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Saturday, February 13, 2010

QPR's Relegation Plunge Continues With Coventry Loss: Last 17 Games: LDWLD-LLDDW-LDLLL-LL..QPR Now Two Points Above Relegation Spot

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- Minute-by-Minute

- QPR's Terrible Stats Since Early November:...Last 17 Games: LDWLD-LLDDW-LDLLL-LL...Two Points Above Relegation...

- Updated Table

Derby 30 36
QPR 30 34
Sheff Wed 30 34
Crystal Palace 29 33 [*Palace Deducted 10 points]
Ipswich 29 33
Scunthorpe 30 33
Reading 14 32
Plymouth 29 27
Peterborough 31 21

- Mick Harford was adamant that his QPR side deserved to collect at least something for their efforts after Rangers went down to a 1-0 defeat at Coventry City.
- In a match where chances were few and far between, Gary Deegan's deflected goal in the tenth minute was the deciding factor on what was a dreadful playing surface.
- Harford explained to www.qpr.co.uk that he felt his team were the stronger force at The Ricoh Arena, despite the defeat.
- "We're very disappointed with the defeat. In terms of possession and the way that we played, we were much better than Coventry and didn't deserve to lose," Harford said.
- "They had one shot on target, and it's disappointing. We're getting in some good positions but not creating any goalscoring chances.
- "But it's something that we've got to overcome. We're all professionals, and it's my job to get the players up for Tuesday's game against Watford. I can promise the QPR fans that on Tuesday the players will be up for the game.
- "The workrate and effort of the players was unquestionable. We've just got to start amassing some points as quickly as possible."
- Harford added: "It's not something that I enjoy. I'd rather play poorly and win. That's the thing that we need to do at the moment.
- "We'll keep battling and trying. If you saw the performance today, there was a marked improvement from Tuesday evening.
- "I felt that the players showed a lot of effort and commitment. We just need a bit of the rub of the green at the moment.
-"The bottom line is that it's the points that matter." QPR

- QPR boss Mick Harford lamented his side's poor run of form and after seeing his side's winless run extend to nine games in all competitions with a 1-0 defeat at Coventry, he admitted he would take any kind of win at the moment.
- Gary Deegan's 10th-minute winner lifted the home side up to 10th in the Coca-Cola Championship on the back of a five-match unbeaten run, but things look far less positive for Harford and co.

Rangers are sliding towards a relegation battle and Harford said: "We are very disappointed with the defeat. You run out of words to say when you are on a run like this because you don't get the rub of the green.

"You are always under pressure as a manager. You are judged on results. I would prefer to play poorly and win, that's what we need to do at the moment.

"I don't think we deserved to lose because they had one shot on target in the whole game and it took a deflection. It's my job to pick the players up but the spirit is good."

Sky Blues boss Chris Coleman, however, is watching his team make a surge for a play-off place.

He said: "I anticipated that it wasn't going to be a classic but we got the job done. It was one of those games where we had to grind it out and the lads did that.

"We said to them at half-time that it might be one of those games where we just had to dig in and get a result if we were not going to be at our best going forward, and that's exactly what happened.

"This win puts us within six points of the top six and eight points off the bottom three so we are on the up."

QPR started brightly by putting Coventry goalkeeper Keiren Westwood under pressure in the opening five minutes with two corners which he needed to palm away.

Coventry built on their 1-0 midweek win over Nottingham Forest by going ahead in the 10th minute through Deegan's first goal for the club.

A huge kick from Westwood reached Clinton Morrison with his back to goal and tenacious midfielder Deegan won a challenge to unleash a low shot from 20 yards which went in with the aid of a deflection.

With the visitors failing to put Coventry under any real pressure, Tamas Priskin was substituted for Antonio German in the 55th minute.

QPR slowly began to grow in confidence by dominating possession and Coleman brought on new loan signing Freddie Sears from West Ham for Morrison in a bid to turn the balance back in his team's favour.

But it was Harford's men who might have equalised when skipper Lee Cook's free-kick on the right was met by the head of Leon Barnett and was heading for the far corner until Westwood diverted the ball away for a corner. Sporting Life

- COVENTRY City boss Chris Coleman praised his side's nitty gritty qualities as they ground out a second consecutive win to propel themselves into the top ten of the Championship table.

The Sky Blues stayed just six points outside the play-off places after Gary Deegan bagged the only goal of the 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at the Ricoh Arena with his first strike in City colours.

Coleman said: "I told the lads it would not be a pretty second half but that if we stuck our guns we would get the three points and we did.

"Credit to Mick Harford because QPR did their homework and we found it hard to break them down in the second half but credit to our lads as well for sticking to the task and getting another three points.

The City boss also said the Sky Blues' recent run of results, which has seen them win six and lose just two of their last 11 games, was breeding a feel-good atmosphere both inside and outside the dressing room.

"There are alot of positive things happening at Coventry City at the moment and there is plenty to smile about," he added.

"It's no coincidence that we are where we are in the league and although we know there will be a few more twists and turns before the season is over, we are chipping away at the league and heading in the right direction."

Coleman also singled out goalscorer Deegan and 'keeper Keiren Westwood as well as new loan signing and debutant Freddie Sears for praise.

"Gary is only going to get better and he is starting to get to grips with this league and Keiren made an outstanding save in the second half just showing what a good 'keeper he is.

"Freddie Sears also did very well for us when he came on. He is only 20 years old so it's all infront of him but he showed great awareness in the later stages of the game and I think he will do well for us whilst he is here."

Check out Chris Coleman's FULL post-match interview on Sky Blues Player NOW!!! Coventry


Gary Deegan's tenth-minute strike proved to be enough for Coventry City against the R's in a lacklustre affair at The Ricoh Arena.

Deegan's fortuitous deflected strike won it for the hosts, after his effort came off the leg of a Rangers defender and nestled in the bottom right-hand corner.

Mick Harford would have been more than happy with the efforts of his side, but ultimately their failure to convert their possession into chances proved costly.

R's boss Harford made three changes to the side that was beaten at home in midweek by Ipswich Town.

Marcus Bent missed the trip to the Midlands with a hamstring injury, while Nigel Quashie and Hogan Ephraim also both made way.

That meant Peter Ramage, Akos Buzsaky and Tamas Priskin all came back into the side to face the Sky Blues.

On a bitterly cold afternoon at The Ricoh Arena, the R's forced a flurry of corners in the opening five minutes.

After Priskin won the first of three QPR corners, Cook's delightful centre almost completely deceived City keeper Keiren Westwood, who did well to just tip the ball over his own bar.

Moments later, another corner - this time from Buzsaky on the left - possessed just as much quality as Cook's, deceiving everyone but Connolly at the back post, who scuffed wide from close range.

Both sides were struggling to get the ball down on what was an atrocious playing surface.

However, on ten minutes, the Sky Blues' first shot on target saw them collect the opening goal of the affair.

After a long ball was played up to the Clinton Morrison, the former Crystal Palace striker touched the ball back into the path of Gary Deegan who, with the aid of a deflection, stroked the ball into the bottom left-hand corner past the helpless Ikeme.

Soon after, Rangers went on the attack down the right, and after Buzsaky cut in to fire over a cross-come-shot, his effort was comfortably collected by Westwood.

The Magical Magyar went even closer moments later.

After the lively Faurlin was tripped on the edge of the box, Buzsaky stepped up to curl a shot just wide of the left-hand post for Rangers.

Despite chances being few and far between, it was the Hoops who continued to pose the greater attacking threat, with the lively Cook and Faurlin at the heart of their positive play before the interval.

As the second half got underway, the R's and their counterparts City again struggled to get a hold of the game in this increasingly tight encounter.

Rangers had the first shot on target in the half, however, and when Cook won a free-kick from 25-yards out, he fired the resultant set-piece straight at Westwood in the Sky Blues goal.

Moments later, Connolly won possession on midway before releasing the ball to substitute Adel Taarabt, who could only drag his shot from the edge of the penalty area just wide.

The R's, by now, were enjoying more possession, as they went in search of a much-needed equaliser - and they almost got it.

Cook's teasing ball from the right into the box was diverted goalwards by City defender Leon Barnett, and keeper Westwood somehow managed to dive to his left to tip the ball away for a corner.

Soon after, Sky Blues right-back Stephen Wright attempted a speculative lob over Ikeme when he struck the ball towards the net from fully 40 yards from goal, but the Rangers keeper got back in time to claim the shot.

The R's enjoyed a greater amount of possession in the closing stages, though a Cook free-kick that sailed wide 25 yards from goal, and substitute Antonio German's low strike that flashed across the six-yard box, was all that they could muster.

Coventry City: Westwood, Wright, Clingan, Eastwood, Morrison (Sears 67), Deegan, Cranie, Baker, McIndoe, Barnett, Wood.

Subs: Konstantopoulos, Hussey, Walker, Grandison, Jeffers.

Goals: Deegan (10)

Bookings: Wright (41), Cranie (71)

QPR: Ikeme, Ramage, Stewart, Buzsaky (Taarabt 67), Gorkss, Connolly, Cook, Faurlin, Hill, Simpson, Priskin (German 55).

Subs: Cerny, Vine, Quashie, Balanta, Borrowdale.

Bookings: Connolly (66), Faurlin (70), Gorkss (75)

Referee: Mr D Foster

Attendance: 15, 247 (586) QPR


COVENTRY City shot into the top ten of the Championship table after a second consecutive league victory over struggling Queens Park Rangers at the Ricoh Arena.

Gary Deegan netted his first ever goal in City colours after ten minutes to give Chris Coleman's men a fifth win in sixth games at home as well as subject Mick Harford's Rangers to a fifth consecutive defeat

Freddy Eastwood gave the crowd some early excitement by chasing down a ball from the kick off heading for QPR 'keeper Carl Ikeme, only for Ikeme to control the ball, knock it past Eastwood and clear his lines.

The visitors had a chance of their own on four minutes when a third consecutive corner swung in by Akos Buzsaky was batted away by Keiren Westwood as far as Connolly at the back post who could only bundle the ball wide.

The Sky Blues were ahead after ten minutes though when Deegan slotted home his first goal in Sky Blues colours.

A loose ball rolled along the edge of the box which Deegan hit first time, Ikeme not even diving as the ball found the bottom corner of his net.

Buzsaky responded with a curled effort at goal on QPR's next attack but it did not trouble Westwood.

He went closer on 15 minutes after goalscorer Deegan was adjudged to have brought down Alejandro Faurlin just 20 yards out, Buzsaky curling the dead ball marginally wide of Westwood's post.

Carl Baker, out on the right wing did well on the half hour mark to skip past Matt Hill and Kaspars Gorkss, then winning a free kick after being brought down by Hill but Clingan's whipped in free kick only find Ikeme.

Clingan got a second pop at a dead ball after Stephen Wright was brought down on the right side of the area, his delivery this time flicked away from danger.

Clinton Morrison did well two minutes after the restart, chasing a ball down the right flank and floating in a dangerous cross which forced Ikeme off his line to collect with Eastwood waiting in the wings.

Lee Cook was given an attempt at goal three minutes before the hour after being brought down by Deegan but his effort from 20 yards went straight at Westwood.

New Sky Blues loan signing Freddie Sears took his bow infront of the Sky Blue Army when replacing Clinton Morrison on 66 minutes, making an immediate impact by winning a corner for City and then a free kick a minute later which earned Faurlin a yellow card.

Westwood was forced into making a magnificent stop on 70 minutes when Cook's curled in free kick was headed back across the goalmouth towards the bottom corner only for the Republic of Ireland international to make a superb one-handed save and deny a certain equaliser.

The Sky Blues carved out a good opportunity seven minutes later when Eastwood, Sears and McIndoe linked up with Eastwood getting to the by-line and cutting back only for the ball to be cleared for a throw in.

Skipper Stephen Wright enjoyed a rare opportunity on goal a minute later, taking a bouncing ball and firing a half volley which Ikeme had to scramble back to stop.

Cook set up what looked to be another dangerous set piece for the visitors with three minutes to go only to curl his effort around the post.

The Sky Blues were then faced with the task of seeing out four minutes of added time and QPR almost grabbed an equaliser in the second of those four, substitute Antonio German firing acros the face of goal.

Eastwood nearly doubled the Sky Blues' on the next counter attack, Sears set on the breakaway and spotting his strike partner unmarked, Eastwood though only able to hit the side netting.

It did not matter though as referee David Foster blew for full time soon after to hand Coventry a second consecutive three-point haul.

Attendance: 15,247 (586 away)


Coventry City: Westwood, Wright (c), Barnett, Wood, Cranie, Clingan, Deegan, Baker, McIndoe, Morrison (Sears 66), Eastwood
Subs: Konstantopoulos (GK), Hussey, Walker, Grandison, Jeffers

QPR: Ikeme, Ramage, Stewart, Buzsaky (Taarabt 66), Gorkss, Connelly, Cook (c), Faurlin, Hill, Simpson, Priskin (German 54)
Subs: Cerny (GK), Vine, Quashie, Balanta, Borrowdale COVENTRY

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