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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Sheffied United Preview QPR....Blackwell "[QPR's] £5-6 Million Worth of Signings on the Bench"....Matt Pickens' New Club

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QPR Official Site - [Leigertwood] CRISIS - WHAT CRISIS?
- Mikele Leigertwood insists any reunions with his former Sheffield United team-mates will be have to be put on hold until after the final whistle tomorrow (Saturday), as the R's aim to reignite their play-off push.
- The Hoops midfielder spent 12 months at Bramall Lane earlier in his career, but he insists the focus tomorrow will be solely on winning - and nothing else.
- "They're in a great run of form, especially on their travels, but it's up to us to stop them," he told www.qpr.co.uk.
- "They've got a great squad and invested very well in January, so of course it will be another tough game, but we'll fancy ourselves."
- Leigertwood still keeps in touch with a few of his former Blades colleagues, but he's not engaged in any of the usual pre-match banter so far.
- "I still speak to Monty (Nick Montgomery) and Webbs (Danny Webber), but there's not been any banter flying back and forth just yet.
- "In all seriousness, I had a great time there, with a great bunch of lads and of course I wish them well - but not tomorrow afternoon."
- Rangers have failed to win any of their last six Championship fixtures, but Leigertwood - who has skippered the R's in recent weeks - insists that run of form doesn't tell the full story.
- "People are talking about a crisis, but there's no way we're in a crisis situation," he said.
- "I can't really put my finger on what's gone wrong over the last few matches, but I don't think we're too far away.
- "We've still got a game in hand on most of the chasing pack and if we beat United and win our game in hand, the whole situation changes and suddenly people will start talking about us again.
- "It's a crazy division, where anyone can beat anyone, but we still believe we can have a huge say this season." QPR

Sheffield United Official Site - Boss on QPR trip
- Kevin Blackwell takes his side on the road again to Queens Park Rangers this weekend and talks about the challenge ahead.
- Going there is another massive test and you look at the fixture list in this division and ask, when is their any respite?
- Their squad is littered with quality, I watched them at Barnsley and they must have had between £5-6 million worth of signings on the bench.- I don't know why they haven't performed as well as they might have expected and they will want to prove a point. Perhaps they have been lacking a bit of a cutting edge and, if so, I hope that is the case on Saturday.
- I look at the quality of player they have and they can beat anybody - they drew at Cardiff City recently - so we know we must focus or we will lose.
- But a lot of clubs probably thought that we had a tough task at Coventry and I think we answered a question or two there.
- We showed that we have the intent to stay in the hunt at the top, and that was against an in form side who themselves regarded the game as a massive one.
- I think Chris Coleman had indicated that he didn't think we would go there just to defend, which was true. We have been positive away from home all season and I have often had four or five strikers involved on the pitch and the bench.
- Confidence is high but we won't get carried away by the hype because six or seven weeks ago we were getting caned - unjustly. The truth is the team and I are not as good as some people say and not as bad as others insist.
- Our boys have a bit of courage and bloody-mindedness about them when they go away from home which is probably why they have done well.
- You could see that at Coventry when they conceded a goal - the crowd got behind City and the referee was perhaps going to be influenced by what was going on for a while, but they dug in and refused to be breached again. Sheffield United

Sheffield United Official Site - Possession game expected
- Chris Morgan says United will have to be somewhere near their best to ensure they leave West London with a 'positive result' on Saturday.
- Morgan is expecting another tough away clash and with Paulo Sousa in charge of the R's, United will no doubt be without possession for periods of the game, but the skipper says the Blades can combat that in their own way:
- "Obviously, with the manager they have they will want to get it down and pass it, so we will have to work hard and close them down, making it difficult for them.
- "If we can press them and win the ball back high up the pitch it can only be of benefit to us going forward.
- "Loftus Road is a good ground to play at, the crowd are on top of you and no doubt they will be behind their players as they look for a late play-off push."
- A former Blade will also be looking to end United's record breaking twelve game unbeaten run in the league, but Morgan, who will be looking for his third goal of the season, says the United will be going all out to get their second away success this week:
- "Mikele Leigertwood will want to put one over us and will be getting their lads fired up to do that, telling them what to expect.
- "It is another tough trip but we are looking forward to it and go there confident of getting a positive result." Sheffield United

Sheffield United Official Site - QPR form guide
- QPR will be looking for their first win in seven matches, as the Blades look to build on their 12 game unbeaten away run in the capital at the weekend.
- The R's have lost their last two matches against Barnsley and Norwich respectively. They will also have revenge on their minds after Billy Sharp's hat-trick sealed all three points for the Blades at the Lane in August.
- Rangers are currently sitting in 11th position in the table and are above Sheffield Wednesday on goal difference.
- Dexter Blackstock is top scorer for the West Londoners with eleven Championship strikes to his name. Sheffield United

Ex-QPR Matt Pickens at Colorado
GOAL.COM - MLS 2009 Team Preview: Colorado Rapids
.....John Zielonka checks out the Colorado Rapids.
"...New faces: Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe (F), Ivan Guerrero (M), Matt Pickens (G) and Gregory Richardson (F).
- The most significant pickup was keeper Matt Pickens. He and Preston Burpo are fighting for the starting goalie spot. Pickens participated in the last two U.S. National Team training camps and, most recently, played in England with the Queens Park Rangers. ..."

And another ex-QPR: Nick Ward Finding Success Back in Australia

Sports Australia: Ward on board for further two years

-Melbourne Victory has taken the first step towards defending its historic Hyundai A-League treble, with attacking midfielder Nick Ward extending his contract with the club for a further two years.
- Ward, 23, was a key member of Melbourne Victory’s midfield in 2008/09, establishing himself alongside Qantas Socceroos Billy Celeski and Tom Pondeljak and scoring two goals in the process.
- After missing the opening six rounds of the season through injury, Ward featured in all of Melbourne Victory’s remaining matches, including last Saturday’s A-League 2009 Grand Final.
- Melbourne Victory Football Operations Manager Gary Cole said the club was delighted to keep Ward, who arrived at the club from English side Queens Park Rangers in late 2007.
- “It’s fantastic that we’ve reached an agreement with Nick in what is a great signing for everyone involved,” Cole said.
- “Nick firmly established himself in the team after overcoming his injury problems and was an important part of our successful run to the Premiers Plate and Champions Trophy.
- “Nick’s body is now in the best shape it’s ever been, which is also a credit to the hardworking sports science, sports medicine and strength and conditioning elements of the club.”
- Ward was just as excited to extend his stay with Melbourne Victory.
- “It’s exciting to secure my future here in Melbourne after such a successful season,” Ward said.
- “I’m really happy to be part of this team, playing alongside such good players.
- “Hopefully we can repeat our efforts next season and also do well in the AFC Champions League.
- “I didn’t want to go anywhere else in Australia; Melbourne Victory is the club I want to be at.
- “Now that my future is here I can do further work with the medical staff and get myself even stronger moving forward.”
- Ward was Melbourne Victory’s inaugural under-23 marquee player in 2008/09, but has now outgrown his status. Sports Australia

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