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Sunday, January 18, 2009

QPR's Derby Win - Reports and Comments Compilation

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-- See also:: Earlier compilation of Reports and comments re QPR over Derby

SPORTING LIFE - Same Old Story For Dire Derby
- Nigel Clough admitted Derby fluffed their lines as QPR tore up the script at Pride Park.
Clough's first game in change ended in a deflating defeat against a Rangers side who celebrated their first away win under manager Paulo Sousa.
First-half goals from Wayne Routledge and Mikele Leigertwood were enough to ruin Clough's big day at the club where his famous father Brian made his name.
Asked if he was bitterly disappointed, Clough admitted: "Those two words are quite fitting.
"We started quite brightly but we were in possession both times for the two goals we conceded.
"You can only do so much to get a positive feeling around the place but when that first goal goes in everything reverts to type and that's something we have to deal with.
"A few players were below par and people didn't do their jobs.
"The strikers didn't hold the ball up and the wide men didn't get crosses in, the sort of things we got used to at our previous club (Burton Albion).
"There were not too many positives to come out of this apart from to highlight and emphasise the problems.
"We want a more positive attitude on the pitch. There were not too many people looking to go forward, we are at home in front of 28,000 people so let's get on the front foot."
-- For Rangers the victory was the perfect response to their FA Cup exit at Burley in midweek, when they were beaten by a goal in the last minute of extra time.
-- The only negative note was a serious injury to skipper Martin Rowlands, who was carried off on a stretcher after only 12 minutes.
-- Sousa said: "I want to dedicate this victory to him. He always wants to win, he is a fighter, our captain and our leader.
-- "We could have lost him for the season. We think there is a problem in one of his knees, we will know more later but if we have lost a player we have not lost a person.
-- "We have been looking for this victory because in the last five games we have been unlucky not to win three of them.
- "When you lose in the 120th minute it is not easy to deal with but my players answered that very well today.
- "We showed a lot of personality to come here and control the game. We played so well it means the hard work we have been doing is coming off and I am delighted to get my first away win..."
Sporting Life

SUNDAY TIMES/John Aizelwood - QPR spoil Nigel Clough’s day
-IT WASN’T meant to be this way. For all the goodwill engendered by Nigel Clough’s arrival at the white-shirted end of the A52, Brian Clough Way, his new charges hover perilously above the relegation places this morning. Should he have harboured any foolish notions of instant regeneration, they were dismissed by a swaggering Rangers, whose manager Paulo Sousa celebrated his first away victory by announcing: “Today Derby played a team with personality.”
- In contrast, Clough was understandably downbeat. “I’d seen glimpses of this in training, but I’m bitterly disappointed. We knew we had a job on when we came here. This afternoon confirmed everything.”
- His Burton Albion decade accustomed Clough to the low-key approach. No surprise, then, that this unflamboyant son of a flamboyant father scampered into the Pride Park dugout, pausing only to share a manly cuddle with Sousa.
- Buoyed by the new regime, Clough’s charges began eagerly and visiting captain Martin Rowlands was stretchered off with a serious knee injury.
- But substitute Hogan Ephraim trundled down the middle and found Heidar Helgu-son, who miscontrolled, but the ball bounced off Martin Albrechtsen into Wayne Routledge’s path and he gleefully tapped into the open goal.
- Rangers had secured their three points by half-time. Routledge sidestepped Mo Camara’s feeble challenge and crossed low for Mikele Leigertwood to drive home.
- Whatever Clough said at half-time almost reaped immediate dividends when Radek Cerny clawed Miles Addison’s flying header aside. Just after the hour, a Rob Hulse header saw Cerny finally beaten, but Ephraim headed off the line and another huge Pride Park crowd began to slope home. Only a Roy Carroll save from Ephraim prevented the third, which would have added realism as well as pain to Clough’s maiden scoreline.
Star man:Wayne Routledge (QPR)
DERBY:Carroll 6, Albrechtsen 5, Nyatanga 5, Todd 5, Camara 4, Commons 5, Addison 6, Green 5, Barnes 5 (Barazite 70min), Hulse 5, Varney 4 (Davies 59min, 5)
QPR:Cerny 7, Delaney 6, Gorkss 6, Mahon 7, Stewart 6, Routledge 8, Rowlands 5 (Ephraim 12min, 8), Con-nolly 6, Leigertwood 8, Cook 6 (Alberti 90min), Helguson 5 (Di Carmine 64min) Yellow cards: Derby:Todd, Camara Referee:K Wright Attendance:28,390 Sunday Times

Telegrqaph/Trevor Haylett - Nigel Clough's Derby taught a lesson by QPR
-When Brian Clough was 42 – the age at which Nigel is taking his first managerial steps in the professional game – he had already won the league title and reached the European Cup semi-finals. His son has an awful lot of ground to make up.
- Comparisons are unfair and Clough junior is his own man with a different personality and temperament to the icon who was less a manager, more a miracle worker with two provincial clubs.
- Nevertheless someone will have pointed out that Dad enjoyed a victory in his first game in charge of Derby all those years ago, so Nigel is already on the back foot.
- From success over Manchester United to a home defeat by QPR, a team who struggle to score away from home let alone win.
- The former Derby manager would have smiled at the irony and quickly turned attention to the next game. Nigel will do the same. It's a huge week for the Rams and they can't afford to dwell on the dismal nature of this performance.
- "We are trying to get a positive attitude around the place but once the first goal went in we seemed to take a backward step." mused Clough afterwards.
- "We're at home, we should be on the front foot, and I expected more from our experienced players."
- "We started quite brightly but we were in possession both times for the two goals we conceded.
- "There weren't many positives - only to highlight and emphasise the problems.
- "You try get a positive feeling around the place but when that first goal goes in everything reverts to type and that is something we have to deal with."
- Rangers had only previously scored five goals on their travels but here they scored twice before the interval and never looked in danger. It was a demoralising defeat and it leaves Derby only two points above the relegation zone.
- The visitors lost their captain Martin Rowlands with a knee injury early on and replacement, Hogan Ephraim, had a big part in the goal that began to prick the celebratory feel to an afternoon that contained a flashbulb welcome for Clough as he took his place in the dug-out for the first time.
- As they were wont to do all afternoon, Derby forfeited possession all too easily. Ephraim tried to find Heidar Helguson and as Martin Albrechtsen intervened he succeeded only in planting the ball at the feet of Wayne Routledge who scored with ease on his second appearance since signing from Aston Villa.
- The home team were struggling for the form that had so memorably disposed of United. Kris Commons put a smart volley on target and Giles Barnes, on his return to the team after an 11-month absence, came into the picture on a couple of occasions but there was precious little rhythm or understanding.
-It was no surprise when Rangers went and scored a second with Routledge again to the fore. It seemed as if Mo Camara had halted his initial charge but the winger was able to regain the ball and set up Mikele Leigertwood, whose finish was both controlled and clinical.
-There was no way through hard-working Rangers' defence, though Miles Addison saw a diving header expertly turned aside by Radek Cerny.
- Apart from a Rob Hulse header that Ephraim cleared off the line, Derby never threatened again while Ephraim would have made it three but for Roy Carroll's reflexes. Telegraph

News of The World/Tony Leighton - No happy homecoming for Nigel Clough
-THERE was no happy homecoming for Nigel Clough as the new Derby boss stepped into the managerial boots once worn so successfully by his father Brian.
Goals by Wayne Routledge and Mikele Leigertwood sentenced desperately disappointing Derby to a defeat that left them just two points above the relegation zone.
It’s a similar situation to the one inherited by “Old Big Head” almost 42 years ago, when Clough junior was a babe in arms.
Derby had just finished 17th in the old Second Division, three points above the bottom three.
But from that unpromising position the legendary Clough famously led the club to their first league title and the semi-finals of the European Cup.
It’s a mighty act to follow and Clough the younger will have his work cut out to get the Rams moving in the right direction if this first game in charge is anything to go by.
It had all started so well 10 days ago. On the day he was appointed Clough saw his new team beat Manchester United 1-0 in a Carling Cup semi-final first-leg thriller.
But yesterday, on the same Pride Park pitch, it was back to the bad old ways as a depressing sequence of league results ran to nine games, one win and and five points.
Clough said: “There was no more pressure than against Manchester United but a few were below par.
“We didn’t do the basic jobs — the strikers didn’t hold the ball up, the wingers didn’t get crosses in and we were far too deep as a back four.
“There were not many positives but I wasn’t surprised with what I saw. I’ve seen glimpses of it in training so I knew before today.
“We’ve got to have a more positive attitude. We are at home with 28,000 fans watching, so let’s get on the front foot.”
Clough’s team started brightly enough with left winger Kris Commons twice forcing keeper Radek Cerny into early saves.
But Routledge, in only his second start following a £600,000 move from Aston Villa, put the visitors ahead with a 22nd-minute shot that squeezed inside the near post.
And the dangerous winger then tricked his way past left-back Mo Camara to set up Leigertwood to drive a second 14 minutes later.
The Rams threatened a fightback after the break as Cerny brilliantly saved midfielder Miles Addison’s 46th-minute header.
And in the 63rd minute striker Rob Hulse saw his header cleared off the line by substitute Hogan Ephraim.
But the home side never threatened again and were lucky not to go further behind when Ephraim’s 72nd-minute shot was kept out by keeper Roy Carroll.
Manager Paulo Sousa’s first away win since his appointment two months ago was marred by an early injury to captain Martin Rowlands.
The midfielder was carried off with a cruciate ligament injury and will miss the rest of the season.
Sousa said: “All my players showed big personality and I was delighted to achieve an away win.” News Of The World

Derby County Official Site - NIGEL: THE BASICS WEREN'T RIGHT
- Nigel Clough was left a disappointed man after his tenure as Derby County boss got underway with a 2-0 defeat at home to Queens Park Rangers.
- Clough was appointed ahead of the Carling Cup victory over Manchester United and watched from the stands that night before his scheduled opener - away to Cardiff City - was postponed last weekend.
- It meant he got life as the Rams' gaffer underway at Pride Park Stadium but saw his side go down to their visitors from London.
- "It was disappointing in many ways with the goals we conceded and there were a lot of basic things wrong today," Clough said.
- "We didn't so much learn as confirm a few things we thought from seeing the lads over the last week and some of the performances before that.
- "There are a few frightened players in the dressing room, which is a result of the last 18 months, and they have got to get it out of the system somehow.
- "Today there was a lack of people doing the basic things well and doing their jobs.
- "In both halves we started OK but let them off the hook a bit, and we had half-chances in the first ten or 15 minutes.
- "We could have done with a goal in that period but from their first serious attack they scored on the break.
- "We can encourage, we can point them in the right direction, and we will be pointing out the basic things not done right today.
- "The players have got to show character from within, which they have done at times, and I am sure there is enough in there." Derby

Derby County Official Site - WE HAVE TO BELIEVE SAYS PAUL
Midfielder Paul Green says self-belief is the key to Derby turning around their Coca-Cola Championship form after Saturday's 2-0 defeat at home to Queens Park Rangers.
"I felt we started well enough in the first ten minutes and were on top but gave silly goals away and that takes the edge off the game for us," he said.
"When that happens we feel sorry for ourselves but we have got to get on with it and believe in ourselves, and that is what Nigel is trying to get into us.
"He is trying to instil into us that we are good players, and we know that if something goes against us we have got to get on with it.
"I can't put my finger on why this is happening but we have got to cut it out sharply because we are looking behind us instead of in front.
"Nigel is getting used to us as players and he knows how we play now so he will have his views on what he wants to do for the next game.
"He is a calm fellow, he gets his poitns across to you and says to enjoy it, to not be afraid.
"I don't know why this is happening at the moment - we can't put any results together." Derby

Derby Evening Telegraph/Steve Nicholson - Derby County: Clough tastes defeat in first game as Rams boss
NIGEL Clough’s first match as Derby County manager ended in a disappointing 2-0 defeat at the hands of Queens Park Rangers this afternoon and left the Rams in trouble at the wrong end of the Championship.
The setback saw them drop to 20th and now they are only two points above the relegation zone.
Wayne Routledge and Mikele Leigertwood scored for Rangers in the first half to give them only their second away win in the League this season.
But the victory was deserved.
Derby started brightly for 20 minutes but confidence dipped after they fell behind and much of their display was flat and short of creativity.
Giles Barnes, fit again after a serious knee injury, made his first start in 11 months since the defeat at Wigan in February last year.
He lined up on the right side of midfield with Kris Commons moving from his role just behind striker Rob Hulse and back to the left wing.
Luke Varney came in to partner Hulse and Martin Albrechtsen replaced suspended skipper Paul Connolly at right-back.
Miles Addison led the team and the Rams had the first strike at goal, Common’s volley held by the diving Radek Cerny who also saved a free-kick from the same player.
Rangers suffered a blow when their captain, Martin Rowlands, was carried off on a stretcher after 12 minutes but the Rams continued to carry a threat.
A storming run from Barnes down the right saw him hurdle a challenge from Damien Delaney and race into the area but he wanted too much time and his cross was blocked. Then he tried his luck with a volley from
distance but the ball sailed high and wide.
But the visitors stunned Derby by taking the lead on 22 minutes.
Substitute Hogan Emphraim played a pass into the box aimed for Heidar Helguson and in making the tackle, Albrechtsen inadvertently directed the ball into the path of Routledge who drove his low shot past Roy Carroll from 10 yards.
Rangers, now playing the more controlled football, doubled their lead on 36 minutes.
Matt Connolly found Routledge who straight away had Mo Camara back-pedalling. The winger twisted, turned and teased the Rams left-back before skipping past him on the byline.
It was poor defending by Camara but good play by Routledge who picked out the unmarked Leigertwood and he finished coolly with a shot across Carroll and into the corner of the net.
Derby were at sixes and sevens, and Carroll did well to keep out a drive from Lee Cook as Rangers threatened to score a third.
There were a few boos at the end of the half and Clough’s first half-time team talk as Rams boss needed to hit the spot because the Rams had a mountain to climb.
Addison went close with a diving header at the start of the second half, Cerny pushing the ball behind, and Rob Hulse saw his header cleared off the line by Ephraim.
Ephraim, impressive after coming on, was denied by Carroll at the other end. His firm shot was parried by the Rams goalkeeper.
Steve Davies, on for Varney, forced a save from Cerny with 90 minutes on the clock but Derby did not do enough to take anything from the game.
The few fans still in the stadium at the final whistle were far from impressed. Derby Evening Telegraph

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