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Thursday, April 15, 2010

QPR Report Thursday Snippets...Warnock on Cardiff...Flashback: Gianni Paladini Investing in QPR...Ex-QPR Liam O'Brien Almost Makes Portsmouth Bench

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- The Mike Keen Memorial Game is Tonight (at Wycombe)

- Six Year Flashback: Gianni Paladini Interested in QPR

- Re Ex-QPR Goalie, Liam O'Brien last night: Vital Portsmouth QPR "... Liam O'Brien missing out on taking his place [on the Portsmouth bench] shortly before the game over fears that an appearance would lead to a payment - yet another of those clauses written into contracts! - having to be made to QPR if he had to come on. So, we had no sub keeper on the bench..."

- QPR Video Snippet from The Terry Venables (Managerial) Era: QPR vs Shrewsbury

- Crystal Palace Supposedly on Verge of Big Problems

- Ex-QPR Fred Durrant Belated (RIP)

- Selling South Africa World Cup Tickets

- Ken Bates Dismisses Leeds United Sale Report and Leeds Season Ticket News

- Ipswich Under Roy Keane
- "...Change was needed following Jim Magilton's ultimately directionless spell in charge and Keane is setting about the task. There is still plenty of patience for an improvement to emerge..."

Western Mail/Chris Wathan - Neil Warnock backing Cardiff City to make play-offs

- NEIL WARNOCK has claimed Cardiff City’s Premier dreams are ready to come to life – one year after he put the kiss of death on them.

Wily Warnock was convinced Cardiff had the measure of their play-off rivals last term, telling Bluebirds boss Dave Jones as much in the lead-up to the season finale.

Yet the veteran manager was left as open-mouthed as everyone else when Jones’ side somehow conspired to collapse and tumble out of the top six.

From needing one win from the final four games, Cardiff managed none to render Warnock’s promotion tip worthless.

Twelve months on and Jones finds himself again looking for that one last win to seal a spot in those all-important play-offs for the last promotion place.

The first chance comes this weekend, against Warnock’s QPR.

And it’s difficult not to imagine the controversial character smiling at the thought of stopping Cardiff’s eight-game unbeaten momentum in its tracks at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Yet, even if he does, Warnock claims that won’t stop Cardiff claiming the points they need before May 2.

And, although Jones won’t appreciate it after last year’s prediction, the “Marmite manager” says promotion is in Cardiff’s hands once more.

“They’ve got the players to make sure of that,” said Warnock, loved and hated in equal measure throughout the game. “It’s definitely down to themselves now because they’re in the play-offs already.

“But then I remember telling Dave Jones last year if anybody was going to beat Sheffield United in the play-offs it was his side. In the end, Cardiff missed out and Burnley beat them instead. I’d put the kiss of death on them.

“I really thought they were going up so to lose out the way they did must have been a massive blow for them. Nobody saw it coming and it will have taken a lot to get over that.”

But, given no Warnock side has ever been one to roll over and die, what price a home win on Saturday to spark suggestions of a repeat?

“Look, they won’t get any favours from us and they will have to work for anything they get down here,” said the man who became the fifth manager at Loftus Road this season after arriving from Crystal Palace last month. “A lot of the lads have still got to show me what they can do here so some are playing for their QPR careers and I’m looking forward to it.

“But Cardiff are there as far as I’m concerned. They’ll be celebrating getting there at some stage whether’s it’s Saturday or not. They’ve got to get over the line, but they’ve had that extra bit of consistency this season. The Premier League is in their hands.

“They had a period of about four games where they fell off – but everybody does that.

“And it’s going to be wide open because all four sides you expect to be in the play-offs are capable of winning on their day.

“Nottingham Forest will be disappointed they didn’t go up automatically, but Cardiff don’t have anything to fear in there.

“It’s all down to them from here on in.”

Warnock speaks from experience, winning four play-off promotions during his long career.

And, although some Cardiff fans may dismiss his comments as an attempt to put pressure on Jones’ men going into the final three games, it seems his views are borne from respect rather than anything else.

Because, having had to fight against financial upheaval during his time with administration-hit Palace, he admitted he feels for Jones as Cardiff continue to contend with their own money worries.

“We’re football people so you just get on with it when these things happen,” said the ex-Eagles chief. “That’s what Dave will have been doing – but sometimes you only realise what you’ve been through when you step away from it. It wasn’t until I left Palace that I realised how much I’d done over the last couple of years, having to put different fires out all the time. Coming to QPR and leaving all that behind has been a massive weight off my shoulders.

“I know Cardiff’s financial situation isn’t the greatest and it can’t have been easy for Dave and the players with all the speculation that’s gone with it, but they’ve got on with it. But it does mean that it’s probably more important for the club to go up.

“They’ve invested heavily in players over the last couple of years and it’s given them a chance.

“I want to do the same here and I’ve had promises made to me because I’ve been quiet envious of Dave if I’m honest. He’s spent good money on people like Michael Chopra and Mark Hudson (inset) and the thought of being able to do that myself whets my appetite.

“They’ve all spent; Forest have spent, Leicester have – even Swansea have in comparison to what they’ve done in the past.”

Yet Swansea, Warnock notes, still have some work to do to seal their top-six status with Blackpool chasing hard.

Having made as many enemies as he has had former clubs, Warnock had his run-ins with Swansea this term after incidents and comments made before clashes with Palace and QPR.

And, although he thinks they’ll have the edge going into the final few weeks, he insisted: “It is going to be interesting. I don’t think you can take anything away from Blackpool as well as Swansea have done themselves.

“But it’s going to be interesting for Paulo now because they’re not going to score many goals with the way he sets his side up so he’s got a decision to make. Not just to get into the play-offs but if they get there, does he go for the extra goals he needs and risk conceding a few more?”

But with a play-off party to spoil, Warnock’s focus is at Shepherds Bush rather than South Wales.

And he added: “I’m looking forward to Cardiff coming here because I want to be in their situation next year. We’ve got Newcastle here on the last game too, but one of the reasons I’ve moved here is to be up there with them next season.

“I’m looking to stabilise things here and build towards it so it’s a good game for us.

“But I’ve always liked Cardiff; the fans have given me a lot of stick down there over the years but Ninian Park was one of my favourite grounds.

“The new stadium has moved them into this century and they’re geared up for it. I’d love to see them have a go in the Premier League.” Walesonline

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- "The Case of the Soccer Con Artist: How a French Impostor Nearly Got a Job With a Top Pro Team"

- AFC Wimbledon to go Full Time


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