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Friday, March 06, 2009

Borrowdale Eager to Play....QPR's Season in Risk of Decline...Connolly Takes Blame...Cole Off to Barnet

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Brighton Official Site - Borrowdale Up for the Challenge
- Albion's new left-back Gary Borrowdale says he is itching to get into action in Albion's relegation showdown with Leyton Orient tomorrow.
- The on-loan QPR defender was re-united with former Coventry City team-mates Chris Birchall and Colin Hawkins this morning, as well as ex-Colchester colleague Matt Heath.
- And Borrowdale says the team spirit was evident as the squad prepared for the crucial game at Brisbane Road.
- He said, "It's nice to know a few of the lads, but everyone else has been great this morning. Everyone introduced themselves and everyone seems to be getting on well with each other. It's a good atmosphere.
- "It was a good first training session. We had some light games, but now I'm just looking forward to tomorrow's game.
- "It's a hard league. I played in it for Colchester earlier in the season, and we just have to grind results out from now until the end of the season. Even if you don't play well, the main thing is the three points.
- "It's going to be a hard game, but from what I've seen this morning we've got some good players here. We need to grind out the result and get the three points."
- Borrowdale's fellow new signing, on-loan Reading keeper Mikkel Andersen, also trained with the squad this morning, and the big Dane says he would love to be involved in Saturday's match.
- "I'm here to get experience, so if I play then great," he said.
- "Of course I want to play, and if I don't, I'll fight to get in the team." Brighton Official

Ealing Gazette/Yann Tear - QPR risk slipping out of contention
- QPR's interest in this season's proceedings is in danger of dwindling away after a second defeat in a week which has extended their winless stretch to six games - and leaves them still searching for a win at Loftus Road in 2009.
- Already there is talk of not giving up on the play-offs while it is still mathematically possible - a sure sign that realistic hopes are fading.
- Rangers were mightily unlucky to lose 1-0 to Norwich City on Tuesday night and a home win against Sheffield United this coming weekend would surely re-ignite their ambitions.
- But it was hard not to wonder whether Flavio Briatore - leaving his seat a few minutes before the end of the match, mobile pressed to his ear - was not busy trying to sound out fellow Italian Giovanni Trapattoni about combining international management with a caretaker role at Rangers much as Guus Hiddink is doing at Chelsea.
-Stranger things have happened.
- Such idle speculation is not meant as a reflection of coach Paulo Sousa, only the impatience of the owner to see progress and to enjoy some stirring nights out at W12 - which have been in short supply of late.
- It is safe to assume rain and wind-lashed home defeats do not feature highly on the Briatore wish-list.
- That said, Rangers showed a marked improvement from their last home outing - the 3-1 defeat by Ipswich Town.
- They could have had three goals in the opening 12 minutes. Heidar Helguson steered wide from inside the box after being presented with a clear target by Dexter Blackstock and Blackstock himself went agonisingly close with a deflected shot after being released by Liam Miller.
- In between, Jordi Lopez - impressive on his home debut at the base of the midfield pyramid with his set pieces and astute positional play - rifled a 35-yarder that shaved the right hand post of Canaries keeper David Marshall.
- Wayne Routledge almost broke the deadlock with a looping header that was held on the line and Mikele Leigertwood's rasping angled drive from outside the box early in the second half was clawed to safety.
- But as so often happens with such scenarios, it was the visitors who plundered the points with a rare attack - Radek Cerny allowing a low Ryan Bertrand shot to squirm through his fingers.
- That capped a horror sequence for Rangers in which a dithering Kaspars Gorkss was dispossessed by Wes Hoolahan and Lee Croft.
- "It's going to be difficult. There's no point in hiding from that," Blackstock told the Gazette when asked about the play-off hopes.
- "But it's not impossible and we need to put a good run together and see where we are. We are not going to give it up until it's mathematically impossible.
- "We have to beat Sheffield United on Saturday. It's as simple as that. We've got to recover well and go into it positively."
- Blackstock added: "Some games we've not got what we deserved and today we definitely didn't get what we deserved.
"The manager's proud of us because his ideas are coming across to us and it showed in the performance. It was good even if we didn't get any points."
Sousa made a point of embracing all his players on the pitch after the match and was keen to express his faith.
"I don't only say to my players I'm proud of them when they win, I'm also proud of them when they lose," Sousa said
"I'm very enthusiastic for my players. They created a lot of opportunities to win the game and played good football in difficult conditions.
We need to keep our heads high. Until the moment we haven't the chance to look forward, we need to believe."... Ealing Gazette

Ealing Gazette - We've been a let-down - Connolly
- Mathew Connolly is making no excuses for the team's recent dip in form which has seen their hopes of challenging for the play-offs take a hit, writes Richard Warwick.
The Rs can consider themselves unlucky to have come away from the game against a plucky but limited Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday.
Yet Rangers never quite found their rhythm and looked frustrated as they struggled to get the ball to their front pair in dangerous areas.
Connolly said: "As a team in the last few games we've been very under-par, although I think we did okay against Cardiff.
"We feel like we've let everybody down I think. We've been trying our best but haven't really created anything.
"There are plenty of things that you can put it down to. Our opponents have played well, but we're not making excuses for it. On a personal and team point of view we have got to play a lot better.
"I don't think that them [new signings] coming in or the change in manager have affected us. They have definitely had a positive affect on the team.
"We've played really well at times under Paulo and we did under Iain Dowie at times as well so we can't hide behind that either. We are definitely capable of playing better and we've shown that in the past.
"We strung a decent run together over Christmas and into the new-year that got us up there challenging so it's disappointing to have let the performances slip.
"We're the same group of lads with the addition of a few new guys in January. We've worked with Paulo for quite a while now and we know what he wants us to do."
Connolly has singled out Liam Miller and Heidar Helguson as two Rs players he thinks will help Rangers get back to winning ways.
"Liam Miller's a great player," he said. "He's played for Manchester United and you can't be a bad player if you've played for them.
"Heider is a good player too and a consistent goalscorer and has had experience of being in this kind of position before as well.
"We've added well to the team and they've all brought something extra. They're both important players for us and will be key for us in the run in."We can definitely still get into the play-offs. There are a dozen or so games to go and all it takes are four or five wins on the bounce and then you're right up there.
"There's a lack of consistency from the teams around us and some of them have slipped up and done us a favour.
"Doncaster were down at the bottom of the league a month or two months ago and now they've won eight or nine in a row so it just shows anything is possible.
"We're positive that we can string a good run of results together and get where we need to be."...
Ealing Gazette

Barnet Official Site - KEEPER COLE JOINS BEES
- Ian Hendon has acted swiftly to end the goalkeeping crisis caused by the thigh muscle injury that will keep Lee Harrison out for at least a month ... Jake Cole, a 6ft 3ins tall 23-year-old keeper from Queen's Park Rangers signed for Barnet this afternoon on loan initially for a month
In the absence of Harrison, and with Rob Beckwith quitting Underhill and saying that he was out of love with the game, Hendon was left with Israeli goalkeeper Ran Kadoch, who has made 11 appearances for the Bees, and former Protec youngster Phil Carpenter, twice an unused substitute this season.
- Newcomer Cole, who has been given Beckwith's squad number 1, has made eight first team appearances for Rangers in his five seasons with the club and has been a capable understudy to Lee Camp, Chris Day, Paul Jones and Simon Royce. He is contracted to the Championship club until June.
- Cole said 'I'm really happy to be here and looking forward to playing games. I only found out yesterday about the possibility of a move to Barnet and I jumped at the chance because I want to be playing league football'.
He trained with the squad this morning and later Ian Hendon said Jake 'Jake has not come here just as cover, but to challenge for the first team place''
Cole has previously been on loan at Hayes, AFC Wimbledon, Farnborough and Oxford United.

BBC - Barnet sign keeper Cole from QPR
Cole will challenge keeper Ran Kadoch for a first-team start
Barnet have signed goalkeeper Jake Cole from QPR, initially on a month's loan.
The 23-year-old has made eight first-team appearances for Rangers in five seasons, and has had loan spells at AFC Wimbledon, Farnborough and Oxford.
Barnet needed back-up with Lee Harrison out for at least a month with a thigh injury and Rob Beckwith quitting Underhill earlier this year.
Cole told the club's website: "I jumped at the chance because I want to keep playing league football." BBC

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