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Saturday, February 28, 2009

QPR Damage Playoff Prospects - Reports and Managerial Comments re QPR's Loss to Barnsley

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- QPR made it one point out of a possible nine with their loss today. After today, QPR are 5 points out of one playoff spot; 6 points from another; and 7 from another - So it's not yet over. Updated Table

- QPR Manager Paulo Sousa refused to give up hope of a late push for the play-offs despite seeing his side defeated 2-1 by Barnsley at Oakwell.
- Speaking to www.qpr.co.uk, Sousa said: "This result hasn't damaged my ambitions. My goal this season is to build a solid base for the future. That future is next season. But, if you are in and around the play-offs, like we are, you must think play-offs. "
- Damien Delaney cancelled out Daniel Bogdanovic's opener, but Anderson de Silva made the most of havoc in the R's penalty area in an eventful first half. Rangers had lined up more adventurously for the trip to Barnsley, with Heidar Helguson joined by Dexter Blackstock in attack.
- Sousa revealed that he had tinkered with his formation, saying: "From the start, we wanted to win this match, and we went for the three points. But if you risk some things you risk losing control.
- "In the first half, we controlled the match better and could've scored more goals. Especially after we conceded, we continued to create chances and control the game. When we equalised, we could've gone in at half time leading but instead we conceded again.
- "In the second half, we wanted to risk a little bit more, trying to get back into the match, but ultimately we didn't manage to do that."
- Sousa was quick to dismiss speculation that the loss had damaged the R's promotion hopes, pointing to the fact that there were still matches to be won and points to be collected, starting with Norwich City on Tuesday: "What's important is that the teams around us all dropped points. So while we didn't capitalise on that, our position is still as it was.
- "Every time, we are looking for the three points and I am happy with the effort my players showed in trying to achieve that. We've got two home games now and that presents us with another chance to begin another run of results. Six points will help us a lot."
- Today's match also saw recent arrival Jordi Lopez make his Rangers bow and Sousa was quick to praise his newest signing: "I think he did well. He has good quality, great delivery, but he has not played a lot recently. He needs a few more games but that's the great thing about this league - there are matches coming thick and fast. He can help us a lot in those games."
- Lopez will have another chance to shine on Tuesday, and Sousa wanted to reassure fans that the match with Norwich presents a glorious opportunity: "In our league, everything is possible. We still believe we can achieve something this season and anything is possible. You need to believe that anything can happen and it will." QPR

SPORTING LIFE/Ian Parker - PA Sports

- Barnsley boss Simon Davey hailed his side's performance after they pulled further clear of trouble with an excellent win over fading QPR.
Man of the match Anderson de Silva scored the winner two minutes before half-time after Damien Delaney had earlier cancelled out Daniel Bogdanovic's opener.
Barnsley then went on to dominate the second half as De Silva and his midfield partners Hugo Colace and Andranik Teymourian ran QPR ragged, preventing the visitors from putting Heinz Muller's goal under any real danger.
"It was a good performance and I thought we thoroughly deserved the win," Davey said. "There was only one team in it in the second half and we were winning every challenge and gave them everything they could handle."

The Tykes started the stronger side as Colace and De Silva quickly took a stranglehold on midfield, and they got their reward in the 26th minute when Bogdanovic headed in Michael Mifsud's cross for his second goal in Barnsley colours.
QPR had struggled to create much at the other end, with Dexter Blackstock wasting the two chances that Wayne Routledge had managed to set up.
However, they drew level in the 35th minute as Delaney got up to head Matteo Alberti's cross in at the near post.
The Tykes got back in front as De Silva rifled in a loose ball following a set-piece.
After the break, the Tykes remained very much on top and continued to press QPR back inside their own half, although they failed to create too many more clear chances.

Davey had put the emphasis on results ahead of performances earlier this week, but got both as Barnsley made it seven points from the last nine available.
"It's always a bonus to get a good performance as well but we've got three points on the board and a little run going to get seven from nine and that's the main thing," he said.
Davey piled praise on his midfielders for the way they kept Rangers out of the game in the second half.
"You've got Anderson who was man of the match and Hugo and Andranik winning everything," he said.
"I'd back my midfielders against anyone in the division on their day. They're as good as anybody and we just have to make sure they are on their day more often than not. Today they were terrific. They won the battle and we won the game."

Davey was forced into a number of changes to his side, not least with Darren Moore and Jamal Campbell-Ryce suspended, but got a great response from the players he brought in as Adam Hammill impressed in his first start and Dennis Souza handled Blackstock well.
That will give Davey a selection dilemma going to Cardiff on Tuesday night, but not one he is concerned about.
"It's a nice problem to have," he said. "We've got seven points from nine and we can build on that."

While Barnsley have hit a rich vein of form to pull away from trouble, QPR are watching their own goals slip away as failure to win in their last four games has seen them drop away from the play-off race.
Paulo Sousa was disappointed with the result but praised his player's efforts and insisted his targets remain attainable this season.
- "It's always disappointing when you want the three points but I'm glad because my players showed a lot of effort to win the game," the Portuguese boss said.
- "I said when I first came here that my ambitions were to create a solid base for next season and we are still doing that.
- "When you get very close to the play-offs obviously you start to the think about the play-offs, but if you look at the results today a lot of our immediate rivals also dropped points.
- "When you see that Nottingham Forest win at Reading you can still believe it's possible
." Sporting Life

Barnsley Official Site - Post Match Comments
- REDS boss Simon Davey gave his thoughts following today's thrilling win at Oakwell.
Simon said: "I thought it was a good entertaining game which we thoroughly deserved to win. There was only one team in it in the second half and we were always on the front foot. We won every challenge, which was good to see.
"QPR could not handle the pace of our game and it was nice to put that Charlton performance to bed. It is nice to perform well but the three points are all that were important. We have picked up seven points from nine and now have a big game on Tuesday.
"We were a little fortunate that two decisions did not cost us and I think I would be more upset if we had drawn the game or even lost it. Our front six were brilliant and I could not fault their workj today.
"I would back my three midfielders against any in the Championship. On their day they are as good as any in this league". Barnsley

QPR Official Site - Barnsley 2 QPR 1
In an evenly-matched contest, a resilient Barnsley side narrowly stole the points against an equally as hard-working QPR side.

In a match of few chances, Rangers could count themselves unlucky not to return south with at least a point, after Damien Delaney cancelled out an early Daniel Bogdanovic header. But Anderson de Silva fired home from close range to give the Reds a somewhat fortuitous win.

It could all have been so different had Dexter Blackstock's well-struck shot on the turn crept inside the post instead of just wide.

Finishing strongly - and buoyed by a very vocal away support - Rangers could not find a way past a determined Barnsley back-line and had to give up the points for only a third time under Paulo Sousa.

Knowing Rangers had to return to winning ways, Manager Sousa decided he needed extra firepower up front. Step forward R's leading hit-man Blackstock.

Just behind him, Icelander Heidar Helguson took up position just in front of a midfield quartet of Wayne Routledge, Liam Miller, Mikele Leigertwood - who donned the captain's armband - and Matteo Alberti.

In goal, Radek Cerny retained his starting jersey, whilst his defence consisted of Damion Stewart and Kaspars Gorkss at centre half, with Matt Connolly on the right, and Delaney taking up position on the left.

For Barnsley, on-loan Liverpool youngster Adam Hammill made his home debut, joining fellow loan stars Michael Mifsud and Andranik Teymourian, from Coventry City and Fulham respectively, in the 11.

It was the visitors who fashioned the first real chance of the match. When Connolly found Routledge on the left, the winger's early cross to the feet of Blackstock meant the big striker could turn and fire of a snap-shot. He lacked any real power to worry home keeper Heinz Muller however.

The hosts thought otherwise, and went close themselves some minutes later. A Hammill free-kick fizzed through a crowd before finding its way to Mifsud, who swivelled, shot, and watched as his effort cleared the cross-bar.

Blackstock, who failed to garner enough power on his first attempt, had no such problems with his second.

When Miller sent a deep cross onto the head of Helguson, the Iceland international nodded back to Blackstock, who held off his man and struck a well-hit strike on the turn. Unfortunately, it flew inches wide of the left-hand post.

Spurred on by nearly going a goal down, Barnsley took the initiative and took the lead themselves on 27 minutes.

Hammill broke in midfield and fed Mifsud who looked up, spotted his fellow countryman Bogdanovic and delivered an inch perfect cross for the Maltese striker to angle a header down and beyond Cerny.

The lead lasted all of eight minutes as Rangers equalised with a well-worked goal. Alberti skipped a challenge down the left, drove on and delivered a beautiful cross to the near post where it found an unlikely hero in Delaney to steal and touch it home.

Eager to regain the lead, the Reds went searching for a second. A Bobby Hassell long throw was punched by Cerny into the path of Teymourian who hooked an effort goalward, trying to catch the R's keeper out, but only succeeding in steering it wide.

Barnsley did take the lead minutes before half-time. A cross into the Rangers box from the right was not cleared and Anderson was on hand to smash the ball home.

In the second half, Barnsley picked where they'd left off, with Anderson in particular buoyed by his goal. But when Bogdanovic found Teymourian in space, the man from Iran had no hesitation in blazing wide from 20 yards.

Another chance came and went, this time Hammill drawing a save out of Cerny after a fine, mazy dribble.

With the second half ten minutes old, Sousa introduced Romone Rose, moving Alberti to the middle and taking off Miller. Rose, who made his Rangers debut in the FA Cup against Burnley this season, was making his League debut today.

On 69 minutes, Sousa made his second change, taking off Alberti and giving the impressive travelling support a first glimpse of Spanish midfielder Jordi Lopez, who was making his debut.

Some neat football from Barnsley nearly saw Mifsud add another goal following a fine pass from Hugo Colace, but Stewart removed the danger with an expert block.

Samuel Di Carmine replaced the industrious Helguson, but still Rangers could not find a way through a spirited Red wall, and it remained 2-1 to the home side.

Barnsley: Muller, Hassell, Kozluk, Colace, Foster, Hammill (Devaney 83), Bogdanovic (Macken 65), Teymourian, Anderson, Souza, Mifsud.
Subs: Steele, El Haimour, Rigters.
Goals: Bogdanovic (26), Anderson (43)
Bookings: Anderson (84) Sendings Off:
QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, Leigertwood, Routledge, Blackstock, Gorkss, Connolly, Miller (Rose 55), Alberti (Lopez 69), Helguson (Di Carmine 80). Subs: Mahon, Hall.
Goals: Delaney (35)
Sendings Off:
Referee: Mr R Shoebridge QPR

Barnsley Official Site - FULL TIME FROM OAKWELL
BARNSLEY 2 (Bogdanovic 26, Anderson 43)
QPR 1 (Delaney 36)

DANIEL Bogdanovic's stunning header and a fine finish by Brazilian Anderson gave the Reds a priceless three points at Oakwell.

With injury and suspension keeping out Marciano Van Homoet, Darren Moore and Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Reds boss Simon Davey was forced into three changes bringing back Rob Kozluk and Dennis Souza and handing a full debut to new boy Adam Hammill in midfield. Stephen Foster was, unsurprisingly, named in the starting eleven despite confusion over his fitness earlier this week.
After a cagey opening, Barnsley finally sprang into life with a neat interchange through midfield which saw Anderson putting Michael Mifsud through but the Maltese striker found himself crowded out of it and fired high over the bar.

QPR had a sight of goal themselves on ten minutes as Wayne Routledge did well to get the ball across to Dexter Blackstock but the striker's shot was blocked and trickled through to Heinz Muller.

Oakwell was incensed on 16 minutes as Bogdanovic's fine flick sent Mifsud through on goal only to have his run checked by last-man Damion Stewart's clumsy challenge. The referee gave a free kick right on the edge of the box but - inexplicably - let Stewart off without the red card he ought to have seen by the letter of the law. Hugo Colace's free kick only found the wall.

Routledge again got the better of the Reds on 18 minutes as he raced down the right wing to cross for Blackstock but the striker could not get a shot away after slipping.

QPR were at sixes and sevens again at the back seconds later when Hammill fizzed a free kick across the six yard box. The ball eventually fell to Mifsud at the back post but the striker could only fire over the bar from a tight angle.

Heidar Helguson's persistence gave QPR a great chance on 23 minutes as his knockback dropped on the six yard line for his strike partner to attack but Blackstock smashed his low drive a foot wide of the post with Muller stranded.

Things finally clicked spectacularly into gear on 26 minutes when Hammill's quick feet found Mifsud on the left touchline. The striker took his time before sending over a fine cross that Bogdanovic did wonderfully well to glance home from eight yards. It was a great header by the big Maltese striker that gave Radek Cerny no chance.

Barnsley switched off and were made to pay the ultimate price on 36 minutes when Matteo Alberti danced his way down the QPR left before crossing and Damien Delaney was unmarked to power a header past Muller's despairing dive.

Bogdanovic's quick thinking almost put the Reds back in front just two minutes later as he reacted to flick on Anderson's scuffed free kick but the ball bounced through and wide of the target.

Andranik almost grabbed a goal on 42 minutes as he reacted quickest after Cerny's punch had dropped in the area but the Iranian's effort flew a foot wide of an open goal.

The second goal finally came for the Reds just a minute later when Colace's free kick caused the QPR defence to panic and, in the scramble that followed, Anderson reacted to smash the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Stewart disgraced himself in stoppage time after swinging an arm into Anderson as the pair jostled in the area waiting for a corner. Anderson hit the deck but referee Rob Shoebridge - who gave a free kick - shocking let the QPR defender off without a red card yet again. It was an amazing decision and one that dumbfounded Oakwell.

Barnsley started the second half on the front foot and Andranik's burst through midfield had QPR backpeddling on 48 minutes. The Iranian did well but his shot from 25 yards was never going to trouble Cerny and flew wide. Cerny's kamikaze goalkeeping caused QPR more problems on 49 minutes as he came to punch Bobby Hassell's free kick. The ball fell the Andranik on the edge of the box but again the Reds midfielder could not hit the target under pressure.

Hammill raced at the heart of the QPR defence again on 51 minutes and bamboozled Stewart and Matt Connolly before getting through on Cerny but the flying winger - who had enjoyed a fine full debut - could only manage to force the Rangers keeper into a smart low save.

The game heated up with some flying challenges on half way, the worst of which saw Delaney scythe through Hammill but again referee Shoebridge seemed determined not to produce a card and let the Rangers full back away with a warning.

At the other end Blackstock blazed high and wide on 53 minutes after Rangers threatened before Kaspars Gorkss fine challenge denied Mifsud a certain goal six minutes later after the striker had raced onto Hammill's pass.

The Reds had a decent looking penalty shout waved away on 65 minutes as Mifsud's pass struck Gorkss arm in the area although the Rangers defender didn't really make an attempt to block the ball. Rangers were rattled although Ramone Rose threatened the spectacular on 66 minutes when he let fly from 30 yards but his dipping shot flew well wide of the mark.

Anderson and Colace combined well on the edge of the area on 74 minutes to put Mifsud through but the striker was denied a clean strike on goal by Stewart's lunging challenge. The loose ball just evaded Jon Macken at the back post. Hammill hammered a free kick high over the bar on 77 minutes

Barnsley were comfortable although Jordi Lopez' free kick gave the Reds a worrying moment on 78 minutes but Gorkss was crowded out of it at the back post.

Another clumsy challenge by Stewart gave the Reds a free kick two minutes later after he barged over Andranik but - yet again - the big defender got away without a caution. Barnsley almost made him pay the ultimate price when Hammill's free kick found Macken free at the back post but the home side just could not force the ball over the line.

Referee Shoebridge finally found his yellow card on 84 minutes after Anderson had tripped Leigertwood on the half way line. Connolly gave the Reds a scare on 86 minutes by firing one in from 30 yards but his effort struck Colace and flew wide. Rose then blazed wide of the mark a minute later after finding a yard of space right on the edge of the box.

A late, late corner gave QPR hope but Lopez blew his lines and hammered the ball well, well wide.

BARNSLEY: Muller, Hassell, Foster, Souza, Kozluk, Colace, Andranik, Anderson, Hammill (Devaney 82), Mifsud, Bogdanovic (Macken 67).
Subs: Steele, El Haimour, Rigters.

QUEENS PARK RANGERS: Cerny, Alberti (Lopez 69), Routledge, Delaney, Blackstock, Helguson (Di Carmine 80), Connolly, Gorkss, Leigertwood, Miller (Rose 56), Stewart.
Subs: Mahon, Hall. Barnsley

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