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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

QPR's Blackpool Win - Match Reports and Managerial Comments

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Blackpool 0 QPR 3 - QPR Official Site - SOUSA: 'THE BELIEF IS GROWING
- Rangers boss Paulo Sousa hailed his side, as they recorded back-to-back wins in style at Bloomfield Road.
- Heidar Helguson's brace and a well-taken third from Hogan Ephraim capped a first class performance from the Hoops.
- "We all believe, as a squad of players, and when you believe you achieve," he told www.qpr.co.uk.
- "We overcame a big barrier tonight with this win and I am very proud of them all.
- "Of course this form has been coming, anyone who has seen us could tell you that, but I am still ever so pleased with the consistency we are showing now.
- "This is a significant victory, our second away from home in a row. Two cleans sheets and five goals is a very good return and one I am proud of."
- Sousa also reserved special praise for the travelling 202 R's fans who made the trip north, commenting: "I'm delighted for them and for everyone connected to QPR.
- "They, like the team, did everything to the highest level, cheering their hearts out for 90 plus minutes.
- "They were a credit to Club, as were the players, and it's a great night for us." QPR

- QPR manager Paulo Sousa believes the players have bought into his methods - with Tuesday night's 3-0 win at Blackpool proof of that.
Heidar Helguson scored a goal in each half as QPR continued their promotion push with a 3-0 win over in the Championship clash at Bloomfield Road, before Hogan Ephraim rounded off the win in the final minute.
And Sousa said: "I was delighted with that performance.
"We were told that it is a difficult pitch and ground but I think my players dealt with it well.
"They believe in what I have been doing my methods and my coaching and things are now beginning to work out for us on the pitch.
"The team is building up well and I think we are improving with each game at the moment.
"I was particularly pleased with the first goal - it showed plenty of skill in the build-up and the finish."
Helguson headed home winger Wayne Routledge's pinpoint cross to give his side a scarcely-deserved first-half lead.
Blackpool started the second period the more lively but soon found themselves further behind when Ian Evatt felled Lee Cook in the area and Helguson coolly converted the resulting penalty.
The hosts' problems increased as second-half substitute Stephen Crainey was forced to hobble out of the action after just 14 minutes on the pitch to leave his side playing with 10 men having used all their substitutions.
On-loan Liverpool striker Kristian Nemeth made a second-half cameo appearance for the home side but it was a rare positive in a night of frustration for the Seasiders.
And QPR proceeded to rub salt in their opponents wounds as Ephraim ran on to Cook's incisive through-ball before slotting home to make it 3-0 in the final minute.
Blackpool caretaker boss Tony Parkes believes the seeds of Tuesday night's performance were sown in Saturday's home defeat of Birmingham.
Parkes explained: "After Saturday's win over Birmingham this performance had all the looks of a hangover.
"We looked tired and looked a different team. There were some players who were just not there.
"We shall have to address this quickly." Sporting Life

QPR Official Site- Heidar Helguson bagged a brace and Hogan Ephraim notched a late third, as Rangers chalked up a vital victory at a rain-soaked Bloomfield Road.

The Icelandic international bagged a goal in each half, the second from the penalty spot, before Ephraim capped a vintage away day with a third in added time.

Following hot on the heels of a stunning 2-0 win at Derby County in their last Championship outing, Rangers registered back-to-back away wins to move within touching distance of the play-off's.

If anything, the final scoreline flattered the hosts, who played second fiddle to Paulo Sousa's side throughout the 90 minutes.

More significantly perhaps, the 3-0 win extended the R's unbeaten run to seven matches in the Championship and level on points with sixth place Cardiff City.

R's boss Sousa was forced into two changes for the trip to Bloomfield Road.

From the side that eased to victory at Pride Park ten days ago, Radek Cerny (hamstring) and Martin Rowlands (knee) were both ruled out, which meant Lee Camp and debutant Liam Miller came into the starting XI.

Teenage goalkeeper Niki-Lee Bulmer was named amongst the R's substitutes for the first time, alongside Fitz Hall, Dexter Blackstock, Samuel Di Carmine and Ephraim.

Former R's front-man Danny Nardiello missed out against his former Club, as loan signing DJ Campbell continued in attack alongside Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

Buoyed by a partisan, if relatively small home crowd, it was the Seasiders who began on the front foot.

The match was only seven minutes old when left sided midfielder Joe Martin got goalside of Matt Connolly, only for DJ Campbell to miscue his effort from an acute angle, flicking the ball in to the arms of the grateful Camp.

Rangers were by no means second best though, with Wayne Routledge linking up effectively with Miller, only for the lush Bloomfield Road playing surface to prevent the roaming midfielder getting the ball out of his feet as Blackpool's back four backed off.

The R's weren't to be denied though, as that man Routledge played provider for Helguson to fire home a 17th minute opener.

The move had Premiership quality stamped all over it, as Helguson fizzed a first time ball into the path of the R's winger, who in turn took one touch to set himself before repaying the compliment with an expert back-post cross.

Icelandic international Helguson did the rest, sending Paul Rachubka the wrong way with a trademark downward header, for his fourth goal in QPR colours.

The Seasiders responded well to the setback, however, with first David Vaughan and then Campbell stinging the palms of the returning Camp.

At the other end, stand-in skipper Gavin Mahon was the next to try his luck from distance, firing wide from 25-yards following another fine forward burst from the lively Miller.

Rachubka was enduring some nervy moments in the Blackpool goal and when Lee Cook's fierce free-kick kicked up off the lush green grass, the Seasiders stopper gathered at the second attempt.

Rangers' out-ball into the path of Routledge was working to devastating effect and when the former Villa ace left three defenders trailing in his wake with a unbelievable burst of pace in the 40th minute, Cook played in Helguson, only for the offside flag to come to Blackpool's rescue.

There was no doubting the R's superiority, as the two sides left the field at half-time with the visitors deservedly in front.

Caretaker Manager Tony Parkes responded by introducing Middlesbrough loanee Graeme Owens at the start of the second period, with the out-of-sorts Joe Martin making way.

But it was Rangers who continued to pose the greater attacking threat, with Mikele Leigertwood's deft chip landing just the wrong side of the post with Rachubka seemingly stranded.

Sousa made his first change a minute later, with Miller - starved of recent First Team football following his January move from Sunderland - replaced by Ephraim.

Just 60 seconds later, the R's made it two.

Helguson's persistence inside the box paid dividends and when former Rangers defender Ian Evatt dived in to send his spiralling to ground, referee Mr Laws was left with little option but to point to the spot.

The former Bolton ace was coolness personified thereafter, as he picked himself up, dusted himself down and sent Rachubka the wrong way with a low right footed strike.

Rangers were rampant and Routledge could and perhaps should have made it three just after the hour mark, as his pace and trickery left Harte again chasing shadows, only for Rachubka to save two identical efforts in as many minutes.

It was vintage Rangers by now and when Cook sprung the offside trap following another excellent burst from Leigertwood, the winger made good ground before dragging his effort narrowly wide.

Man of the moment Helguson made way for Blackstock with a quarter of an hour to go, with the 202 hardy souls who made the long trip north giving him the standing ovation he rightly deserved.

Bad turned to worse for the hosts, when substitute Stephen Crainey came off second best in a challenge with Routledge and having made all three substitutions, the Seasiders were forced to play the final 13 minutes with just ten men.

Undeterred, Taylor-Fletcher fired wide from a tight angle, before Camp expertly from David Fox.

It was Rangers who finished in the ascendancy though, when Blackstock - who just seconds earlier had vocal appeals for a penalty turned down - saw his deflected effort cannon off the underside of the bar.

Seconds later following another free-flowing counter-attack, Ephraim's low effort was tipped away by Rachubka, but he wasn't to be denied.

Cook picked up possession in the middle of the park and slid a perfect through ball into the path of the diminutive winger, who made no mistake, confidently sliding the ball in to the far corner to complete the rout.
- Blackpool: Rachubka, Evatt, O'Donovan (Nemeth 59), Campbell, Vaughan, Taylor-Fletcher, Fox, Martin (Owens 46), Edwards, Barker, Harte (Crainey 66).
Subs: Gilks, Baptiste.
- QPR: Camp, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon, Leigertwood, Routledge, Gorkss, Connolly (Hall 88), Cook, Miller (Ephraim 55), Helguson (Blackstock 74). Subs: Bulmer, Di Carmine.
Scorers: Helguson 17 & 58 (pen), Ephraim 91
Bookings: Cook 62, Routledge 84
Red Cards: Referee: Mr G Laws
Attendance: 6, 656 (202 away) QPR

Blackpool Official Site
PR were the victors at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday evening as they picked up their third away win of the season with a 3-0 win over Blackpool.

The home side appeared to be missing the presence of Keith Southern in the middle of the park as QPR overran the Seasiders in midfield. The team never really got going and didn't really threaten to repeat Saturday's performance against Birmingham.

Two goals from Heidar Helguson and an injury time third from Hogan Ephraim ensured that the visitors secured all three points on a night where Stephen Crainey limped off.

The Seasiders started the game well with DJ Campbell looking to spring the offside trap and run through on goal but he was just hounded out by a scrambling QPR defence.

The link up play between Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Campbell was in evidence again following the Birmingham game as both combined well to open up the R's defence, but the latter just failed to get a clean connection on a great cutback from his strike partner.

QPR took the lead against the run of play as the R's best player in the game so far Wayne Routledge curled a great ball across for HEIDAR HELGUSON to head the ball into the top right hand corner (17).


The Seasiders looked to find an immediate response as David Vaughan drew a parrying save from Lee Camp before DJ Campbell looked to poke the ball home from a tight angle but was also prevented by Camp.

QPR had only won two away games all season but as the game progressed it was easy to see that the goal had given them a new lease of confidence in their play. The outstanding Wayne Routledge was a constant thorn in the side and you could sense that any further threat was bound to come from the right.

It was no surprise to see that it was Routledge who did in fact cause more problems with seven minutes to go before half-time. The winger evaded the attempted challenges of both Ian Harte and David Vaughan to race clear down field, but as the attack developed further Heidar Helguson was flagged offside.

After the earlier goal QPR were by far the better team and looked the more likely to score a second goal in the game. It would need a far better effort in the second-half if the Seasiders were to get something from the game.


There were two changes at the start of the second-half, one for the Seasiders and also the referee. Graeme Owens replaced Joe Martin to make his home debut for the club and Graham Laws was replaced as the man in the middle due to injury.

Following a pretty low key start to the second-half QPR also made their first change of the game by bringing on striker Hogan Ephraim for midfielder Liam Miller.

Action had been few and far between but the visitors were given a chance to double their lead in the 58th minute after Ian Evatt brought down Heidar Helguson in the area. The Icelandic striker stepped up from the spot to score his and QPR's second of the night.


Prior to the second goal being scored new loan signing Krisztian Nemeth was getting himself geared up to make his Blackpool debut. The striker finally managed to get on the field following the goal and replaced Roy O'Donovan.

The R's could and probably should have made it three on the hour as Wayne Routledge flicked the ball past Ian Harte and raced clear on goal. Fortunately for the Seasiders his effort was tame and easily collected by Paul Rachubka.

The threat of QPR's counter attack forced Tony Parkes into his third and final change as Harte was replaced by Stephen Crainey 65 minutes in.

Dexter Blackstock was the next substitution to arrive on the field as Heidar Helguson was replaced following his two goals. The play in the second-half never really got going and the constant changes meant that there was no flow.

Stephen Crainey's bad luck with injury continued after just over 15 minutes on the field following an earlier block collision when attempting to tackle Wayne Routledge. All three substitutions had already been utilised so the Seasiders were forced to play the remainder of a home game with ten men for the second time in the space of three days.

David Fox became the first Blackpool player to have any real notable effort on goal in the second-half when he forced a fine save from Lee Camp with 11 minutes remaining. At the other end Dexter Blackstock saw his drilled effort deflect onto the crossbar and out as the visitors pressed for a third.

The margins between going for a goal and conceding another were becoming ever closer as the Seasiders pressed for a way back into the game. The counter attacking abilities at QPR's disposal were looking ominous.

Former Blackpool player Kaspars Gorkss was never really tested in the centre of the visitors' defence with the Seasiders a shadow of the team that performed so well against Birmingham. The short space of time between games and the effort put in at the weekend appeared to have taken a lot out of the team.

To add insult to injury Lee Cook played in HOGAN EPHRAIM in injury time to give the visitors a three goal advantage.


Attendance: 6,656 (202 away) Blackpool

Mirror - ICE AND EASY FOR RANGERS By Jeremy Butler 28/01/2009

ALL LAST NIGHT'S CHAMPIONSHIP ACTION Coca Cola CHAMPIONSHIP Strike star Helguson too hot for Blackpool Blackpool 0 QPR 3

Heidar Helguson turned up the heat on QPR's play-off rivals by killing off Blackpool with a clinical double strike.

The Iceland international banged in a goal in each half with Hogan Ephraim netting a third in stoppage time.

Helguson helped QPR stretch their record to one defeat in 11 league games - a run that has moved them level on points with sixth placed Cardiff. QPR boss Paulo Sousa said: "It's important for Heidar to score and for the team it's fantastic.

"We are building in confidence all the time with the run we are in. My players believe in my ideas and we worked very hard. Our aim is to win promotion because I am ambitious and my team is ambitious as well."

Many more performances like this and the club owned by Formula One magnates Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore will be racing into pole position for a shot at a place in the Premier League.

They left poor Blackpool choking on fumes after caretaker boss Tony Parkes had masterminded Saturday's win over Birmingham.

"I've no complaints with that defeat," said Parkes.

"It was a case of after the Lord Mayor's Show following the win over Birmingham. We spent most of our energy in that game and had nothing left to give."

Helguson benefited from some lapse defending to head QPR into a 17th minute lead.

He laid a ball out to Wayne Routledge on the right and strolled unmarked into the box to nod in the winger's cross. Blackpool fell further behind in the 58th minute when Ian Evatt dived into a tackle on Helguson and only succeeded in chopping him down. The striker kept his cool to send Paul Rachubka the wrong way from the spot.

Parkes' side's hopes of launching a comeback were hampered in the final quarter.

They were reduced to 10 men after Stephen Crainey limped off with all three subs already used. Dexter Blackstock's late deflected shot came back off the Blackpool bar, and in injury time Lee Cook picked out Ephraim with a penetrating pass and the latter slotted home the third. Mirror

Daily Mail/Colin Wood - Blackpool 0 QPR 3: Helguson at the double as Hoops move into the top seven
Heidar Helguson grabbed a double at a damp and misty Bloomfield Road to take Rangers up to seventh place with their second away win in 10 days.
The Icelandic striker made the most of fine work by Wayne Routledge as he met his cross and headed the opener after 17 minutes.
His second came from the penalty spot 12 minutes after the break after he had needlessly been brought down by Ian Evatt.

Goal king: Heidar Helguson celebrates his first strike
The decision - and there was no argument with it - was made by Darren Bond, who stepped up from his initial role on the line to take over at half time from injured referee Graham Laws.
QPR manager Paulo Sousa handed a debut to former Manchester United and Celtic midfielder Liam Miller following his loan arrival from Sunderland while defender
Kaspars Gorkss lined up against his former club.
Substitute Hogan Ephraim made it 3-0 for Rangers with a low shot in added time to make it a miserable night for Blackpool’s caretaker boss Tony Parkes.
He said: ‘This was after the Lord Mayor’s show, nothing like our win over Birmingham on Saturday. I have no complaints. They were much the better side.’
Sousa said: ‘Of course I am happy. We crossed a barrier when we won at Derby in our last game. My players believe in my methods and my ideas and they can grow.
- This is a very important win for us.’ Daily Mail

The Sun/Max Short - Blackpool 0 QPR 3
PAULO SOUSA saluted ice-cool Iceland hotshot Heidar Helguson as QPR strengthened their promotion charge.
Helguson struck either side of the break to leave Sousa’s high-flying Hoops dreaming of the Premier League.
The striker was bombed out of Bolton earlier this month after failing to establish himself in Gary Megson’s first-team plans.
But he showed he still has an eye for goal as he lifted the club owned by Formula One magnates Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone to seventh on the Championship grid.
Sousa said: “It’s important for Heidar to score goals and for the team. It’s fantastic for him.
“My players believe in my ideas and we work very hard. I am very ambitious and I want to achieve promotion.”
Rangers have now lost just once in their last 11 league outings and there was never any doubt about the outcome once Helgsuon broke the deadlock in the 17th minute.
Helguson was in the right place to head home Wayne Routledge’s inch-perfect cross from close range.
Blackpool signed Liverpool’s Hungary strike star Krisztian Nemeth on loan on the eve of the game.
He started on the bench before making a 59th- minute introduction with the Seasiders trailing 2-0 after Helguson had doubled the lead from the spot.
The penalty was awarded after Ian Evatt’s clumsy 57th-minute challenge on man-of-the-match Helguson.
The home side’s miserable night was complete when substitute Hogan Ephraim made it 3-0 in the dying stages. The Sun

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