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Friday, March 06, 2009

Next: Sheffield United at Loftus Road

- For a purely football focus, visit the QPR Report Messageboard. for a combination of quasi-blog and messageboard. - See: Complete List of "50 Greatest Managers"
....."Where Has it Gone Wrong for Rangers"
......Managers Of The Month Announced.

- Since this is football, QPR are pretty much destined to win this one - even though Sheffield United haven't lost in 12 away games - (unbeaten away since October) and have the best away record in the Division, while QPR have lost 3 and drawn 3 of their last six games (and just 5 wins since Sousa took over!
See: - Sheffield United's Stats this season and QPR's Stats and current form

- Back in August, Iain Dowie's QPR was crushed 3-0 at Sheffield United with a Sharp hatrick. These were the Teams.
QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Hall, Leigertwood, Parejo, Blackstock, Gorkss, Connolly, Cook (Alberti 80), Balanta (Di Carmine 46), Ledesma. Subs: Camp, Stewart, Mahon
Sheffield United: Kenny, Halford (Cotterill 65), Naysmith, Morgan (Ehiogu 33), Kilgallon, Henderson, Jihai, Speed, Tonge, Sharp (Webber 84), Quinn. Subs: Stead, Spring. -- Match Reports and Managerial Comments

- Past QPR vs Sheffield United Encounters:

The [Sheffield] Star/James Shield - Blackwell's fresh approach for big challenges ahead
- SHEFFIELD United are planning "one or two" changes at Queens Park Rangers tomorrow.
Despite watching his side win their last two games, Kevin Blackwell admits he is tempted to rotate his squad to guard against injury and fatigue
- Aware that United, who climbed to fourth in the table when they beat Coventry City on Wednesday, are enterting a critical phase of their promotion campaign, the United manager said: "There will probably be a couple.
- "Some of the lads have played a lot of games in recent weeks and we've got some massive ones coming up, especially those at home, and so I don't want to lose anybody for them.
- "I want to have everyone available."
- Refuting suggestions that he is about to take a calculated gamble, Blackwell added: "We're not the biggest in terms of numbers and that's why we've got to be careful.
- "But we have brought bodies in and they give us quality options.
- "For the first time in a while, during the last couple of games, I've been able to look at my bench and know that every single player on it is capable of coming on and turning things around if required.
- "Danny Webber and Greg Halford were both doubts before we went to Coventry and having those options allowed me to put them on the bench and not take any risks with them."
- United travel to London looking to complete a hat-trick of Championship victories while their hosts are aiming to avoid a trio of defeats.
- Blackwell continued: "We all spoke with each other before the Birmingham match last Sunday and underlined this was going to be a big week.
- "That's why I'm delighted with what we've done so far but, make no mistake, we're going down there looking for a clean sweep.
- "All the way through the season we've tried to be positive.
- "There have been times when I've named three or four forwards on the bench and that shows our intentions.
-"Chris Coleman (Coventry's manager) wrote in his programme notes that he knew we wouldn't go to their place and look to defend.
- "We didn't.
- "We always look to win and we won't be doing anything different between now and the end of the season."
- With players in all departments contributing in front of goal - defenders Leigh Bromby and Chris Morgan were both on target at Coventry - Blackwell is confident his team are still difficult for opponents to predict.
- "If the goals are coming from different areas, from different people, then it makes it much harder for people to stop you," he said.
- "It means they can't just look to mark one scorer out of the game knowing that, if they do it, the chances are they are going to get one over on us. The Star

The Star/James Shield - Confident Blackwell plays down the hype
- SHEFFIELD United manager Kevin Blackwell has warned his squad not to become victims of their own success when they face Queens Park Rangers tomorrow.
United climbed to fourth in the Championship table following a 2-1 victory over Coventry City in midweek and, having won their last two games, are confident of closing the gap between themselves and the automatic promotion places.
- But despite setting a new club record at the Ricoh Arena - they have not lost a league fixture away from home since mid-October - Blackwell has taken steps to ensure no-one is resting on their laurels ahead of the trip to Loftus Road.
- "We're not going to believe the hype," he said.
"Three weeks ago we were getting caned and now we're getting the plaudits.
"We're not as good or as bad as people say we are. That's how we've got to look at it.
"We've just got to concentrate on doing our jobs and getting the results we need."
Blackwell added: "I do think we've answered a few questions, though.
"We've shown that we are intent on staying where we are and trying to improve on it.
"But, I'm not going to pretend that we shouldn't be going down there with plenty of confidence.
"I would hope that we're as confident as anyone else in the division at the moment.
"We certainly should be."
Despite enjoying vast financial reserves courtesy of their billionaire owners, QPR have struggled to impose themselves on the top six this term.
Tuesday's home defeat by Norwich was their third in six outings and left Paulo Sousa's side languishing in midtable.

But Blackwell, who spent two years at Leeds before returning to South Yorkshire last term, said: "When you're at a big club people are always looking to shoot you down.
"It was the same when I was at Leeds, and now Sheffield United are the ones everyone wants to shoot at.
"When teams have got one over on us then, more often than not, they've lost their next one because they've put so much into it.

"That's why I don't think the top clubs get enough credit for what they do because it's very demanding." The Star

- Sheffield United head to Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon in buoyant mood, after setting a new Club record on Wednesday night.
A 2-1 victory against in-form Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena saw Kevin Blackwell's charges extend their unbeaten away league run to an impressive 12 matches - during which time they've chalked up six wins.
Their victory against the Sky Blues was not without controversy, however, as Leigh Bromby's opening 'goal' was adjudged to have crossed the line, when TV replays showed that was clearly not the case.
Buoyed by their fortune, skipper Chris Morgan powered home a header from Brian Howard's free-kick to double his side's advantage and although City hit back when Scott Dann nodded in Aron Gunnarsson's long throw in, an equaliser proved beyond Chris Coleman's men.
Despite the victory - and the resultant Club record - Blades gaffer Blackwell wasn't about to get too carried away by his teams' triumph.
"I realised it was a record - 120 years old - but the win matters more," he said.
"Coming to the form team, we knew it was going to be tough, but my lads rolled up their sleeves.
"It is about grinding results out in this league because it is the hardest league to get out of."
The victory lifted United three places to fourth in the Championship table and within just six points of the automatic promotion spots.
However, despite the R's recent dip in form, they'll be hopeful a 13th unbeaten away match proves unlucky for the Blades.
Team News
Billy Sharp's groin injury will rule him out of the trip to Loftus Road, but influential duo Greg Halford and Danny Webber could return after being rested in midweek. QPR

Sheffield United Official Site - Skip on Club record
- Skipper Chris Morgan, who was on the scoresheet in Wednesday night's success over Coventry City, says the Blades new unbeaten away record in the Championship is something the whole club can be 'proud of'.
- Morgan headed home in the 54th minute from Stephen Quinn's free-kick, but the burly defender was keen to focus on making history and what exactly the achievement means, whilst insisting United always felt in control of the clash at the Ricoh Arena:
- "The lads weren't aware of it until after the game when Sam Ellis told us. To break such a record is something everybody can be proud of and to do it away from home tells you a lot about the character within the squad.
- "It is such an inconsistent league, but we try and be positive home and away. It isn't our job to be the crowd pleasers when you are on the road so I suppose in that respect it is maybe slightly easier.
- "We have never gone away from home to sit back and soak up pressure, and even on Wednesday we had a few chances to increase our lead and were really disappointed to let them back in. Despite the tense ending we never felt in any real danger of not winning the game."
- The Captain also feels the Blades have to take the current opportunity to put pressure on the top because the race for an automatic promotion is wide open, especially if Kevin Blackwell's men can re-create the end of season run that they enjoyed this time last year:
- "We set out our aim at the beginning of this campaign and it is down to how much we want it. The door is open so let's get through it and kick-off the hinges!
- "We showed last season that we can go on a run, so if we have done it once, why not? Sheffield United

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