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Friday, April 24, 2009

A Look at QPR's Season...John Giles on Keane and QPR...QPR's Comeback Goals...Plymouth Prepare for QPR

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- A Chairman Calls on Championship Clubs to Slash Ticket Prices to increase attendances

- Video: QPR's Comeback Goals vs Sheffield Wednesday --- Also "flashback"- Video Promoting The New Loftus Road

John Giles (Herald/Ireland) on Roy Keane at Ipswich Notes re QPR
" ...There was a lot of talk about Keane taking over at QPR and they have plenty of wealthy benefactors at Loftus Road as well. But I couldn't see any way that Keane could cope with the egos at play there and I have little doubt that it would have been a disaster if he had chosen QPR." - Herald/Ireland

Plymouth Herald - Rangers' early promise has failed to materialise
- QUEENS Park Rangers started the season as one of the favourites for promotion but will finish it among the also-rans.
There were high expectations for Rangers, whose chairman and co-owner is Formula One tycoon Flavio Briatore.
Instead, the west London club have struggled for consistency – on and off the pitch.
QPR have rarely threatened to mount a play-off push, let alone a challenge for automatic promotion.
And this season has also seen the arrival and departure of two bosses – Iain Dowie and Paulo Sousa.
- Dowie was appointed by Briatore last May but he only lasted until October.
QPR player-coach Gareth Ainsworth had a three-match stint as caretaker boss before Sousa, the former Portugal and Juventus midfielder, took over in November.
- But Sousa had his contract terminated a fortnight ago, allegedly for divulging sensitive information.
- It followed his admission that he had not been told about the departure of top scorer Dexter Blackstock in a loan move to Nottingham Forest.
Ainsworth was reappointed as caretaker boss and, since then, Rangers have won once and lost twice.
- They are 11th in the Championship, 12 points outside a play-off position, going into their final home game of the season against Argyle tomorrow.
- There is a suspicion that QPR are already looking beyond the end of the current campaign.
For example, Rangers will be wearing their 2009/10 home kit for the first time against Argyle.
And the club have also announced they will be making a trip to the Middle East next month.
- Rangers, whose shirt sponsors are Gulf Air, will play the Bahrain national team in a friendly on May 7.
- That will be four days after they end the Championship season with an away game against Preston North End.
Blackstock, the former Argyle loan signing, had grabbed 11 goals for QPR this season before moving to Forest at the end of March.
His departure was compensated for by the return of striker Rowan Vine from a long-term injury.
Vine, who has always flourished against Argyle, did not make his first appearance of the season until the start of April following a badly broken leg.
He has made four appearances, starting twice, and scored in the 3-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Loftus Road on Easter Monday.
Former Argyle fans' favourite Akos Buzsaky has not played for QPR since November.
The Hungary international suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury when QPR lost 1-0 away to Manchester United in a Carling Cup tie.
It is hoped the talented 26-year-old midfielder will be fit for the start of next season.
QPR are also currently without midfielder Martin Rowlands (knee) and striker Patrick Agyemang (thigh). Plymouth Herald

Plymouth Herald - Sturrock keen to finish season with a flourish
- ARGYLE can ensure Championship football for another season by beating Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road tomorrow.
Otherwise, the wait to find out whether the Pilgrims will win their battle against relegation will continue until at least Monday.
That is when Norwich City, who are 22nd in the Championship table, are at home to Reading in a Sky-televised clash.
Bottom-of-the-table Charlton Athletic have already been demoted to League One.
And the fate of Southampton was sealed yesterday when the Football League announced they would be deducting them 10 points (see page 36).
- But the one remaining relegation position could still be filled by any of seven clubs.
Should Argyle beat QPR in their penultimate match of the season they will definitely be safe, regardless of other results.
If the 19th-placed Pilgrims draw tomorrow, Norwich must win their last two matches to stand any chance of finishing above them.
But an Argyle defeat at Loftus Road could see them overtaken by Nottingham Forest and Barnsley, and put them firmly in the sights of Norwich.
Then the Pilgrims would face a pressure-filled encounter against Barnsley at Home Park next Sunday.
Not surprisingly, Argyle manager Paul Sturrock is hoping to avoid that last scenario.
He said: "As long as we mirror-image Norwich in terms of results this weekend, then it's happy days.
"But I don't want to limp over the line. I would like us to do our business to get over the line.
"It would leave a nice taste in our mouths for next season if we were to win the last two games."
Argyle have won seven times on their travels this season, including a 1-0 success over promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers.
They are also unbeaten in their last two away games, after defeating Blackpool 1-0 and drawing 1-1 at Birmingham City.
But QPR, who are 11th in the Championship, have an impressive record at Loftus Road this term, with 12 wins and only four defeats.
And their players know they must continue to put in decent performances while the club search for a new manager after the recent dismissal of Paulo Sousa.
Sturrock said: "It's a difficult place to go because QPR have got good home form.
"If their players want to stay there they have got to impress their owners."
Striker Rowan Vine, who has recently returned from a broken leg, is someone that Sturrock has a particularly healthy respect for.
"The boy Vine has missed most of the season so he should be flying," said the Pilgrims' boss.
"It's a difficult place to go, but no more difficult than going to Birmingham (on Easter Monday) when they needed the points to stay in the top two, or when we went to Wolves."
Argyle will have to improve considerably on their display in the 3-0 defeat by Doncaster Rovers at Home Park last Saturday.
Sturrock said: "That game isn't forgotten. I will make sure it's not forgotten. I think I have got to use it as a tool.
"We have got to appreciate we are an attitude and workrate team. That's the kind of team we are.
"And when you are that kind of team, you have to have that cutting edge all the time, as far as attitude and workrate is concerned.
"We thought it was just going to happen for us last Saturday, and the team that had played against Blackpool, Coventry and Birmingham didn't turn up.
"Their bodies were there, but the mental side of it wasn't there."
Before Argyle play QPR, Blackpool will take on Forest in a 12.30pm kick-off at Bloomfield Road.
One point would see 18th-placed Blackpool to safety.
Sturrock said: "I would probably like a Blackpool win because it keeps a team (Forest) below us with one game left." Plymouth Herald

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