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Sunday, October 17, 2010

QPR Now London's Only Unbeaten Team...Jim Smith Hits Seventy...Holloway on Gerry Francis' QPR Team Talk

- Ex-QPR Manager, Jim Smith Turns Seventy
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- Ian Holloway Talking about his past managers and their Team Talks, including Gerry Francis
- "....[G]etting the team talk right can be vital. The best I ever heard as a player was from Gerry Francis at QPR. He wasn't happy with us because we had forgotten what he had asked us to do as a group. He went round every one of us in the dressing room and asked what we were doing before we came to his club. People were mumbling things like "erm, I was at Brentford and it wasn't going well". He said, "Right, well shut up then." He then looked at all of us and said he wasn't trying to be clever but that we all had to learn together.He said his last gig hadn't gone too well either, he'd been sacked by Exeter. But the fact he came out with all this, and the way he said it, galvanised us and improved our game..." Ian Holloway Column

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QPR Now Only Unbeaten Team in London (in League/Premiership Games) as They Halt Norwich's Amazing Streak Before Capacity Crowd

A little spin, althouh truthfully, Norwich's run of scoring in 32 consecutive away games was pretty amazing!

QPR 11 8 3 0 27
Cardiff City 11 7 2 2 23
Norwich City 11 6 2 3 20
Swansea 11 6 1 4 19
Watford 11 5 3 3 18
Ipswich Town 11 5 3 3 18

Coventry City 11 5 3 3 18


Warnock/Official Site - WARNOCK: 'A FAIR RESULT'
Neil Warnock believed a draw was a fair result, after Rangers shared the spoils with Norwich City at Loftus Road.

The Canaries missed a first half spot-kick, but it was Rangers who came strong in the second half, and were only denied a late winner when Kaspars Gorkss' header was cleared off the line.

"It was a fair result," Warnock told http://www.qpr.co.uk./

"I thought it was a decent game - two good teams who gave their all."

Warnock added: "When you have two systems like that, you're going to cancel each other out at times.

"They had the opportunity with the penalty, but we were on the front foot in the second half and only a great clearance from Gorkss' header denied us the win.

"I thought it was a penalty, but if you give Grant Holt half a chance to go down, he'll go down.

"I think they'll be quite happy to go away with a point.

"I don't think either side deserved to win or lose the game.

"We were a lot better in the second half and just missed that elusive breakthrough goal."

Honours ended even between QPR and Norwich City in another superb encounter at Loftus Road.

It was anything but the uneventful affair that the goalless scoreline would suggest, with the R's, in particular, failing to find the net despite creating a whole host of second-half chances.

It too could have been a different story for the Hoops had Wes Hoolahan tucked away a first-half penalty, after Clint Hill was adjudged to have tugged back his marker in the box.

Heidar Helguson squandered probably the R's best chance to net in the closing period, but though he could only nod agonisingly over the bar when unmarked following Matt Connolly's high ball, the Hoops still remain at the summit of the npower Championship table.

The R's remained unchanged in a 4-2-3-1 formation for a fifth consecutive league fixture for the visit of Paul Lambert's Canaries.

Paddy Kenny remained in goal for the Hoops.

Kyle Walker, Connolly, Kaspars Gorkss and Hill made up the QPR back four.

Akos Buzsaky and Shaun Derry were in defensive midfield, while Jamie Mackie, Adel Taarabt and Hogan Ephraim operated in more advanced roles.

Helguson led the R's attack.

Roared on by a sell-out crowd in W12, QPR came flying out of the blocks in the opening ten minutes.

It was Rangers who created the first opportunity to find the net.

Ephraim cut in from the left-hand channel before sweeping over a cutting cross on to the head of Helguson, who could only head wide of the right-hand post from ten-yards out.

Moments later, the R's were on the offensive once again.

Taarabt was this time the architect when he slipped a stunning through pass to Mackie, before John Ruddy did brilliantly well to race out of his net and claim the ball down low on the edge of his box.

This was already action-packed encounter, typified when Norwich broke at pace and Grant Holt beat Connolly on the edge of the penalty area, before forcing a fine, two-fisted save from Kenny.

Rangers then went within inches of taking the lead from a corner on the right.

Taarabt was again in the thick of the play, feeding Mackie in the six-yard box who - with his back to goal - rolled a pass to Gorkss, whose smashed effort was deflected agonisingly wide.

Play soon switched to the other end, where Norwich were awarded a controversial spot kick after Hill was adjudged to have pulled back his marker in the box, following a cross from the right.

The R's players - along with Neil Warnock - were evidently furious with the award, with Hill shown a yellow card for his challenge.

Fortunately for Rangers, however, Hoolahan stepped up to take the spot-kick and fluffed his lines, dragging an effort well wide of Kenny's left-hand post.

The opening ten minutes of the second period were exceptionally close, though the Hoops were gradually starting to feel their way in to the match.

Hill's high ball into the box was nodded down by Helguson into the path of Taarabt, whose dragged effort was deflected wide.

Minutes later and the R's went their closest yet to taking the lead.

Walker sized up the target before letting fly from fully 30-yards with an effort that smashed off the back of Mackie and went inches over the bar.

The R's were firmly knocking on the door, and after Connolly's long pass found the head of the unmarked Helguson in the area, he could only direct his header just over the target.

Moments later, Helguson was gifted with another opportunity to find the net when he rose highest after getting on the end of Hill's centre, but the R's attacker could only nod straight at Ruddy.

The R's thought they'd won it when Gorkss' header looked destined to find the bottom left-hand corner following a knock-back from Helguson, though a Norwich body was on the line to prevent a late winner.

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry, Taarabt (Smith 77), Helguson, Buzsaky (Leigertwood 26), Mackie, Gorkss, Walker, Connolly, Ephraim (Agyemang 69).
Subs: Cerny, Orr, Clarke, Faurlin.
Bookings: Hill (27), Mackie (60)
Norwich City: Ruddy, Martin, Drury (S Smith 58), Crofts, Holt, Jackson, Hoolahan (Martin 69), K Smith, Lappin, Barnett, Ward.
Subs: Rudd, Fox, Johnson, McNamee, Berthel Askou.
Bookings: Ward (38), Lappin (89) Attendance: 18, 059 (3122)

Observer/Barney Ronay

Neil Warnock's spirits undimmed by stalemate between QPR and Norwich

During his time as manager of Sheffield United Neil Warnock revelled briefly in the nickname "the Championship Mourinho". There may – beyond the portals of Warnock Towers, at least – have been an element of irony in this, but there is undoubtedly something special about his record at this level.

This week's Championship manager of the month gong was his sixth, a record, and even a 0-0 draw against a tenacious Norwich City could not quench the Queens Park Rangers manager's excellent spirits. "I thought it was a fabulous game, we just needed a bit of devilment to finish things off," he said after seeing Rangers extend their unbeaten run to 11 matches. "If you don't enjoy coming to QPR at the moment there's something wrong with you. It's exciting here. All the 'oohs' and 'aahs'. It's a great advert."

This was a slow-burning performance from Rangers in front of a 18,059 Loftus Road full house, their best crowd for six years. Kaspars Gorkss shot just wide as the ball fell to him at a corner on 13 minutes, but for the rest of the first half Rangers dominated possession without finding much space near goal. Adel Taarabt, in particular, scampered elusively but to little effect in attack. Taarabt has lovely vision: one instant cross-field pass between two defenders seemed to surprise even its recipient, Heidar Helguson, who dithered when he might have run in on goal.

Norwich's best chance of the match came with the award of a rather soft penalty on 26 minutes, Clint Hill pulling down Grant Holt as both players tussled beneath Wes Hoolahan's cross. "Grant is a clever lad," was Warnock's verdict. Hoolahan's spot-kick was anything but clever: Paddy Kenny dived the right way but had the luxury of watching the ball trickle a yard wide of his left-hand post.

Hoolahan, who had scored from the spot in Norwich's past two games, looked desolate. "That kid's been unplayable at times this season," his manager, Paul Lambert, said afterwards. "He'll bounce back from that."

Rangers forced a series of corners after the break and almost broke through on 64 minutes as Kyle Walker shot from 25 yards and saw the ball deflect off Jamie Mackie's back and just over the bar. At the other end the persevering Holt found himself in space from Simeon Jackson's pass, but shot wildly over from 10 yards. Five minutes later Gorkss, now sporting a rugged white headband, saw his header cleared off the line by Andrew Crofts as Rangers switched briefly to a four-man forward line and began to play long passes from the flanks. Still Norwich defended stoutly. "I thought we were excellent and hugely unlucky not to win it," Lambert said at the end. They certainly deserved a point.


Warnock remains groundedNeil Warnock continued to play down the expectations surrounding his table-topping QPR side after the goalless draw with Norwich.

Published: 7:16PM BST 16 Oct 2010

Wes Hoolahan missed a penalty for City while Kaspars Gorkss was denied by a late goal-line clearance from Andrew Crofts as Rangers' lead was cut to four points.

Warnock, who confidently predicted this one would not be a goalless draw beforehand, said: "You don't turn points down - it's not our fault the other teams haven't got as many points as us!

"We will have two or three dips this season, that's why I'm delighted to have the points already.

"We needed a clinical finish. We put some great balls in but did not have the devilment to get on the end of them."

BBC - Hoolahan spurned Norwich's best chance from the spot
Wes Hoolahan missed a first-half penalty for Norwich as the Canaries held Championship leaders QPR in an engrossing goalless draw.

Hoolahan pulled his spot-kick wide after Clint Hill had felled Grant Holt in the penalty area.

Adel Taarabt was central to QPR's threat, but was wayward with two promising efforts for the home side.

QPR's Kaspars Gorkss was denied by a goal-line clearance from Andrew Crofts late on to ensure it remained goalless.

It preserves QPR's record of having not conceded a goal at Loftus Road this season, but is the first time that Norwich have failed to score away from home in the league under Paul Lambert.

Norwich went close to scoring in the opening stages when home keeper Paddy Kenny saved well to deny Holt's toe-poke finish.

We lacked a cutting edge up front today. Lots of set pieces, but little in the way of getting behind the Norwich defence

City were handed their golden opportunity to open the scoring from the spot in the 28th minute, but Hoolahan spurned it with a tame effort that he dragged wide of goal.

Holt was proving a menace to the home side at both ends - blocking well to deny Heidar Helguson and then forcing Kenny into another neat save with an angled drive.

As so often so far this season, Taraabt was proving to be QPR's chief creative force.

Loftus Road held its breath on the hour mark when Helguson's header fell invitingly for the Moroccan on the edge of the area, but the midfielder's aim was wayward.

With 10 minutes remaining Gorkss' header was looping into the Canaries' net until Crofts flung out a boot as QPR were forced to settle for a point, that sees their league-lead cut to three [sic] points

Norwich Official Site - BATTLING CITY TAKE POINT OFF LEADERS CITY battled to claim an excellent point away to unbeaten npower Championship leaders Queen's Park Rangers in a top-of-the-table clash at Loftus Road.

The Canaries had a glorious chance to snatch all three points when they were awarded a penalty in the 27th minute for a foul on Grant Holt by Clint Hill - but Irish midfielder Wes Hoolahan rolled the spot-kick a foot wide of the right-hand post.

The home side had spells of intense pressure during the game but John Ruddy and his defence stood firm to claim a share of the spoils - midfielder Andrew Croft's header to keep out Kaspars Gorkss' effort in the 81st minute typifying the determination of Paul Lambert's side not to lose this game.

After the game Lambert told First News: "I thought the players gave everything again today, if anything I'm disappointed we've come away with a point when we could have got all three.

"The crowd were magnificent again today and the players responded to that and I can't ask for more than that."

Asked about Hoolahan's penalty miss, Lambert was quick to back the creative midfielder: "Yes I've spoken to Wes at half-time, it's just one of those things that can happen to any player and Wes has been brilliant for me since I've been here so I'm not about to criticise him. He's stepped up to the plate in big moments before and he will again, he's that kind of player. He's scored penalties for us recently and the miss today was just one of those things that happens."

The media also noted the performance of Andrew Crofts, the City midfielder's quick-thinking goal-line clearance in the 81st minute capping another accomplished display from the Welsh international.

"He's been excellent again today," said Lambert. "He's at the top of his game at the moment and I think he's becoming the complete midfielder."

Before the game Lambert technically made one change from his starting line-up from the 3-0 win at Bristol City, Adam Drury back in his familiar left-back berth after he was a late withdrawal during the warm-up at Ashton Gate.

In front of a packed crowd of 18,059 (3,122 from City) - the first sell-out at Loftus Road in three years - it was QPR who started the brighest, John Ruddy forced to dive bravely at the feet of Mackie after the Rangers dangerman was sent through by Taarabt in the 4th minute.

A minute later Grant Holt forced a corner and Leon Barnett rose well to meet the kick from Simon Lappin but placed his header well wide under pressure.

With eight minutes gone Holt's lively start continued as he won possession on the edge of the area and forced Paddy Kenny to make a smart reaction save to keep out a well-struck drive from 16 yards.

As the game approached the quarter-hour mark Kaspars Gorkss had a fierce effort which was deflected inches wide - and as QPR cranked up the pressure Taarabt hit a low shot straight into the arms of Ruddy.

There was an early substitution by the home side in the 26th minute, Rangers boss Neil Warnock bringing on Mikele Liegertwood for Buzsaky, who appeared to have picked up a knock.

Then came drama just over a minute later as Grant Holt was pushed in the box by Clint Hill and referee Andy Penn pointed to the penalty spot. Up stepped Wes Hoolahan to take the spot-kcik - but the Irish midfielder hit his low shot a foot wide of the right-hand upright.

Elliott Ward was booked for a challenge on Taarabt in the 38th minute, meaning he will be suspended for Tuesday night's clash with Crystal Palace, having picked up his fifth caution of the season.

Half-time: QPR 0, Norwich City 0

In the 54th minute Holt supplied Jackson but as the Canadian international turned it back for his skipper, Kenny was alert to keep out Holt's effort.

City had started the more strongly in the second half but QPR forced a flurry of corners as the cut and thrust of the first half continued.

In the 58th minute Lambert made his first substitution of the afternoon, Adam Drury leaving the pitch to warm applause from the City faithful to be replaced by Steven Smith at left-back.

QPR's star man Mackie was perhaps fortunate to get away with a yellow card as he left Russell Martin on the deck following a rough challenge on the hour-mark.

In the 64th minute the Hoops came the closest they had come yet to breaking the deadlock, when Walker's long-range blast looked goalbound before deflecting off the head of his team-mate Mackie and narrowly over.

The home fans were baying for a penalty a couple of minutes later, claiming Ephraim had been fouled in the box by City substitute Smith, but the referee was unmoved.

Rangers were by now enjoying the more dangerous possession and were inches away from edging in front when Helguson headed just over from Walker's deep ball into the box.

With just under 15 minutes of normal time remaining Holt had a good chance to snatch the lead for the visitors when he was put through into the area by his strike partner Jackson only to drill his shot over the bar from a tight angle.

Warnock and Leon Barnett then seemed to exchange some words right in front of the home dug-out in the 79th minute, referee Andy Penn deciding the City man should be booked following the incident.

City's tenacious midfielder Andrew Crofts came to his side's rescue nine minutes from time, scrambling back to head an effort from Gorkss off the line with Ruddy beaten.

With under three minutes left Simon Lappin was booked for a foul on Walker on the right-hand touchline as City battled with determination to claim a point which was the least they deserved from the game.

Final score: QPR 0, Norwich City 0

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