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Friday, March 19, 2010

QPR Report Friday...Sousa on Warnock and QPR (Legal Dispute Settled?)...Mike Keen Tribute Match

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- Next: Sousa's Swansea at Loftus Road

- Four Ex-QPR Birthdays today - Including Mike Keen (RIP) who would have Turned Seventy

- QPR Reserves Win

- At Hull: Iain Dowie officially "Football Management Consultant, rather than Manager.

- State of Hull's Finances

- Premiership May Give Football League One Hundred Million Pounds a Year

- James Beattie Files Grievance vs Tony Pulis

- News of Ex-QPR Vic Mobley

Western Mail/Chris Wathan - Sousa slams Rangers rival Warnock over bully-boy tactics
Mar 19 2010
- PAULO SOUSA has taunted QPR boss Neil Warnock ahead of their Loftus Road clash tomorrow by claiming his bully-boy tactics aren’t enough to beat Swansea City.

And reigniting the war of words between the pair, Swans boss Sousa has labelled his rival’s actions as bad for the game.

Sousa and Warnock have already been at loggerheads this season after clashing during the Swans’ two games with Crystal Palace – the club Warnock left earlier this month to replace Paul Hart at Rangers.

It’s now set for round three tomorrow with Sousa making it clear he is no fan of the man in the opposite dug-out – or the way he sends out his sides.

“He is always a controversial character,” said Sousa on the 61-year-old Warnock, previously described as the “Marmite manager”.

“Journalists love him because he gives the possibility to write a lot of things about what he says and does.

“But I see him shouting at his players, encouraging them to just tackle opponents, something I don’t like to see, something that is not good for football.

I remember when I was at QPR playing against Palace, one of my players was kicked in the face and broke his nose. There was blood everywhere. This is something I don’t like to see.

“His teams are always competitive – they are encouraged to do that to make it difficult.

“They put out the foot in the challenge to try and take advantage.

“How do we cope with that? We will play football, that is our way. My concern is to play football, not to kick each other. I would like to see that on Saturday.”

Swansea’s recent clash at Selhurst Park saw several challenges that angered Sousa, the worst a horribly late lunge on Shefki Kuqi from Shaun Derry.

And the bad blood continued after the game when Warnock slammed Sousa for his comments about the Eagles’ administration situation, warning the Portuguese to “keep his mouth shut”.

But with Warnock only making his comments after the game, Sousa retorted: “I have respect for him.

“I do not treat anybody in the wrong way. I am always up front with people.

“But I do not remember him beating me. Perhaps that is why he says these things.”

Bizarrely, Warnock had tried to play down the grudge between the pair yesterday before Sousa’s comments, saying: “Paulo didn’t know the facts about the club going into administration – but I like him.

“I also think he did his best in difficult circumstances at QPR, and, as I recall, he got sent off against me when Palace played Rangers last season.

“But Swansea are a very good, entertaining side and I’m looking forward to the game.”

It’s unlikely Warnock will be so amicable after Sousa’s swipe added to the sub-plots ahead of the game.

Another, of course, is Sousa’s return to Loftus Road 11 months after his sacking following a fall-out with former chairman Flavio Briatore.

Sousa was one of seven managers to come and go under Briatore, the ex F1 chief’s three-year reign in West London not going without its fair share of controversy.

But, despite his success since with Swansea suggesting his exit was a mistake, Sousa says he has nothing to prove to his former club – and predicted a better future under their new leadership.

“I am one of the managers who stayed longer than many!” laughed Sousa, who spent just five months in charge and has now settled the legal dispute surrounding his sacking.“Of course they were not easy circumstances, but I have dignity and I fought all the time for that.

“I do not say anything about him (Briatore), but the circumstances were not so good for me – but not only me, it was the same for everyone.

“There has been difficult circumstances in the past, but the future looks brighter for them now. But I don’t need to prove anything to them. I only need to prove to my own players that I am good enough to improve them and I feel happy in that.

“I do feel proud that when QPR played at the Liberty the players were good to me and the fans sang my name.

“It shows they respected that I did a good job under all the circumstances.

“It will be different for me now, but I do not hope for a warm reaction, I hope for a win.”

When asked will the return to his former club be emotional, Sousa insisted the recent refereeing decisions that have gone against Swansea have made almost every game emotional.

The latest, a 2-0 defeat to West Brom sparked when a Giles Barnes ‘dive’ won a late penalty, has blown any hopes of automatic promotion at the Liberty.

And Sousa admitted he has found it difficult lifting his players as the sense of injustice festers at the club.

Yet, looking to keep their top-six spot secured, Sousa said: “We have games in front of us straight away that we have to fight for to achieve what we want this season.

“The players did not take the defeat well and there was real frustration.

“I saw some players very, very down after the game, more than I would expect. We have had to pick them up more than usual, they have had to recover mentally.

“It is important to have a victory after that, but we will only do that by being ourselves and sticking to our identity.”

Andrea Orlandi is in contention to return after missing the last four games with a hamstring problem, while Joe Allen is expected to resume training on Monday after recovering from a knee injury. Western Mail

Tribute Match for Mike Keen (Today would have been Mike Keen's Seventieth Birthday)

This is Local London/Dave Peters Football stars Keen to pay tribute to Mike
- FORMER Premiership stars Gianfranco Zola and Teddy Sheringham are among the big names lined up to play in a tribute match to remember Wycombe’s Mike Keen who died last year after a short illness.
- The Kevin Keen All Star Team, managed by Mike’s son Kevin, will take on an all-time Wycombe Wanderers Legends Team at Adams Park on Thursday, April 15.
- Kevin, now the first team coach at West Ham, said: “I can’t think of a better tribute to my dad.

“He was my hero.”

Mike Keen was born and bred in Wycombe and played for and managed Wycombe Wanderers.

But he was more famous as the captain of double winners Queens Park Rangers when they won the 1967 League Cup Final at Wembley as a third division club and the Division Three championship in the same year.

In his decade at Loftus Road, he also helped Rangers to promotion to the old First Division before being sold to Luton, where he played 144 times.

He then signed for Watford in 1972 and was appointed player/manager the following year. He also served Northampton.

But Wycombe was where his heart was and he lived in the area all his life.

He attended Hatters Lane School and also ran a sports shop in the town for 20 years.

He was also involved in local football, coaching thousands of youngsters and he was still playing Sunday Combination football well into his fifties.

Kevin said: “I can’t walk through Wycombe without someone coming up to me and telling me they were coached by my dad.

“It is a fantastic legacy to have and this match is just what he would have wanted.

“It is as close as we could have got to being a year to the day that he died.

“We could have done something at QPR or one of his other clubs but it had to be Wycombe. This was his home town.

“He never left it and he would’ve just wanted people to come along and enjoy watching the football and some seeing great players.”

Kevin, who became Wanderers youngest ever player when his dad gave him his debut at the age of 15, has assembled a formidable team for the match with Zola and Sheringham the headline acts along with former Chelsea stars Gus Poyett and Steve Clarke.

He has also persuaded the three Allen brothers, Clive, Paul and Martin, to don their boots while Watford manager Malky Mackay has also agreed to play.

Another current manager, Southampton’s ex-QPR legend Alan Pardew, has also pledged to play for the Kevin Keen side who are hoping to play in a replica of the all-white kit QPR wore at Wembley when they came from two goals down to beat West Brom 3-2 in the League Cup Final.

The Wanderers All Star team will be managed by Keith Scott who is now pulling up the trees as the gaffer at Windsor and Eton.

He is expected to call on the services of former Blues favourites such as Steve Brown and Keith Ryan.

Tickets for the match are now on sale at Wycombe Wanderers priced £10 for adults and just a pound for concessions.

All proceeds from the game will go to Cancer Research.

To buy tickets call 01494 441118 or visit www.wwfc.com This is Local London

Gianfranco Zola and Teddy Sheringham are among the stars due to appear at Wycombe next month when a team of Premier League legends takes on an ex-Wanderers X1 in a charity match in memory of former Blues boss Mike Keen.

To mark the first anniversary of Mike's death at the age of 69, his son Kevin has brought together some of the top names of the Premier league era to face Wycombe legends from the days of Martin O'Neill.

The game - the Mike Keen Charity Cup - will be played at Adams Park on Thursday, April 15th (k.o.7.45pm) and all proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research UK.

The game is being played in memory of Mike Keen

Kevin, who made history as Wycombe's youngest ever player on his debut at the age of 15, told wwfc.com: "My dad was very proud of his roots in High Wycombe. He was born and bred in the town, got married there and lived in the area all his life.

"A lot of people will remember him for his coaching involvement with local schools and youth football and for the friendly welcome he gave when he was running his sports shop in the town. I hope to see as many of them as possible on April 15th."

Now a respected member of the coaching staff at West Ham, Kevin has used his extensive contacts to pull together a star studded X1 who will play a team of ex-Wanderers' legends managed by Keith Scott.

Said Kevin: "I'd like to thank Steve Hayes and the board of Wycombe Wanderers for their help in arranging this game. My dad always wanted football to be fun, skilful and entertaining and I hope that the game on April 15th will be all of those things."

Mike never severed his links with the town in a playing career that saw him make over 700 appearances for Queens Park Rangers, Watford and Luton Town. He was captain of the Q.P.R. team that won the League Cup and the old Third Division title in the mid-1960's.

When his playing career ended, Mike enjoyed success in his four years as manager of Wanderers, winning the Isthmian League title and guiding the club to the semi-finals of the F.A. Trophy. He also had spells as manager of Watford, Northampton Town and Marlow.

We're hoping that there'll be a big turn out in honour of such a wonderful man and in aid of such a good cause so make a note in your diaries for April 15th. Wycombe

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