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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

QPR vs Cardiff Preview...Routledge Returns...Kennedy on QPR...Flashback: Briatore and Ecclestone QPR Plans...QPR At This Point Last Season

-- Visit the new QPR Report Messageboard: A combination of quasi-blog and messageboard, where the focus is solely on QPR and football-in-general. No politics; no cliques; no "latest films;" "favorite foods;" or "most attractive women." Just QPR; QPR Nostalgia; and football: QPR Report Messageboard!
-- Among the items posted today: On This Day: The Nadir - Wimbledon .... Link to QPR Video from 1967/68 - And Memories of The Game/Match Programme....Notts County Directors Threatened With Criminal Charges....Cash Crisis Affecting Even Wealthiest Clubs

Cardiff Official Site - EARLY TEAM NEWS v RANGERS
- Cardiff remain firmly in the promotion race after picking up a well-earned point at league leaders Wolves on Sunday. Next up for the Bluebirds is play-off chasing Queens Park Rangers, who will provide a stern test at Ninian Park. Simon Glanville previews the Wednesday evening clash.
- Cardiff team news: Jay Bothroyd is boss Dave's Jones biggest selection worry after the striker limped off with a calf injury in the game against Wolves. Bothroyd's injury is not thought to be serious, but may see him miss out on Wednesday night.
- Stephen McPhail remains on the injury list but Quincy Owusu-Abeyie will be hoping to make his Cardiff City debut, after being an unused substitute at the weekend.

- QPR team news: Paulo Sousa will have new signing Jordi Lopez available at Ninian Park after the creative midfielder and free agent signed on an initial three-month deal. Lopez has previously been with Real Mallorca and Sevilla and should add to the squad at Loftus Road.
- The Hoops have also been handed a triple injury boost with the news that Patrick Agyemang has been given the go-ahead to step up his rehabilitation, whilst key duo Radek Cerny Heidar Helguson have resumed full training. Helguson came on at the weekend after recovering from his calf tear, while Cerny has recovered from his hamstring problem. Agyemang is still likely to be a while away from returning to action, but at least has some positive news on his road to recovery.

- QPR's season so far: QPR are on their second manager of the season following Iain Dowie's departure after just 15 league games. With ambitious and rich owners, the club want Premier League football and Dowie was ruthlessly dismissed after a slow start.
- New boss Paulo Sousa has come in and steadied the ship, and the Hoops will be hoping for a strong finish to the season to clinch a play-off place. The club are five points off the top six heading into Wednesday's game, and need the points just as much as Cardiff do if they are to realise their ambition.

- Last meeting: It was a day to forget for Cardiff back at Loftus Road in November, as a late Gavin Mahon headed goal earned the home side all three points, in a game which also saw the Bluebirds reduced to nine men, following the harsh sending offs of Darren Purse and Miguel Comminges. The red card to Purse was subsequently rescinded.

Teams from last meeting at Loftus Road on 8th November 2008:
QPR: Cerny, Stewart, Connolly, Hall, Ramage, Ledesma (Buzsaky 55), Rowlands, Cook, Tommasi (Mahon 67), Blackstock, Di Carmine (Agyemang 71). Subs not used: Cole, Delaney.
Bluebirds: Heaton, McNaughton, Comminges, Roger Johnson, Rae, Ledley (Gyepes 29), Purse, Whittingham, McPhail, Eddie Johnson (Parry 72), Chopra. Subs not used: Enckelman, Blake, Jonathan Brown. Attendance: 13,347.

QPR last time out: The Hoops were left stunned last time out as Ipswich ran riot at Loftus Road. The home side did take the lead through Sam Di Carmine, but the Tractor Boys hit back through Jon Stead, Pablo Counago and Jonathan Walters to move ahead of their hosts in the table.
QPR: Camp, Delaney (Blackstock 67), Mahon, Hall, Leigertwood, Routledge, Gorkss, Connolly, Cook, Miller (Balanta 73), Di Carmine (Helguson 55). Subs not used: Stewart, Alberti. Cardiff Official Site

- South Wales Echo/Terry Phillips - Wayne Routledge set for Ninian Park return
- WAYNE Routledge left Cardiff City in January with scarcely a glance back. Tomorrow evening he returns to Ninian Park.
The Sidcup-born midfield player signed for Queens Park Rangers, turning down a massive offer from the Bluebirds to stay.
Cardiff players were far from happy that Routledge – who scored twice in nine appearances during a loan spell from Aston Villa – left without saying goodbye to his former team-mates.
Cardiff offered to make Routledge their highest-paid player. He would have landed a pay rise from his wages at Premier League Aston Villa plus a three and a half year contract.
Villa agreed a fee for the winger, thought to be more than £300,000, and it was purely down to the player.
Rangers are believed to have offered Routledge a £200,000 signing-on fee and more than £20,000-a-week.
“It was disappointing we could not do a deal with Wayne,” said manager Dave Jones.
“The chairman, Peter Ridsdale, and directors did everything possible to keep Wayne at this football club.”
After sealing his move to Rangers, Routledge said: “I’m thrilled to be here. The manager, Paulo Sousa, has a great vision about where he wants to take the club and sees me playing a big part in that.
“The reason I am here is because the manager showed an unbelievable desire to get me to QPR and I am delighted...” Routledge: QPR and Cardiff

- Cardiff City will be aiming to step up their promotion bid when they entertain Queens Park Rangers at Ninian Park on Wednesday evening.
The in-form Bluebirds have gone 12 games unbeaten and on Sunday came within nine minutes of beating Coca-Cola Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.
They had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Molineux, but with games in hand on the teams above them the result was not disheartening insists left back Mark Kennedy.
The former Wolves and Republic of Ireland player said: "I thought that we were the better team on the day.
"We deserved the three points, but that's football. You have to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and go again.
"The Wolves game is gone now, we've got another big game on Wednesday and another opportunity to pick up three points.
"It will be a really tough game because I reckon that on their day QPR are as good a team as anybody in the Championship.
"They're coming off the back of a disappointing result (a 3-1 defeat by Ipswich Town ended QPR's nine match unbeaten run) so they'll be looking to put that right.
"But likewise, we'll be looking to win the game and hopefully move a place or two further up the table."
After their draw at Wolves the Bluebirds are sixth, eight points below the automatic promotion places but with three games in hand on second-placed Birmingham City.
They also have four games in hand on Wolves, so they have the opportunity to shoot for one of those top two spots let alone a place in the Play-Offs.
And Kennedy, who has been impressing in defence after switching from the left wing, said: "We've got nothing to fear in this League.
"At the moment Wolves are top and you have to hold your hands up and say they are a good side - but the Championship is probably as competitive as it has ever been.
"All the teams in the chasing pack are very good teams and all the games from now on are going to be like cup finals for everybody involved.
"Given the choice you'd rather have points in the bag than games in hand, but once we get our games out of the way I'm confident we'll be there or thereabouts.
"I'm also sure that the promotion battle will go right to the wire - but we'll fancy ourselves as much as anyone else will fancy themselves in the run-in." Football League

Also: Cardiff Stats: Cardiff Stats this season --- Cardiff Results
Cardiff Squad ---

Flashback One Year - Briatore and Ecclestone on QPR
-Telegraph/Derick Allsop February 24, 2008- QPR rev up for tilt at the big boys
- Flavio Briatore had that countenance of any football fan when his team run out of ideas and almost out of luck. But then, as he says, it has to be a step at a time and at least this was another point. Behind him, in the Queens Park Rangers directors' box, Bernie Ecclestone muttered: "Told you it would be 1-1."
- Maybe he was wishing they had bought Chelsea, after all. We'll get back to that. For better or worse,
- Briatore and Ecclestone, two luminaries of the Formula One world, have committed themselves and some of their fortunes to the mission of turning Rangers into a force in the Premier League.
- They have the track record and Rangers have a pedigree of sorts. Some of the 15,383 who saw them hold on for a draw against Sheffield United will recall a time when this was a cult club: winners of the League Cup as a Third Division team, runners-up in the old First Division. Their style, bordering on arrogance, was epitomised by those Loftus Road icons, Rodney Marsh and Stan Bowles.
- There was little evidence of swagger or even hope when Briatore and his chums took over Rangers in September. "Flavio rescued them, make no mistake," Ecclestone said. The pair pledged to pay off £3 million debts and invest in the ailing
Championship team, now managed by Italian Luigi de Canio. "We [Italy] have given England and Ireland their managers but this is just a coincidence," said de Canio's compatriot, Briatore, over pre-match lunch.
- Briatore, who led Benetton and their successors, Renault, to Formula One supremacy, and Ecclestone, responsible for transforming haphazard Grand Prix racing into the finely-tuned extravagance it is today recruited three partners, including steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, whose wealth puts even Bernie in the shade.
- But despite the resources of the world's fifth richest man, Briatore insists they won't aimlessly throw money at their football project.
- "We didn't waste money at Benetton or Renault and we won't here," Briatore said. "We have a three-year plan to take the club to the Premier League, improve the stadium and facilities, but the focus is the sport."
- Briatore, a Juventus fan from boyhood, now has another club dear to this heart, although he admits he thought QPR was a restaurant. "I'd never heard of QPR," he said. "But now I am glad we don't have a restaurant! My job is Formula One. Here we have people in position to run the club properly. Football is an emotional sport and when you are involved, it matters. I get as nervous as any supporter. I don't know what will happen today."
- Ecclestone interjected: "I do. We'll win 4-0. I've had a word with the referee." Bernie is renowned for his impish sense of humour as well as his power. He was just joking…wasn't he? He goes on: "For me this is a nice diversion. Trouble is, wherever I go people want to talk about Formula One. At least I don't have to worry about every little detail and nurse-maiding boring VIPs as I do at a race. The thing about football is that it can be uncertain until the last minute of injury time. You don't get that so much in Formula One."
- So what is this about Chelsea? "We would have bought them if Roman Abramovich hadn't done," he said. "It would have cost us about £140 million. We'd have done it, but then Abramovich came in."
- Briatore said: "I like taking a small club and making it a big club, so I'm happy we're here." Ecclestone came back: "I'd like Chelsea!" Rangers are light years from Chelsea's status but De Canio brought in 10 players during January and they have edged away from danger.
- Just as Ecclestone and Briatore head for the directors' box, Birmingham score a late equaliser against Arsenal. "See what I mean," Bernie said.
Briatore studied the team sheet and pointed to No 36, Angelo Balanta. "He is only 16, one of the most talented players we have."
- His eye is caught also by United's No 6, James Beattie. "They paid £5 million for him - we bought all 11 players for that." Briatore was soon enthusing about his goalkeeper, Lee Camp. "Bravo, bravo." Both men were up on their feet when Balanta scored after 18 minutes. "It's the kid, it's the kid," Briatore yelled.
- Rangers held their lead at the break and Bernie and Flavio retreated to the chairman's suite to study the half-time scores.
- United, managed for the first time in a league match by Kevin Blackwell, resumed with greater purpose and Fitz Hall, the Rangers defender, was summoned to work overtime.
- Briatore twinged in anxiety and Ecclestone popped out to take a call and was probably grateful for the relief.
- He returned to see United claim an inevitable equaliser though the scorer was less predictable. For once Hall was unable to clear decisively and United's centre-half and captain, Chris Morgan, drilled in the equaliser. As Briatore and Ecclestone were aware, it could have been worse. Telegraph

Flasback one year: QPR drew 1-1 at home to Sheffield United and were 16th with 40 points from 33 games (6 off relegation; 12 points from playoff spot) QPR's Team vs Sheffield United: Camp 6; Mancienne 7, Hall 6, Connolly 6 (Stewart 5), Delaney 6; EPHRAIM 8, Rowlands 7, Leigertwood 6, Balanta 6 (Blackstock 5); Agyemang 6 Vine 6. Manager De Canio 6

Bottom 11 a Year Ago
Blackpool 34 42
Sheff Utd 33 40
QPR 33 40
Barnsley 33 40
Coventry 32 39
Southamptn 34 39
Leicester 34 37
Sheff Wed 32 35
Preston 33 34
Colchester 33 32
Scunthorpe 34 32

Two Years Ago, On This Day: QPR had been held to a 1-1 draw by Ian Holloway's Plymouth. ( Lee Camp; 38 Michael Mancienne, 4 Danny Cullip, 25 Damion Stewart, 27 Sampsa Timoska; 11 Gareth Ainsworth, 16 Steve Lomas (capt), 7 Adam Bolder, 14 Martin Rowlands (29 Paul Furlong 80); 32 Dexter Blackstock, 17 Lee Cook. Substitutes (not used): 12 Jake Cole (gk), 24 Pat Kanyuka, 31 Ray Jones, 37 Jimmy Smith.)
QPR were out of the bottom three only on goal difference
Burnley 40
Ipswich 39
Norwich 38
Hull 36
QPR 35
Barnsly 35
Southen 31
Leeds 31

Western Daily Press - We're hungry to win, says Yeovil Town skipper Forbes
- New captain Terrell Forbes is calling on Yeovil Town to be strong as they head into their first away game under rookie manager Terry Skiverton.
The Glovers go to Crewe looking to build on Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Oldham, and Skiverton has handed Forbes his skipper's armband on a permanent basis.
- "Normally I get the captaincy through the new gaffer not playing but I was captain for the last three games under Russell Slade and I am just grateful and honoured," said the former QPR man.
- Forbes appears supremely confident of victory at Gresty Road.
"It is going to be hard but we are going to go to Crewe and we are going to get three points because all the boys are hungry," he said.
The gaffer said they are going to play three up front so we will have to keep tight and strong and hopefully nick a result."
Apart from the management team of Skiverton and Nathan Jones, Forbes is the longest-serving player at the club.
"Russell Slade has done a lot for me and I respect him," said Forbes.
"It is different now. I am the only one out there from the play-off final. We have all got to be strong and keep battling away."
Skiverton's promotion to manager means the Forbes-Skiverton centre-half pairing is not likely to be seen too often any more.
"I always say we are like Danny Glover and Mel Gibson! He wins the headers and I tuck round," smiled Forbes.
"It is a change of scenery and it is good because he is a centre-half himself so he knows what he is talking about."
This season has seen the emergence of two impressive young full-backs at Huish Park – Nathan Smith and Craig Alcock.
Forbes said: "I share a flat with Nathan and he keeps me going with his pasta and he goes to bed at the right time.
"We call Craig Alcock 'everything'. That's because he is good at everything. Bowling, pool, table tennis, everything.
"He is learning every day and he never ever loses a header. He is full of energy and hopefully he can keep doing well."
Both full-backs have scored once this season but Forbes' career remains goalless as he heads into his 340th career game.
"The other day I got on the scoresheet – with an own goal!" he pointed out. "I apologise to the fans but I never go up for corners. I always stay back.
"They always say it is good for me to stay back for my pace.
"But I am 27 years old and I am getting old now and I think I need a goal before the end of my career!"
Midfielder Gary Roberts could be on the bench against his former club after recovering from ankle trouble.
Meanwhile, Derby County striker Aleksander Prijovic is set to return to Yeovil on a second month's loan tomorrow after recovering from illness. Western Mail

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