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Saturday, March 27, 2010

QPRs Preston Draw - Reports and Managerial Comments

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QPR Official Site - Neil Warnock
- Neil Warnock was full of praise for his charges after QPR came from two goals down to grab a point against Preston at Deepdale.

Billy Jones fired North End into the lead on 37 minutes when Richard Chaplow's corner wasn't fully cleared, before Callum Davidson netted from the penalty spot on 56 minutes after Kaspars Gorkss was deemed to have fouled Jon Parkin in the penalty area.

Though Rangers weren't to be beaten, and after Peter Ramage slotted home just a minute later when put through on goal by Adel Taarabt, the Moroccan played provider for Tamas Priskin, who tucked the ball away for number two.

"Credit to the lads, we carried on playing in the second half. We got the first back and took the second goal very well," Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk.

"We played some lovely football. We tried to play it around in the right way and Adel was picking up all the loose balls and enjoying himself.

"I said to him if he played well then he could have a few days off - he's shooting off to Preston station as we speak!

"I'm not surprised that he was given so much room, it's the way we play. We get the ball a lot in midfield and people like Ali Faurlin give him the ball.

"He's got tremendous skill, but it's how you play him. We've got good players and he compliments us.

"We've worked on how we play with him, and he knows how we play."

Warnock added: "I think Darren Ferguson would be pleased with a point, even though they were 2-0 up.

"I thought that the penalty was a disappointing decision, but we showed great character.

"Overall, to be disappointed with a point when you're 2-0 down is typical to how we've been.

"It's good because we've been behind twice in the last three away games and come back.

"We're not far away. It was a great team performance." QPR

By Ross Heppenstall, Press Association Sport

QPR boss Neil Warnock hailed Adel Taarabt's "tremendous skill" after the on-loan Tottenham playmaker inspired a stirring fightback in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Preston.

Billy Jones's clinical finish fired Preston ahead in the 37th minute and fellow full-back Callum Davidson doubled the advantage from the penalty spot 11 minutes after the restart.

Yet Neil Warnock's men refused to lie down and on-loan Tottenham playmaker Taarabt, 20, capped an outstanding display with assists for both Rangers goals.

First the Moroccan played in right-back Peter Ramage to rifle home a fine finish in the 57th minute and another clever pass allowed Tamas Priskin to level the scores nine minutes later.

Rangers boss Warnock said: "He's not an easy player to have in your side if I'm honest.

"He's got tremendous skill but it's how you play him.

"We've got good players and he complements us. Will he go back to Tottenham at the end of the season? Oh aye, they want £4.5million for him."

Rangers had chances to win the game that were spurned, with substitute Rowan Vine most culpable with a dreadful finish after Taarabt had played him in.

Warnock was not happy with the penalty decision which saw Kaspars Gorkss punished for hauling down Preston striker Jon Parkin.

The former Sheffield United boss said: "If you are giving penalties for that then you're going to be giving them all over the show.

"It was a sloppy one but all credit to the lads - we dominated the second half and got back into it and then we had the miss of the day through Viney. He still doesn't know how he's missed it."

The result stretched Preston's winless run to four matches and left boss Darren Ferguson bitterly frustrated again.

His side had also squandered a two-goal lead in their last home outing against Sheffield Wednesday on March 16.

Ferguson said: "We shot ourselves in the foot again and to be quite honest at 2-2 I would have taken a draw because they were well on top.

"That wasn't good enough today - nowhere near.

"At 2-1 we lost all shape and discipline and it hasn't a couple of times now - against Sheffield Wednesday when we were 2-0 up and against Nottingham Forest when we went 3-0 up but got away with it."

Ferguson conceded defeat in his side's slim bid to reach the play-offs and admitted his side are still not safe from relegation.

"We can forget about the play-offs," he said. "But we're not safe yet and we've got to be aware of that." Sporting Life

Preston Official Site - Darren Ferguson
'We Are Shooting Ourselves In The Foot'

Manager Darren Ferguson was extremely frustrating after experiencing a bout of déjà vu against Neil Warnock's Queens Park Rangers, losing a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 for the second game in succession.

"It is a case of déjà vu I think," said the gaffer. "Sheffield Wednesday two up; Forest three up - we managed to survive that one - I don't know what it is about us, whether it is getting into the players' heads?

"We lose a goal straight after going 2-0 up and even at 2-1 you're thinking it is comfortable, but then we lost another and, to be honest, it could have been a third or fourth and Lonners, at times, kept us in it.

"Key moments in the game, them scoring straight after we went two up, Mellor missing a great chance at 2-1, but it was a disappointing result and performance.

"We've had some good performances of late, but today I felt the atmosphere might have been a little flatter and it turned out that way and it was a bit low tempo and flat to begin the game. We went ahead and to go two had you think you will go on and win the game, but it didn't turn out that way and it is happening too many times.

"You can't play well in every game and I said to the players before the game that I wanted a good performance and if we didn't get that I wanted the win; it was a must win game for me and at 2-0 you think you will go on and win it and whether it is becoming a psychological thing I don't know, but it is not good enough.

"For their goal Taraabt's been allowed to bring the ball out of the air when he should be tackled and he caused us problems, but we'd talked about how he plays in between and we switched off."

The manager has talked at length about concentration in recent weeks and again he felt it was lacking: "We lost on composure and it took us 25 minutes to get it back after conceding a goal; which shouldn't be the case.

"In football things don't always go your way, it was a really scrappy affair and it was one of those days when you have to roll your sleeves up, get the win and go home, but they were poor goals to concede, the timing of the goals was poor and we are just shooting ourselves in the foot.

"The fans will be disappointed because they saw another lead slip away, but we have to get on with it. It may be a mental thing we need to tackle. They should feel both disappointed and angry because it was a bad result. It was an opportunity to get into the top half of the league. I want to finish in the top ten - the Play-Offs have gone - but I want to finish as high as we possibly can. We have to be realistic, we are still not safe. We can't just see this season out and today wasn't really good enough."

Ferguson has talked about needing goals from all over the pitch and on the day it was his full backs who grabbed the goals: "Billy got a knock down from a corner, Elliott Ward found him and he's smashed it in; Callum's taken a fantastic penalty and there's no chance of the keeper stopping that.

"People probably look at it and see that we are scoring goals, but we're conceding goals and for whatever reason that's happening. We have to cut out the lapses of concentration in the game because today we should again be taking three points out of here. We have to take responsibility on the pitch; it's a disappointing day again.

"We are giving too many points away, I am not happy with that. If you look at the draws we've had at home; today, Sheffield Wednesday, Doncaster, Blackpool there is eight points and all of a sudden we are in a different position. We need to have this place as a fortress and generally Preston's record at home is good."

The manager did have positive news with the fact that other than his long term injury misses - Nicholson and Parry - he expects a fully fit squad for the visit of Watford next Saturday.

"Paul [Coutts] was close to being available today and he'll be fit for Saturday, as will Tom Williams so we have plenty of options." Preston

QPR Official Site Preston vs QPR 2 - 2
Rangers fought back from two goals down to snatch a deserved point against Preston North End.

The R's, in truth, were unfortunate to be as many as two down - but they responded in emphatic style in a pulsating second period.

Preston took the lead just short of half-time. Richard Chaplow's teasing corner was cleared only as far as Billy Jones, who was on hand to fire the ball into the roof of the net.

The hosts doubled their lead soon after the break from the penalty spot, with Callum Davidson blasting home after Kaspars Gorkss was adjudged to have tugged back Jon Parkin in the box.

The Hoops were always a threat going forward, however, and they pulled one back when the irresistible Adel Taarabt - who was a constant menace throughout - sent Ramage through to slot home.

And the comeback was complete on 66 minutes. Taarabt was once again the provider, sending in Tamas Priskin this time who was coolness personified to tuck away the second.

QPR boss Neil Warnock made four alterations to the R's side for the trip to face North End.

Jay Simpson missed out with a hamstring strain, while Matt Connolly was unavailable after picking up an ankle injury in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Derby County at Loftus Road.

Lee Cook and Rowan Vine both dropped to the bench.

That meant Matt Hill, Hogan Ephraim, Antonio German and Priskin all came into the starting line-up for Rangers.

Carl Ikeme was in goal for QPR, behind a back four of Ramage, Damion Stewart, Gorkss and Hill.

Captain Mikele Leigertwood joined Alejandro Faurlin the centre of midfield, while Hogan Ephraim and Priskin occupied the wide positions.

Taarabt played just off striker German.

The match was a fairly even contest in the opening minutes, though Rangers didn't take long to fashion their first shot on goal.

Stewart won a header just past halfway, nodding down for Taarabt who latched on to the ball before shooting straight at Preston keeper Andy Lonergan from 18 yards.

Soon after, the magical Moroccan went even closer when he drove at the North End rearguard before unleashing a stinging low drive that was tipped away by Lonergan.

Darren Carter then won the ball on the edge of the box, touching the ball to Mellor who bent an effort just wide of Ikeme's left-hand post.

Moments later, Ross Wallace saw goal-bound his effort from just outside the penalty area blocked away for a corner.

Although there was nothing to separate the two teams, Preston were beginning to accumulate more possession.

Parkin found space down to left, sending over a dangerous low cross that was well held by Ikeme for Rangers.

It was the R's who soon went the closest yet, however, to finding an opening goal.

Taarabt's lovely cross from a corner kick was headed goalwards by Gorkss, before Neil Mellor was on hand to get his head on the ball.

This was real end-to-end stuff. Mellor sped down the right before crossing for Parkin, whose attempt smashed against the right-hand post before the ball was cleared.

Soon after, Faurlin's sliding intervention freed Taarabt just past midway, before the midfielder raced into the box and fired a low shot straight at keeper Lonergan.

Play then switched to the other end, where North End took a 37th minute lead.

Chaplow's corner from the left wasn't cleared fully, and when the ball broke to Jones just eight yards from the target, he made no mistake to blast the ball home.

Hoops gaffer Warnock introduced Rowan Vine for German at the break to give QPR some fresh impetus in the second half - and he was involved right from the start.

Faurlin's lovely pass was dummied by Vine for Taarabt, who looked up before bending an effort straight at Lonergan in the Preston goal.

Rangers were now firmly in control, though their spell of dominance couldn't prevent the hosts from adding a second in the 56th minute from the spot.

After a ball from deep was played into the penalty area, Gorkss was deemed by referee Mr Haines to have pulled down Parkin with his back to goal.

Davidson stepped up to take it and made no mistake, drilling the ball into the top left-hand corner of the net for North End.

Undeterred, the R's continued to attack and were rewarded with their first goal just a minute later.

It was Taarabt who was unsurprisingly in the thick of the action, driving from midway into the Preston half before sliding Ramage through on goal down the right.

With just the keeper to beat, Ramage stayed calm to slot home under Lonergan for his second goal of the season.

The match, by now, was an open contest.

Moments later, Carter won the ball down the right before he squared to Mellor in the box, who could only blast over the goal from close range.

Preston were knocking on the door for the third, and they should have got it.

A through ball from deep found Mellor one-on-one with Ikeme, though he could only fire straight at the keeper before Parker dragged a shot towards goal that was cleared by defender Gorkss.

The R's were still very active in their search for an equaliser, however, and they soon found a second goal.

Taarabt was once again the architect, exchanging passes with Faurlin before sending Priskin through on goal at a similar angle to what Ramage had.

The end product was exactly the same too, as the Ipswich loanee slid the ball home into the back of the net in the 66th minute.

Buoyed by their leveller, Rangers went in search of a winning goal.

Ephraim found space down the left to set up Vine, who cut in before seeing his shot blocked only as far as Faurlin.

With the goal at his mercy, Faurlin could only blast high and wide of the target.

Rangers went even closer just minutes later as great play once again by Taarabt found Vine in the area.

The striker looked certain to find the goal when free in the area, but he blasted just over the goal.

Preston almost grabbed a winner in injury time when Lonergan's long ball found Mellor, but Ikeme did well to block the striker's effort away for a corner.

Preston North End: Lonergan, Davidson, Chaplow, Carter (Sedgwick 60), St Ledger, Jones, James, Ward, Wallace, Parkin (Brown 72), Mellor.
Subs: Henderson, Hart, Mawene, Chilvers, Barton.
Goals: Jones (37), Davidson (56)
Bookings: Carter, Chaplow, St Ledger, Mellor
QPR: Ikeme, Ramage, Stewart, Leigertwood, Gorkss, Faurlin, Hill, Ephraim, German (Vine 46), Priskin, Taarabt (Buzsaky 90). Subs: Cerny, Cook, Balanta, Tosic, Oastler.
Goals: Ramage (57), Priskin (66)
Bookings: Hill, Taarabt Referee: Mr A Haines Attendance: 12, 080 QPR

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