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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

QPR Under Magilton: Magilton Speaks...Ali Russell Speaks

Visit the combination messageboard and quasi-blog: The QPR Report Messageboard. QPR and other football news; nostalgia; and posters' views: No focus on politics, films, music, etc. No ad-hominem attacks on fellow posters. Just an (usually) intelligent focus on QPR and Football

- Ex-QPR, Andrew Howell Joins Braintree Town & Recalling His QPR Days
- Two Year Flashback: "Winding Up Media Reports"
- Nostalgic QPR Photos (Updated)-
- The Magilton Diaries (Satire)
- 2009-2010 Schedule: Important Dates
- Football League Trust Hold its First Conference

Kilburn Times - 'Right man to take the club forward'

QPR are hoping the arrival of new manager Jim Magilton will win over sceptical fans who have yet to sign up for next season.

Fewer than two thirds of last year's season ticket holders had renewed their seats ahead of last week's announcement that the former Ipswich boss would succeed Paulo Sousa at Loftus Road.

But that uncertainty has been eased by the appointment of Magilton, who is expected to confirm John Gorman, the ex-England assistant manager, as his number two later this week.

Rangers' deputy managing director Ali Russell told the Times: "The board feel that Jim is the right man to take the club forward. He's got experience and a good understanding of this league and we're really excited that he's joined us.

"I think there's no doubt that confirming who the manager is, what shape the team's going to be in next year, who's coming and who's going, are aspects of the game that excite fans.

"That excitement, we're hoping, will build and build towards the start of the season and people will want to go out and make their commitment to getting involved next year.

"This time last year we'd only just launched season tickets for the season ahead and we're now far ahead of where we've ever been at this stage of the summer.

"I personally appreciate the commitment people are making - the support we're getting from season ticket holders helps us to remain ambitious and go for what we want, which is promotion to the Premier League.

"One of the first things Jim will do is sit down with the board, look at the team and look at his needs and talk through that very logically with them."

Rangers finally settled on their man almost two months after Sousa's sacking and the 40-year-old Ulsterman becomes the eighth person to take charge of the team since Ian Holloway was dismissed in 2006.

Interestingly, Magilton - who played for Oxford, Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich - is the first of them since John Gregory to hold the title of manager rather than coach.

A key player in the Ipswich side that won promotion to the Premier League under George Burley and qualified for Europe in successive years, Magilton hung up his boots to take over the manager's role from Joe Royle back in 2006.

The Tractor Boys finished mid-table in each of his three seasons at the helm, narrowly missing the play-offs in 2008 and failing to improve on that last year, which resulted in his sacking in April.

Passing football was always one of the hallmarks of Magilton's Ipswich sides, though - and the new boss should find it easier to reproduce that at Loftus Road once the new pitch is completed.

"QPR have always played attractive football and a key part of that is having a good surface," added Russell. "But we had some horrendous weather conditions last year.

"That, coupled with heavy usage, is bound to affect the pitch. So we're spending significant funds on having it redeveloped and dealing with some components that have been problematic over a number of years.

"We need to get the surface up to scratch and protect it - and we have moved the reserves away from Loftus Road for the coming year to give the pitch as much of a break as possible.

"We want to be able to use the pitch at the end of the season for different organisations and fan groups and that's all part of being a club for our local community, giving people an opportunity to play there. Kilburn Times

The London Informer/Paul Warburton
I'm the gaffer... so stay out of the dressing room' says Magilton

JIM Magilton only agreed to become QPR boss if chairman Flavio Briatore agreed to give him full control of team matters.

The new man at the helm insists he will brook no interference in team selection or even take advice - and thus demanded the title 'manager' rather than 'coach' when he took over last week.

The difference marked an important shift of emphasis for the former Ipswich supremo, who was well aware Briatore often wanted a say in team matters with the three previous coaches over the last two seasons.

It's an open secret that the chairman even gave a team talk when then manager Luigi Di Canio was absent on compassionate leave, and the issue was a stumbling block that delayed the appointment of the ex-Northern Ireland international until last Wednesday.

Briatore even demanded half-time team changes in a match last season when he was away on Formula One duty - but Magilton will have none of that during his tenure.

Instead, he and new assistant John Gorman will have total control of team selection - although it may be too late to stop the sale of £2m Dexter Blackstock to Nottingham Forest.

An insider close to the Rangers forward said: "Dex wants to go there because he felt very much at home - and also, he's going to get a pretty decent pay rise."

Rangers will shop in Europe for a new striker as all others on the domestic want-list are out of Rangers' price range.

A source said: "Practically every manager candidate said there was not much wrong with the squad they might inherit - and Jim was one of those.

"Rangers do need another forward, however - and when you see that former target Fraizer Campbell has gone to Hull for £6m - the club may need to look abroad."

It's also on the cards that Magilton will offer Gareth Ainsworth a loan deal elsewhere - and allow the ex-caretaker boss to enjoy a last season on the pitch while studying for his coaching badges and a permanent job as a manager in the future. London Informer

Kilburn Times - Magilton must be given time, says Lomas

FORMER QPR midfielder Steve Lomas has backed his international colleague Jim Magilton to guide the Rs into the top six next season.

Lomas (pictured right playing for QPR in 2006), who spent several years alongside the new Rangers boss in the heart of Northern Ireland's midfield, believes Magilton will be a success - as long as the club give him time.

"It's time for someone to get in there and be given at least a couple of years," Lomas told the Times. "There needs to be continuity at the club and I hope the chairman realises all that chopping and changing isn't any good.

"I think you could always see Jim had the right personality - he was a terrific player, passing the ball about, and this is a good opportunity for him.

"If you look at the QPR squad, it's vastly different from when I played there a few years ago and, with the addition of two or three players, they should be challenging for the play-offs.

"They haven't scored enough goals, that's clear, but they've got players like Akos Buzsaky and Martin Rowlands coming back and, if Jim can keep all those boys fit, they'll have a chance. Kilburn Times

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