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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

QPR Report Wednesday Snippets...QPR Interest in Chopra? (Warnock Says NO!)


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Update re Michael Chopra: Neil Warnock Reportedly Says No

Paul Warburton/Fulham Chronicle - QPR boss rules out move for Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra
NEIL Warnock reminded his QPR bosses last night just who picks the team when he turned down the chance to sign £3million Michael Chopra.

The Cardiff City striker from Indian background is hoping to swap Cardiff City for west London – a move that instantly found favour with the Indian side of Rs administration that includes managing director Ishan Saksena and vice-chair Amit Bhatia, hoping to build a QPR fan base in a country of more than a billion.

But Warnock doesn’t think he could find a place for a player in a team unbeaten in the Championship – and four points clear of Cardiff at the top of the table.

"I’ve got nothing against Michael," said Warnock, "he’s a fine player. And were he to become available at a knockdown price – it would be worth a look.

"But he’s better suited to a 4-4-2 set-up – and we don’t really play that here.

"I think once our people find out what he would cost including wages – and I’m guessing at anything upwards of a £3million transfer - they’ll think again, despite what he might do for Rangers’ profile in India." Fulham Chronicle


Rivals Rangers ready to make Chopra bid -Dec 8 2010 by Terry Phillips, South Wales Echo
- QUEENS Park Rangers are poised to make a £3m January bid for out-of-favour Bluebirds striker Michael Chopra.

Hoops boss Neil Warnock sees Chopra as the striker to virtually clinch the Championship leaders’ automatic promotion to the Premier League.

And Chopra is far from happy at being left out of Cardiff City’s last two matches, against QPR and Preston.

A Hoops source said: “QPR have made an outstanding start to the season and Neil sees Chopra as the final piece of the jigsaw.

“Chopra is a proven goalscorer at Championship level and exactly the type of player Rangers need.

“Neil would love to have him as part of the Rangers squad.”

City won’t want to lose him, but Chopra seems certain to be unsettled unless boss Dave Jones can guarantee him a regular starting place – and that doesn’t look likely.

The experienced Warnock is set to test the transfer window water with a £2m-plus bid for Chopra next month.

If that approach is turned down – which is almost certain – Warnock is then likely to move towards City’s valuation of a player who scored 21 goals last season.

Although they remain unbeaten and hold a four-point lead over second-placed Cardiff, Warnock believes Chopra would guarantee the extra firepower to take Rangers into the top flight.

Chopra, who has netted five times this season, was unsettled at the start of the season and spoke out when the Bluebirds were under a transfer embargo.

He said at that time: “I’m well hacked off.

“If this club doesn’t bring in new players, I’m off.”

Ironically, Chopra has been a victim of City bringing in new players, with Craig Bellamy switching into a central role in the last two games.

As well as Chopra. there are also doubts over the Bluebird futures of Jay Bothroyd and Chris Burke, both of whom are out of contract next summer. The pair have been offered new deals, but have yet to sign and can talk to other clubs in January.

Cash for Chopra could give Jones more room to manoeuvre in the January transfer market as he seeks to bring in the “four or five” new signings he wants Wales on Line

Western Mail "Western Mail/Terry Phillips
"...[Dave] Jones would also have more room for manoeuvre next month if he accepts a likely £3m bid from QPR for out-of-favour striker Michael Chopra..." Western Mail

Jacob Murtagh/Fulham Chronicle - QPR linked with Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra

QPR have been linked with a £3million move for Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra.

The former Sunderland frontman has fallen down the pecking order under Dave Jones, and has been left warming the bench as England international Jay Boothroyd and Craig Bellamy occupy the two striking spots.

The 27-year-old from Indian background has been limited to just 11 league starts, scoring just four goals, and has told pals he fancies a move to west London to help QPR's promotion drive.

It would be a deal that would please the Indian side of Rs administration that hopes to build a Rangers fan base in the country. Fulham Chronicle

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Depleted side can still rout Rovers, says QPR boss
NEIL Warnock maintains QPR can pull off an FA Cup shock at Blackburn – even though he will rest players for next month’s third round tie.

The Rangers boss has confirmed he will not select his first choice team at Ewood Park, citing an intense league schedule of four games in just over a week that precedes the Blackburn trip.

That decision is unlikely to please Rs supporters, who have watched their team stumble through a full decade of FA Cup disgrace and humiliation without a single win.

Warnock admitted: “I can’t see certain players playing four games in nine days and then a cup game after that. If I have a choice, the fifth one’s the least important to me at the moment.
“If we were mid-table in the Championship, I’d try and win it, and we’ll still go out and try to win the game – you’ve always got a chance – but it’s not a priority.

“Blackburn have got a squad of 25 and I’d imagine they’ll want to play as many of those as they can. That’s why we’ve got an opportunity to win it, whatever team we put out.

“Remember, Ian Holloway played 11 different lads and Blackpool only lost to the last kick of the match. It’s about the squad and I think we’ve got a good squad, but I definitely want to rest some in that game.

“It’ll be good to go there without any points at stake. If we’re still top of the league come the FA Cup, I’ll be absolutely delighted.”

Compared to the likes of Grimsby, Luton – and, of course, Vauxhall Motors – QPR’s 3-0 defeat at Blackburn in the third round five years ago ranks as one of their more respectable FA Cup results.

And, irrespective of the strengths of both sides, Warnock feels January’s rematch will be a good yardstick for the Rs’ progress this season, against the kind of mid-table Premier League club they could soon be aiming to match.

“No disrespect to Blackburn, but QPR’s that type of club – not a massive club but one that could sustain Premier League football,” added the QPR manager.

“Bolton, West Brom, Stoke City – they’re all great examples of that as well. I think it’ll be a good game for us to go and look at and enjoy the atmosphere.”

Meanwhile, QPR went out of the FA Youth Cup on penalties after their first round tie with Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night ended in a 2-2 draw.

Forest went ahead in the 17th minute when Neil Byrne headed in from a corner, but Rangers levelled just after the hour when Bruno Andrade had his shirt tugged in the penalty area.

Michael Doughty converted the spot-kick, but Forest regained the lead 10 minutes from time with a Patrick Bamford penalty, harshly awarded against Stephen O’Donnell.

Abdallah Shariff made it 2-2 just three minutes later, firing home at the second attempt.

But Forest triumphed 5-3 in the shoot-out after extra time, with Adam Francis sending his kick over the bar for Rangers. Kilburn Times

- Just Passed: The One Year Anniversary of Ishan Saksena Replaced Alejandro Agag as Managing Director of QPR. (A couple of months later, Ishan also assumed the Chairmanship of Queens Park Rangers, taking over from Flavio Briatore)

- Note: QPR's Chairman/Managing Director Ishan Saksena and Vice Chairman, Amit Bhatia are apparently currently both in India

- One Year Ago: "The Headbut"

- Two New Books About Bernie Ecclestone

- Presumably Coming Soon: QPR Reporting Its Total Spending on Agents over Past Twelve Months (Period Ending September 30, 2010).


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