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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

QPR vs Norwich Preview

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QPR vs Norwich
- It's QPR vs Norwich at Loftus Road tonight, with Norwich having one win in their last 11 league games - and without a win since mid-January. On Saturday, while QPR were crashing at Barnsley; Norwich were losing at home to Coventry. This season, Norwich's away record is 2 away wins, 4 draws and 11 defeats.
- Norwich Stats Norwich have Jamie Cureton available (full squad)!

- Over the years, there have been some disappointing results for QPR against Norwich - beyond merely THE 1975/76 game! Head to Head: QPR vs Norwich Results Over The Years

-QPR have a chance for a rare double this season, having won 1-0 at Norwich in September (under Iain Dowie), with 10 men against the game against a Norwich at the time managed by Glen Roeder. Match Reports. The two teams:
- QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon, Leigertwood, Blackstock (Agyemang 77) , Rowlands (C), Ramage, Connolly, Cook (Gorkss 30), Ledesma (Buszaky 82). Subs not used: Camp, Parejo
- NORWICH: Marshall, Kennedy (Grounds 63), Stefanovic, Sibierski, Hoolahan (Cureton 66), Fotheringham (C), Lupoli (Croft 45), Russell, Bertrand, Omozusi, Pattison. Subs not used: Nelson, Koroma

Paul Warburton/London Informer - QPR boss debates strike force for Norwich
- QPR boss Paulo Sousa’s major headache is whether to gamble with two strikers again at tomorrow night’s crucial home match with Norwich.
- The double-pronged attack, the first 4-4-2 system used by the manager at the start of a match since his arrival in November, failed at Barnsley on Saturday where Rangers lost 2-1.
- Neither Heidar Helguson nor Dexter Blackstock could unlock the Tykes’ door, and even a belated cameo from Sammy Di Carmine failed to make the long journey home less of a slog.
- Sousa has always preferred the lone Ranger as his spearhead, and may yet return to the tried-and-tested formula that saw Rangers lose only once in 12 prior to Barnsley.
- The Hoops have slipped to 11th – but are still only six points outside the last play-off spot. London Informer

- As the business end of the Coca Cola Championship season looms ever closer, its bite your nails time for everyone connected to Norwich City Football Club.
- The Canaries currently occupy one of the three relegation berths in the second tier, and it's that alarming statistic that continues to cause a great deal of anxiety in East Anglia.
- After a disappointing start to the season - which yielded just a solitary victory from their opening seven fixtures in all competitions - City have continued to struggle.
- Glenn Roeder ultimately paid the price for their poor form, with the former Rangers midfielder being relieved of his duties in mid-January following their FA Cup exit to fellow Championship strugglers Charlton Athletic.
- Canaries' legend Bryan Gunn was appointed on a temporary basis and following a 4-0 thrashing of Barnsley, the former Scotland international goalkeeper was handed the reins until the end of the season.
- That victory against the Tykes proved to be something of a false dawn, however, with Gunn's charges continuing to flatter to deceive ever since.
- Defeats to Bristol City and Preston North End in recent weeks, coupled with Saturday's 2-1 home loss to Coventry City, have piled on the misery at Carrow Road and former R's hit-man Jamie Cureton believes each and every player is now playing for their future.
- "Our futures are on the line," he said recently.
- "I dropped out with the Club in the Premier League and we have never been back since."
- Whilst the Premier League remains a million miles away at present, it's City proximity to the third tier of English Football that has Gunn et al on tenterhooks.
- Indeed, speaking following last weekend's 1-1 draw with play-off chasing Burnley, the Canaries gaffer set the record straight to his side.
- "We have 12 Cup finals left and we need to win more of them than we lose or draw to stay up.
- "I think we will do it and I think the players believe that."
- Belief is one thing, producing results is quite another.
- Team News
- Bryan Gunn is hopeful of calling on the services of Jason Shackell and Carl Cort for the trip to W12.
- Shackell took a knock to his ankle on Saturday, whilst Cort - despite playing against the Sky Blues - is feeling the effects of a recent foot injury.

Norwich Official Site - NORWICH TEAM NEWS
- BRYAN Gunn hopes his two main injury concerns will be fit as the Canary squad get set to travel to Loftus Road for their match against QPR tomorrow night (8pm).
- Jason Shackell and Carl Cort both featured for the duration of the weekend's 2-1 defeat to Coventry at Carrow Road. Speaking before this morning's training session at the Colney Training Centre, the City manager told canaries.co.uk he was positive the duo would be fit in time to take on Paulo Sousa's side.
- "The people who aren't training this morning from Saturday will be Jason Shackell who took a knock on his ankle in a challenge with Leon Best, and Carl Cort. Shacks lasted the game, and this is more precautionary than anything else. He came in for treatment yesterday and will continue to get treatment and rest today and then take part tomorrow night."
- "To give Carl a lot of credit, he passed another fitness test on Saturday morning in order to get him on the pitch from a different injury which he picked up at Preston. He gave us 90 minutes at the weekend and he'll be fit for the game on Tuesday night and that's the type of attitude we need from players and from everybody at this time."
- Asked for further information on the striker's knock, Gunn added: "I'm not a medical man, we thought it was a broken metatarsal when he did it at Preston but it turned out it was something to do with a fat pad, which he's had injections on in the games afterward.
- "On Thursday after training, he came off with a separate injury which he then passed the fitness test for on Saturday morning. That commitment is what we're after from people and with Tuesday and Saturday games they have to stay positive - Carl certainly wants to play and I commend that attitude.

"He's come in this morning, he's feeling better having played 90 minutes, we'll get the cotton wool on him today and just make sure he's available for tomorrow night. We're going to need big players in both boxes again, QPR's back four are all six-foot plus and they've got other height in different areas of the park which we'll need to combat. Carl will be one of our troops that needs to do that."

The Canary line-up has seen relatively few changes since Gunn took the reins at Carrow Road in January - as a result, questions were put to Gunn by reporters as to whether alterations were needed in order to turn City's luck around: "We need people who believe we can get out of the situation on the pitch and we need people who confident we can get out of this situation and who are confident in their own ability. We need people who can go out on the pitch and perform, and we need passion as well.

"There's been a lot of boxing this weekend with the Thaxton fight - you take the hits, you get knocked down and you have to get back up again. We've got to show no fear, we have to take the knocks and recover, and hope that things change for us."

He continued: "I need to look people in the eye and know that's what I'm going to get from them - there' s a lot of doom and gloom out there and I certainly only want people who believe we can do it. I keep asking for patience from fans and we're going to need that as well, but at the same time we're going to need to get results to change their mindset." Norwich

Norwich Official Site - WE'RE READY FOR A BIG GAME - GUNN
BRYAN Gunn says he hopes his side can maintain a positive frame of mind as the Canaries get set for battle at Loftus Road tomorrow (8pm).

Looking ahead to tomorrow evening's game, Gunn told canaries.co.uk he wanted his players to maintain a positive mental attitude.

He said: "We've got to make sure our players are prepared in the right way for the game and that their mental state is good, and then if we can continue the level of performance and receive our level of fortune, who knows.

"It's a difficult place to go at the best of the times and this is on the back of two recent defeats - they were beaten by Ipswich at Loftus Road a couple of weeks ago and they were beaten by Barnsley at the weekend.

"I'm sure their manager will be looking for a reaction from his players so it's going to be tough but it's one where we've got an opportunity to try and get something from it. We're going to go down there and try and gain three points, so hopefully our players realise it's on the back of a difficult time and we'll try and take advantage of that."

With three vital points on offer from their next game, Gunn told First News his side were fully focused on returning from the capital with as much from the game as possible: "We've got to get ready for a big game on Tuesday night, and preparations for that started yesterday and they're continuing today and we're focused on that game.

"We've got two away games now and hopefully we can do something in the first game and then take it from there - all I see, all I read is that people think we're relegated. I don't think we are, and I said after the game on Saturday we've got 11 games left, 33 points, and until mathematics makes it impossible, we have got to keep fighting and keep believing in each and every minute of each and every game."

He continued: "If you look back to the weekend, we got ourselves back into the game at 1-1 and for whatever reason the referee decided not to give us a penalty kick. It's very thin dividing lines, very crucial moments in games which have affected us and that can change - but we have to make sure we believe it can change and we have to work hard to make sure it changes."

Asked about Mark Fotheringham's reaction after he was substituted in the second half against Coventry, Gunn replied: "It's difficult for players in front of 25,000 people when things aren't going well and you can hear the moans and groans.

"I can understand his frustrations, but as captain of the Club I was disappointed with his reaction as well. Sometimes you have to be big and brave enough to take these knocks on the chin - it happens at football clubs, there's always someone the crowd will have issues with, whether it's their style in that particular game or whether it's more long-standing than that. It's something you expect experienced professionals to be able to cope with."

With Norwich currently in the bottom three, questions were put to Gunn by the media to find out how he was keeping things positive within the Canary camp. "We're doing all we can to raise the spirits, and we may need some players to help as well," he said.

"I'll be doing all I can because that's my character and that's the way I'll continue to be. I had a chat with my coaching team this morning and we know it's a case of changing the mood. The players have to realise that for 20, 25 minutes of the second half we were certainly the better team and had a decision gone our way, the result could have been completely different. It's that thin dividing line between success and failure. Coming off losing 2-1 when you feel you could have won 2-1 is a hard pill to swallow but we've got 11 games left and we need to regroup today and get stuck in again." Norwich

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