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Saturday, April 11, 2009

QPR Lose Narrowly to Burnley - Reports and Ainsworth/Coyle Comments

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- After once again taking over as Caretaker Manager, it was Gareth Ainsworth who was in a reflective mood as QPR succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Burnley at Turf Moor.
- Clarke Carlisle, the former Rangers defender, snatched the winner minutes into the second half but Ainsworth was proud of his players despite the loss. Speaking to www.qpr.co.uk, Ainsworth said. "With these close games, sometimes you win them, sometimes you don't but I can't fault the effort put in by the players.
- "Burnley's always a tough place to come but the lads battled away to the final second. I have a lot of respect for Owen Coyle and what he's trying to do here, they are a well organised side and I'm very proud of the boys."
- As referee Mr Haywood awarded the goal, he was confronted by R's keeper Radek Cerny who claimed Carlisle's header had struck the arm of Clarets midfielder Chris Eagles. Ainsworth remained philosophical, saying, "Sometimes you get away with it but today we didn't and the luck went Burnley's way.
- "On another day, the linesman spots it and we come away with a point. But Radek's ran 30 yards out of his goal to protest and he's a very honest lad is Radek so that says everything to me. He claims it was Eagles who touched it just in front of him. I think they've got away with it today."
- Looking ahead, and with perhaps thoughts of a late charge into the playoffs all but gone, Ainsworth was quick to highlight that there was still something to play for in the final five fixtures of the season. "I told the lads that we have to see out the final few weeks of the season in the right manner.
- "We can still affect things at both ends of the table. We have Wolves, Preston and Plymouth who are all scrapping for points at both ends of the table. But more importantly I want them to play with smiles on their faces and show what they're made of."
- Once again at the helm of QPR, the R's legend is delighted to be in charge for a second time this season. "I'm very privileged to be associated with this Club. The fans, the players, I enjoy being around this Club and if they want me to lead them then that's a bonus."

SKYSPORT - Ainsworth proud to be in charge
Coyle not worrying about rivals' results

- Gareth Ainsworth is 'proud' to be back in charge of Queens Park Rangers as Owen Coyle hopes Burnley can clinch a play-off spot.
- Following Paulo Sousa's sacking as QPR boss on Thursday, Ainsworth has been placed in caretaker charge for the second time this season.
- His first match back at the helm ended in a 1-0 defeat as former QPR defender Clarke Carlisle headed home the only goal of the game early in the second half.
- Ainsworth is honoured to be given another chance by Flavio Briatore and hopes the club's season does not fizzle out.
- Very proud
He said: "I'm proud of the lads, they battled hard and we have been undone by a sneaky handball.
- "Radek Cerny ran 30 yards out of his goal and that says it all to me but he is adamant that Eagles handled it as it went in.
- "Burnley is a tough place to come and I have a lot of respect for Owen Coyle and what he has achieved here.
- "We want to pick up points and we can still have a say in promotion and relegation this season.
- "We don't want the season to die now but I want the players to enjoy it.
= "I've had one crack at being manager before and I am very proud to be involved and will continue to lead the side out for as long as I'm asked to."

- Coyle was pleased with his team's performance, with sixth-placed Burnley now seven points clear of closest rivals Swansea and Preston.
- Nervy
"We just have to look after ourselves and we did that today," said Coyle.
- "The last 10 minutes were nervy but we had a lot of chances and should have had more than a one-goal lead going into that period.
- "The lads thought that Clarke's second header which was cleared was over the line but I couldn't tell from the sidelines.
- "To give that level of performance at this stage of the season spoke volumes of the side's character.
- "There were so many positives to take from the game, most of all three points and now we have another tough game at Cardiff on Monday."
- Coyle added: "We were obviously aware of the Preston result as it was announced just before we kicked off and what it meant was that we had an opportunity to create a seven-point gap and we have done that.
- "But nothing is decided yet.
- "Our intent from kick-off was there for everyone to see and we are in a great position.
- "There have been twists and turns all season so we are well aware of the threats we are still to face.
- "We will have to be at our best to get a result at Cardiff but we are capable of doing that." Skysport

Burnley Official Site - Coyle: Plenty To Shout About- wen Coyle admitted that Preston's lunchtime home defeat to Blackpool give his team a pre-match shot in the arm.
- But the gaffer was proud of the way his players grabbed the opportunity with both hands against QPR to open up a crucial seven point gap over seventh placed North End.
- Coyle said: "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that we heard about Preston's result.
- "That meant we had an opportunity to widen the gap, but we still had to deliver.
- "We had to take care of our own results and we did that.
- "The last 10 minutes were a bit nervy as we were holding on to a one goal lead, but at this stage of the season there will always be nerves when you are playing for something.
- "There's no doubt we should have been out of sight by then given the amount of chances we had.
- "All in all we were well worth the three points and it would be nit picking to suggest we should have had a few more goals.
- "To go and give that level of performance, I thought, spoke volumes."
- Coyle, who revealed that striker Steven Thompson will definitely not be fit for Monday's game at former club Cardiff, added: "There will be twists and turns though and we have to remain focused.
- "Brian Jensen had five stitches in an eye wound on Friday following training and Martin Paterson pulled out of training with his tight hamstring.
- "But young Jay Rodriguez came in for his full debut and looked as if he has been there all his days.
- "There were so many positives, but the biggest is the three points."
- The Clarets earned victory thanks to Chris Eagles contentious 48th minute goal.
- The ex-Manchester United wide man deflected the ball home from close range after Clarke Carlisle headed a Robbie Blake corner into the mix.
- Eagles said: "It was so quick I just threw my body at it and the ball went it.
- "It doesn't matter where it hit, it's still a goal and that's all that matters to me." Burnley

Final Score: Burnley 1 QPR 0

Burnley Official Site:
Chris Eagles' second half finish meant that Burnley closed in on a top six finish."

The Clarets took a giant leap towards the play offs with a hard fought, but thoroughly deserved, 1-0 win over managerless Queens Park Rangers at Turf Moor.

Chris Eagles' close range effort was enough to give the Clarets all three points despite a spirited effort by the West London visitors.

Burnley showed their attacking intent right from the off and Wade Elliott struck wide just second after kick off.

QPR struck the post through Vine after a neat one-two on the edge of the box but the linesman's flag on the far side rightly adjudged the front man to be offside.

Jay Rodriguez, making his full debut for the Clarets, headed just wide from a Robbie Blake free kick after five minutes.

Brian Jensen had to be alert to make a superb save at his near post on 13 minutes after Vine got behind full back Rhys Williams and fired a good shot goal wards.

Rodriguez had another header on 21 minutes but he couldn't guide Eagles' cross towards goal under pressure from Kaspars Gorkss.

He went closer with a yet another header on 34 minutes, this time forcing Radek Cerny in the Rangers goal to dive to his right.

Graham Alexander then capitalised on some sloppy defending a few seconds later and forced Cerny into another good save.

Blake had a free kick well saved by Cerny five minutes before the break as the Clarets looked to get the all important first goal.

Alexander had a speculative shot saved by the QPR keeper on 42 minutes but unfortunately the rebound wouldn't fall kindly for Eagles and the visitors' defence was able to clear.

That was the last real chance of a slightly nervous first half in which Burnley dominated and, had it not been for the performance of Cerny in the Rangers goal, should have gone in leading.

The Clarets started the second half brightly, Rodriguez having a deflected shot wide and then Carlisle striking the post with a head from the resulting corner.

Burnley were deservedly ahead on 49 minutes when Eagles turned the ball over the line from close range after Carlisle headed towards goal from Blake's corner to send Turf Moor into raptures.

The Clarets should have had a second on 53 minutes but neither Eagles nor Elliott could fire the ball home after good work down the left by the latter.

The visitors did continue to press and showed flashes of why they are highly thought of as an attacking force in the Coca-Cola Championship this term.

Eagles had a cross-cum-shot turned over by Cerny on 69 minutes and Carlisle had a bullet header off the line from the resulting corner. The Burnley substitutes, warming up on the far side felt the ball had crossed the line but replays looked to show the linesman on that side made the right decision.

Carlisle then deflected a ball towards his own goal on 73 minutes but thankfully it spun behind for a corner.

Substitute Lee Cook flashed a shot wide for the visitors on 83 minutes after finding himself free following a slip by Steve Caldwell in the box.

It was a nervous last few minutes but despite some nice spells, Rangers never really threatened the Burnley goal and the final whistle was greeted by a huge cheer by the majority of the 15,000 inside Turf Moor.

Burnley: Jensen, Williams, Carlisle, Caldwell, Kalvenes, Elliott, Alexander, McCann, Eagles (McDonald 89), Blake (Gudjonsson 78), Rodriguez (Paterson 85).
Subs: Penny, Duff.
Booked: Kalvenes (foul, 32)

QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Gorkss, Connolly, Delaney, Routledge, Taarabt, Leigertwood, Ephraim (Lopez 72), Di Carmine (Cook 54), Vine (Alberti 84).
Subs: Mahon, Stewart. Attendance: 15,058 Burnley

QPR Official Site

Part Four this season of Queens Park Rangers versus Burnley ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat for the Super Hoops as a towering header from R's old boy Clarke Carlisle condemned Gareth Ainsworth to defeat in his first match back at the helm.

It could have been worse for the R's had Chris McCann's header crept inside the post instead of striking it, and Hogan Ephraim not been in the right place in the right time to block another Carlisle header.

Rangers had chances, the returning Rowan Vine going close early on, connecting with a deep Wayne Routledge cross, and then guiding a header narrowly wide.

But that final touch was missing and Rangers succumbed to their first defeat in four matches.

Placed in charge for the trip to Turf Moor, Caretaker Manager Gareth Ainsworth made a single change to the side that drew with Crystal Palace a week ago.

Rowan Vine started a game for the first time in more than a year, replacing the missing Liam Miller.

Partnering him in attack was the young Italian Samuel Di Carmine, whilst behind them - in a four-man midfield - Wayne Routledge took up residence on the right, Adel Taarabt the left, with Hogan Ephraim partnering skipper Mikele Leigertwood in the middle.

The back five lined up as they did against the Eagles. Radek Cerny donned his goalkeeping gloves once more, looking to extend his run of 18 clean sheets this season, with Peter Ramage and Damien Delaney his full-backs and Matt Connolly, alongside Kaspars Gorkss, his central defensive duo.

The bench saw Jordi Lopez return to the squad, where he was joined by midfield colleagues Lee Cook, Gavin Mahon and Matteo Alberti, with Damion Stewart taking the last substitute berth.

Burnley lined up with a familiar face at centre half. Former Hoops defender Clarke Carlisle kept Michael Duff benched, whilst talisman Robbie Blake was preferred to Irish hit-man Martin Paterson who joined his countryman on the subs bench.

Straight from the kick-off and Burnley nearly caught the R's out in the opening seconds. Neat passing found Wade Elliott who did not hesitate to send a drive towards Cerny's goal. The Czech keeper watched as it swerved away at the last moment and went wide.

Clearly relishing his return to the starting line-up, Vine went close to opening the scoring minutes later. Bursting down the left, he tucked a pass inside to Ephraim who clipped the ball up and played in the striker with an audacious back heel.

It was brilliant, but two things conspired to rob Vine a comeback goal - the post and ultimately the offside flag.

Burnley fought back to regain the upper hand, but Jay Rodriguez and Carlisle both wasted headed chances.

But Vine was unperturbed and once again nearly scored that goal he craved. Ephraim's burst through the middle and subsequent pass to Routledge out wide to the right allowed the latter to swing a beautiful cross to the back post where a lunging Vine was only denied by the giant form of Brian Jensen.

As the momentum swung back and forth, a dazzling bit of individual brilliance from Chris Eagles nearly unlocked the Rangers defence.

Chasing a loose ball that was heading for the sideline, Eagles somehow flicked it through his legs to keep it in play. Faced with Delaney, the same trick left the Irishman for dead but the Clarets winger's eventual shot fizzed narrowly wide of Cerny's left-hand upright.

Involved in the Clarets' next threat, Eagles played a neat ball to Rhys Williams who whipped in a cross from the right. Rodriguez rose well, but could only head at Cerny.

Seconds later and Graham Alexander broke through the middle before lashing a left-foot shot that needed a strong diving save from Cerny to tip it around the post.

Burnley skipper Steven Caldwell then nodded a corner over the bar as the home side continued to edge the first half. For all their attacking threat, the Rangers defence proved equal to the task, with Gorkss and Delaney in particular enjoying fine afternoons so far.

Cerny as well, was keeping Burnley at bay, and when Blake tried to catch him out with a whipped free-kick around the wall from the right, the former Tottenham keeper dived to his left to punch it clear. Another Alexander effort, seconds later, was once again well-saved by the in-form custodian.

Burnley threatened again two minutes before half time when Elliott broke through the middle before releasing Rodriguez on the left. As the lanky striker bore down on goal, the ball was expertly taken from by a sliding Connolly, eager to emulate his impressive defensive team-mates.

It proved the last moment of note in the first half, and both teams retired to the dressing rooms for a well-earned break.

Mere seconds after the restart and Burnley had hit the woodwork, Chris McCann climbing highest to head a Blake corner onto the left-hand post.

Sensing the chance was there for the taking, Burnley took the lead with their next corner. Blake fired in a deep set-piece from the right, and Rangers old boy Carlisle rose highest to head through a crowd and beyond Cerny. Cries of handball from the R's players fell on deaf ears as the goal was awarded.

Reacting to the goal, Ainsworth made his first change, Cook replacing Di Carmine.

It proved an astute change, with Cook immediately involving himself in Rangers attacks. Just past the hour, he combined well with Taarabt and Vine, with the ball eventually finding its way to Delaney on the edge of the area.

The left-back took it on the half-volley and blasted his shot wide of the far post.

But it was the home side who posed the greater threat to the scoreline. Eagles nearly caught out Cerny with a right-wing cross that needed dealing with before it crept underneath the crossbar.

Seconds later and Ephraim blocked another goal-bound Carlisle header on the line as Burnley pushed in search of that killer goal.

A second change was made by the R's stand-in gaffer and Lopez rose from the bench to replace Ephraim.

But Rangers refused to quit, and Vine came within a whisker of levelling. A Cook cross from the right was met by a thumping header from Vine attacking the near post. But it flew wide and an equaliser evaded the R's once more.

And so it stayed 1-0, and the R's returned to London without reward for their hard work.
BURNLEY: Jensen, Alexander, Kalvenes, Carlisle, Caldwell, Elliott, McCann, Rodriguez (Paterson 86), Blake (Gudjonsson 79), Williams, Eagles (McDonald 90).
Subs: Penny, Duff. Goals: Carlisle (49)

QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Leigertwood, Routledge, Vine (Alberti 85), Gorkss, Ramage, Connolly, Di Carmine (Cook 54), Ephraim (Lopez 72), Taarabt.
Subs: Stewart, Mahon.


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