force two corners, although Cerny's punches were enough to keep the game level.

After the restart, Rangers looked to assert their advantage and had chances to take the lead.

Blackstock was played through on goal and, despite appeals for offside, no flag was raised. The forward was unchallenged and eight yards from goal - but dragged his shot wide. Fox then protested the linesman's decision and received a booking.

Rangers came close again in the 58th minute when a cross found Mikele Leigertwood unmarked - but the midfielder's header from six yards was weak and Westwood saved with ease.

In the 62nd, Routledge broke down the wing and was fouled by Gunnarsson - who was booked. Rangers failed to make the set-piece count.

A clash of heads minutes later ended Leon Best's game. He was replaced by Leon McKenzie.

City then defied the odds to take the lead. Mifsud had raced towards goal and was brought down 30-yards from goal. Fox stepped up and curled his effort around the wall and into the bottom corner of Cerny's net and the City players raced towards the away support to celebrate.

Rangers introduced Emmanuel Ledesma for defender Damien Delaney in an attempt to force an equaliser and the home side pressured the makeshift defence.

They should have had a goal through Helguson in the 82nd minute when his fellow countryman Gunnarsson mis-headed the ball in the box. The ball sat up perfectly ten yards out - but his shot flew towards the corner flag.

But City were left heartbroken five minutes later when a mix-up in defence allowed Blackstock to run and head the ball past Westwood to level.

It was tough on City but the players held on to take a deserved point. Coventry

Blog Archive