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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Who's in Charge at Loftus Road? Warnock and Transfers...Ali Russell Departs...Jones on The Players...Tony Roberts Profiled

- Enlarged Photo of Gerry Francis!
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BBC - QPR boss Warnock to discuss transfer options
- Warnock is keen to sign at least three more players
QPR manager Neil Warnock is due to meet with the club's owners on Monday to discuss possible signings.
- Warnock wants two strikers and at least one defender in the wake of injuries to Jamie Mackie and Patrick Agyemang, and the end of Kyle Walker's loan spell.
- Rangers' Bernie Ecclestone-led board have spent heavily since taking over at Loftus Road in August 2007.
- But they have indicated they do not want to spend on transfers or loan fees between now and the end of the season.
- That would leave Warnock to chase loan deals in which Rangers would pay only a player's wages, and he is set to discuss a number of possible options with his bosses.
- The R's are five points clear at the top of the Championship, but the loss of Mackie, who suffered a broken leg at Blackburn on Saturday, is a significant setback for them.
- They have also lost Walker, after the 20-year-old's loan move to Aston Villa from Tottenham dashed Rangers' hopes of extending his stay in west London.
- Warnock then wanted to sign Kyle Naughton from Spurs, but was told his club would not match the offer made by Leicester, who subsequently extended the right-back's loan spell at the Walkers Stadium. BBC

Paul Warburton/Fulham Chronicle - QPR boss cautious over Ledesma return
- EMMANUEL Ledesma is welcome back at QPR – providing boss Neil Warnock gets four more new players in the transfer window.
- The 22-year-old Argentine midfielder was on loan at Loftus Road during the 2008/09 campaign and reportedly featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Charlton on Monday afternoon.
- But Warnock insists his other irons in the fire take precedence.
- He said: "The powers-that-be want me to have a look at the lad – and that’s fine with me. But I do need to get other players in, so I hope that if Emmanuel does get invited to stay – it doesn’t affect our other plans."
- Ledesma made an immediate impact following his move to Rangers from Italian side Genoa after the clubs agreed a year-long loan deal and a £2.2m fee for his permanent transfer.
- However, he subsequently fell out of favour, returning to Italy before the end of that season, and has since had spells with second-tier Salernitana, Novaro and Crotone.
- But he has remained a favourite of Gianni Paladini, and bringing him back has been on the QPR chairman's back-burner for a while." Fulham Chronicle

- Queens Park Rangers Football Club can confirm that Ali Russell is leaving his post as Deputy Managing Director in order to focus his time on his own consultancy business. He will continue to support the Club through his new business and as a Trustee of QPR in the Community Trust.
- Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Ali Russell said: "I have enjoyed my time at QPR but have an opportunity to start my own business which I cannot let pass. I am happy to be leaving the Club in such a good position and I wish the Club, its fans and partners all the best in the future."
- Chairman Ishan Saksena said: "Ali Russell has made a significant contribution to the Club taking over at the beginning of the current ownership and has helped to stabilise and position the Club. I am certain that if he brings the same drive and determination to his new business it will be a huge success."

- Three Year Flashback: Ali Russell Joins QPR


Mick Jones has told the QPR squad they must use what has happened to Jamie Mackie as extra motivation to finish the job that has started so well this season.

The R's currently sit top of the npower Championship, but were dealt a huge blow when striker Mackie suffered a double leg break in our FA Cup third round defeat at Blackburn last weekend.

With the Scotland international sidelined for the rest of the season, Jones is looking for the R's squad to re-focus on the job in hand, starting at Burnley this weekend.

"This is a massive, massive blow from Jamie's perspective," Jones told www.qpr.co.uk.

"You can't comprehend how he will be feeling. He was desperate to play against Blackburn because they are a Premiership side and he wanted to show how good he is. He is such a genuine kid, and for it to happen to him is a tragedy.

"In hindsight, we shouldn't have played him but these things happen in football and, from a professional side, we've got to get on with it and drive the players on.

"I'm sick for Jamie, but we have to use this as an extra motivation for the rest of the team. It has already been spoken about.

"We were actually going to give the players Monday off, but they went to the Manager and asked if they could come in because they wanted to get it out of their system.

"It has affected the players, there's no doubt about that. But we've got to put the dark side behind us and crack on.

"We've got to make sure the second half of the season turns out to be good, not only for ourselves, but particularly for Jamie.

"I have spoken with him, and the best way to deal with Jamie is to have a joke with him. He told me after the game that his agent was giving him a lift home, and I said: 'You'd normally offer to hop, are you losing your incentive or what?'

"A few of the lads were having a laugh with him, people like Bradley Orr were taking the mick. It's the only way to handle the situation."

On Saturday the R's travel to Turf Moor and Jones said: "We talk every week about how big the games are because we are top of the league and are there to be shot at.

"In the second half of the season, a lot of people will be gunning for us, particularly those from about tenth upwards. They will be thinking they can challenge at the top, and rightly so.

"It will make it a very interesting second half to the season."

With the transfer window now open, Jones has revealed the R's are keen to add to their squad, particularly in light of recent events.

"We have got to strengthen the squad," he said. "We have lost Kyle Walker and Jamie Mackie, while Patrick Agyemang is out for a while too.

"There's quite a big injury list at the moment, but that happens over the course of a season.

"I don't actually think we have been injury-free all season. But we can't just think it will be OK, we've got to cover every angle if we can. We are all working very, very hard on that.

"We need the support of everyone so that we can do what is necessary to get us up.

"We are hoping there is going to be good movement, but I am not too concerned about the January transfer window because we can loan players. But certainly before March we have got to bring some players in."

Ex-QPR's Tony Roberts

Evening Standard - Tony Roberts has survival and a quadruple on his mind Simon

To say goalkeeper Tony Roberts is currently experiencing a season of contrasts would have to be regarded as one of the great understatements.

For the 41-year-old is fighting to keep Dagenham and Redbridge in League One, while also helping Arsenal secure a remarkable quadruple.

His day job is to stand between the posts for Dagenham, a position he has filled for an incredible 11 years. During the week, however, he will be found at Arsenal's training ground passing on his knowledge to Lukasz Fabianski and Co in his role as the club's assistant goalkeeping coach.On the surface it looks like he certainly has reason to enjoy one more than the other. At Arsenal he gets to work with some of the world's best players as they challenge for four major trophies this term, yet the club he plays for are languishing at the bottom in the third tier of English football — eight points from safety.

But Roberts is loving every minute of his double life and said: “I am fortunate to be in a position where I experience both spectrums of football life. Anyone would want to still be playing at my age but I also get to work for one of the best clubs in the world.

“Arsene Wenger is trying to get the club back to winning trophies. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I am standing there among top players and coaches and learning so much. But I'm also amazed to still be playing in front of big crowds.

“There are not many people who have the kind of hopes I have for the rest of the season.

“I want Dagenham to stay in League One and Arsenal to win the Carling Cup, Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League! You have to reach for the stars.”

Some may feel that Roberts is being slightly over-optimistic on both fronts but this is a man who has every reason to think positive because in 1998 he was told he would have to retire from the professional game at the age of just 28 due to a severe finger injury.

He explained: “I'll never forget when the doctor told me I'd lose my finger if I didn't stop. It came as a massive shock and I was thinking, What am I going to do now?'

“But it did me a favour. I got my coaching badges and ended up working with the Queens Park Rangers first team. Now I have a great job at Arsenal. Some players don't do their badges until after they stop playing.”

As it transpired, his freak injury only kept him out of the game for a short time after doctors in America designed a cast which could fit around the damaged finger and still sit inside the glove.

He joined Dagenham and Redbridge in 2000 after spells with QPR and Millwall and has been with them as they went from being the nearly men of the Conference to winning entry to the Football League in 2007 — and then to League One via the play-offs last summer.

Roberts's length of service means that he is just 18 games away from hitting the 500 mark for the club and he is certainly not feeling the affects of his advanced years.

“There is no reason to retire just because you reach a certain age,” he said. “I have told the manager, John Still, Don't think of me as 41, think of me as 25 and if I'm performing then play me'.

“I only do two-three days of training at most but my work with Arsenal makes me stay in shape anyway because of the things I have to do.

“I hope to reach the 500-game landmark sometime this season and I always take a decision on my future season by season.

“If I wake up one morning and feel I can't be bothered any more then obviously I'll stop but I said to someone last year that I could play until I'm 50. It was said in jest but you never know.”

He is also refusing to give up hope Dagenham, who play at Hartlepool on Saturday, will be able to stay up this term.

“Last year we were miles away from the play-offs at one stage and we got promoted,” he said.

“We had a late surge, picked up loads of wins home and away. We have 24 games left so there is no panic yet. Our position in the table doesn't lie but we have dropped points we shouldn't have and I'm sure we can win many more games.” Standard

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