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Sunday, March 15, 2009

QPR's Southampton Draw: Additional Match Reports

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Sunday People/Chris Davies - Wotte tells pretty boys to turn ugly
- Southampton boss Mark Wotte may come from the land of total football, but the Dutchman was desperate to win ugly yesterday.
- Saints have been praised for their pretty football this season, but that was non-existent against Rangers as 90 minutes of tedium was greeted with boos at the final whistle.
- The result probably suited both clubs as it meant they each got something from a match neither deserved to win.
- The draw made it 11 points from the last six games as Southampton's recent improvement continued and Wotte said: "We'll only know if this is a point won or two lost at the end of the season.
"We needed more width and did not have that impact today. I was pleased with the clean sheet, but we must be more clinical up front. An ugly win would have been very welcome."
Qpr still have mathematical, if not realistic, hopes of a play-off place but on this shoddy evidence, Formula One power-brokers Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone will have to splash the cash in the summer if the club are to have any hope of promotion.
This was Rangers' eighth game without a win but manager Paulo Sousa, the billionaires' fourth boss since taking charge two years ago, is confident he will see the job through.
Sousa said: "There is no pressure from the board. I gave them clear ideas and they know what to expect. From the beginning I said I would build a solid base for next season.
"We need to push, think and motivate but that's not easy when you are missing five or six players. I still believe we can make the play-offs, especially when you see other results."

Southampton should have been ahead after three minutes when Jason Euell was clean through on goal after a great pass from Jan-Paul Saeijs. As Rangers keeper Radek Cerny came out to narrow the angle, the Saints striker's first touch was too heavy and the ball ran out for a goal-kick.
Unfortunately this was not a sign of things to come as it proved to be the best chance of a low-key first half as both sides seemed afraid to take risks.
Ex-Southampton forward Dexter Blackstock missed an opportunity to score his fourth goal against his former club since joining Rangers in 2007, but scuffed his shot.
Andrew Surman and Chris Perry went close for Saints before Euell finally tested Cerny who saved his 15-yard shot at the second attempt.
The game ended with Rangers sub Adel Taarabt almost sneaking a win for the Hoops, but the stalemate got the result it ultimately deserved.
Southampton: Davis 7 - James 6, *SAEIJS 8, Perry 7, Skacel 6 - Lallana 6 (Thomson, 74mins), Gillett 6, McGoldrick 6, Surman 7 - Euell 6, Saganowski 6 (Wright-Phillips, 77mins).
Qpr: Cerny 7 - Ramage 6, *STEWART 8, Gorkss 7, Connolly 6 - Ephraim 6 (Taarabt, 80mins), Miller 6 (German, 71mins), Lopez 5 (Mahon, 87mins), Leigertwood 7 - Routledge 6, Blackstock 6.
Referee: M Jones 7. Sunday People

SUNDAY MIRROR/Peter Allen - Saints stifle Sousa but he still looks up
- Paulo Sousa's underperforming QPR were held by struggling Southampton and have not scored in four games.
- But the Rangers manager still thinks his side can get into the promotion shakeup.
- Sousa said: "We can still make the play-offs, but it is hard when you are without six or seven of your best players.
- "The teams above us are not pulling away, so there is a chance."
- Saints, whose recent revival has now seen them win three and draw two of their last six outings, remain two points from safety but had the better chances.
- Coach Mark Wotte said: "We have edged closer to those teams above us, but we should have won one of the two home games we have had in the last few days. We need to take the chances when they come our way."
- The hosts almost went ahead inside two minutes when a mistake by QPR centre-half Damion Stewart let in Jason Euell, who rounded Radek Cerny but put his shot the wrong side of the post.
- Mikele Leigertwood squandered Rangers' first chance, firing wide from 20 yards.
- Rangers should have taken the lead in the 20th minute after Kaspars Gorkss nodded Liam Miller's corner across goal, but diminutive winger Wayne Routledge put a free header over the bar from all of three yards out.
- As the first half wore on the hosts looked the more threatening. Five minutes before the break Euell got in a shot which Cerny made a meal of but gathered at the second attempt.
- Shortly after the restart Rangers were inches from going ahead when Routledge found Jordi Lopez, whose drive took a deflection and flew just wide.
- On-loan Tottenham youngster Adel Taarabt nearly marked his debut for Rangers with a goal in the closing stages, but his shot hit the side-netting.
- Saints came closest to grabbing a winner when Cerny made a fine save from Andrew Surman.

6 Davis
6 James
7 Saeijs
6 Perry
6 Skacel
5 Lallana
7 Gillett
6 McGoldrick
6 Surman
8 Euell
6 Saganowski
6 Cerny
6 Ramage
6 Stewart
7 Gorkss
6 Connolly
5 Ephraim
6 Miller
7 Lopez
6 Leigertwood
6 Routledge
6 Blackstock
Thomson (Lallana) 4,
(Saganowski) 5
German (Miller) 4,
Taarabt (Ephraim) 5,
Mahon (Lopez) 4
MAN OF THE MATCH JASON EUELL 8 A wise old head for the Saints
Referee: M Jones 5 Sunday Mirror

News of The World - Pressure piles up on Paulo Sousa
- PAULO SOUSA faces an early exit from QPR after the wealthy Londoners stretched their run without a victory to nine matches.
The blank scoresheet did struggling Southampton’s Dutch boss Mark Wotte far more good as it meant only one defeat in the last six games.
But former Portuguese international Sousa, who took over at Loftus Road last November, may not find boss Flavio Briatore in good humour after such a poor performance.
Sousa claimed: “There is no pressure. I came here with clear ideas and the board knew exactly what to expect.”
But Renault Formula One chief Briatore and his board want to fast-track into the Premier League — and there seemed little sign of it ever happening yesterday. Rangers, well off the play-off pace despite being among the pre-season promotion favourites, played the better football but lacked penetration.
- Saints keeper and captain Kelvin Davis had little to do other than saving from defender Chris Perry’s scuffed shot in the first half and a Jordi Lopez effort after the break.
Rangers’ on-loan Spurs youngster Adel Taarabt, 19, shot in the side-netting on his debut as sub.
But Saints almost grabbed a winner when Jason Euell played in Andrew Surman and Radek Cerny made a fine save News of The World

- Also: Earlier Reports and Managerial Comments

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