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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

QPR Report Update: Derby Reports and Comments...Next: Cardiff: Previews/Pronouncements!...FA Shadow Over QPR

QPR in the Charity Shield
- Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- El-Hadji Diouff Speaks of his admiration for /Friendship With Gadaffi

- Send Your Questions to Neil Warnock

- Year Flashback: "QPR Stay Up!"

- Year Flashback: Warnock Talking about Less Loans and Going for English Players

- Ex-Manager John Gregory Quits as Manager of Ashdod in Israel

- 42 Years Ago: QPR's Disastrous First Division Season Ended at Chelsea...35 Years ago: QPR's Penultimate Game vs Arsenal

- "The Conman Who Stole a Football Club" - Notts County Ownership Examined by Panorama

- Next: Cardiff - Stats/Past Encounters

Yann Tear/Ealing Gazette - Upbeat Warnock 'can't wait' for Cardiff showdown
- NEIL WARNOCK shrugged off the disappointment of dropped points against Derby on Monday by insisting he was already excited about Cardiff on Saturday.
- The Rs could have been travelling to the Bluebirds with promotion in the bag – had they beaten the Rams at Loftus Road and Norwich failed to beat Ipswich on Thursday.
- But the QPR boss is thrilled at the prospect of a potentially nervy afternoon in south Wales, even if it does prolong the agony.
- “This is what we're in it for,” Warnock said.
- “Everybody talks about pressure, but I'm enjoying it and loving every minute of it, me. Full house. Eight points clear with four games to go? There's a lot worse pressure.
- “I think we've got four great games to come. There will be end-to-end stuff and chances galore. Cardiff have to beat us with Norwich and Reading breathing down their neck.”
- Warnock added: “I love Cardiff and I like the Welsh. It's got good memories for me and I just want to go there now and do well. I'm sure a few other Championship sides will be cheering for us on Saturday.
- “It will be a good atmosphere. There's no chance of Cardiff putting 10 men behind the ball and going for a point is there? So I think it will be a good game.
- “You look at the forward line they've got and I don't think there's anybody better in the whole division. They are a lot better than most Premier League clubs.” Gazette

South Wales Echo - Nathan Blake: Bluebirds can still rein in Rangers and win the title

- CARDIFF City are bang on course for promotion – and, yes, I could still see them nicking the title off QPR.

That may be an outside shot, but City have to keep up the pressure and be ready if the leaders slip.

They have to go into this Saturday’s top two clash against QPR intent on maintaining their run of wins and keeping title hopes going.

Personally, I still believe they have a shout of catching Rangers.

If they do fall short and finish second that won’t be bad.

But they must not permit this chance to slip by without a massive effort.

They look more than capable of finishing the job and the players have shown they are giving it everything they have.

The 3-0 win against Portsmouth was comfortable.

Okay, Pompey had Ricardo Rocha sent off, but Cardiff played well as a team and achieved the result required.

Only four players in the squad – McNaughton, Whittingham, McPhail and Rae – were on duty when these teams met in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium in 2008.

City have made solid progress since that day at Wembley and the prize they are striving for – a place in the Premier League – is huge.

Certainly nobody is going to make things easy for the Bluebirds.

QPR will beat Derby at home tonight, Norwich will beat Ipswich at Portman Road on Thursday and I am convinced Reading will beat Leeds at Elland Road on Friday.

Then comes City v QPR in front of a capacity attendance.

I can’t wait for that. It will be a fantastic occasion. Two of the best teams in the Championship going head-to-head.

The atmosphere will be incredible.

For me, the chase for automatic promotion is down to four teams – QPR, Cardiff, Norwich and Reading.

I saw Bluebirds director Steve Borley at a function in the week and he said: “Surely Reading can’t win 12 games in a row?”

But my view is they can. Reading have won eight with four left – and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they go the whole way.

But, even if they do, City can finish second and go up automatically because Reading are still three points behind.

City have the desire and the tools needed to finish in the top two and the backing of every Bluebirds fan in the battle for Premier League status.

And let’s not write off Swansea in their quest to go up.

They may have been too inconsistent, particularly away, to maintain a close challenge for automatic, but they look certain to make the play-offs and will be dangerous.

The Swans are miserly at the back and have pace in abundance.

My view is Swansea will be in the play-offs and nobody will fancy playing them at that stage.

There is every chance that Cardiff will go up in an automatic place and Swansea will follow via the play-offs.

That would be fantastic for Wales.

We’ll see how things go, but I have a good vibe about the two right at this moment in time.

Reading are an obvious danger. They remind me of Blackpool last season, steaming into the play-offs and going up.

Their manager, Brian McDermott, won’t have given up on the chance of automatic promotion just yet, but I hope City can see these next four games out in the right way.

Craig Bellamy has been showing the leadership qualities we know he has and that’s great for Cardiff. It was always clear that if they could keep Bellers fit he would be a key to everything they wanted to achieve.

He helps give the team that drive and belief. Craig hates losing. He has an ability to lift and inspire those around him and he’s done a cracking job this season.

That edge that Craig brings to a team is something City have been missing over the last couple of seasons. That bite and intensity.

I do agree with Dave Jones when he says City are far from a one-man team. Craig can’t do this on his own. He leads by example, but everybody has to step up and that’s what they have been doing.

Cardiff have kept clean sheets in each of their last two matches and that helps everybody. They have come through the spell when it seemed as though three goals had to be scored if they were going to win and there is an air of authority and composure about the whole team when defending.

There are four games left and this weekend is huge. Cardiff have a full week off and they will use that to ease a few injury niggles and rest tired legs. They may even have a day or two off. Then comes the game which will shape their season.

City can’t afford to slip. The golden prize is within their reach – and it’s up to Dave Jones and his team to grab it with two hands. Walesonline


QPR 42 38 83
Cardiff 42 24 75
Norwich 42 19 74
Reading 42 26 72
Swansea 42 18 70
Leeds 42 10 65
Nott'm Forest 42 10 63
Hull 42 6 63 BBC: Full Table


Neil Warnock was left to rue a 'wasted opportunity,' as the R's were held to a goalless draw at home to Derby County.

Rangers squandered some decent chances in the first half, on a night when the Rams seemed satisfied to settle for a share of the spoils.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Warnock said: "I thought we wasted an opportunity tonight.

"I think there'll be frustrating times for everyone between now and the end of the season.

"That's the nature of football at the business end of the campaign.

"I thought we did alright and created some good chances in the first half.

"If we'd scored that first goal I think Derby would've had to come out and commit themselves, rather than putting ten men behind the ball.

"They made it very difficult for us, and all credit to them, but we had some great chances in the first half and should've finished the job."

Warnock added: "They were more than content with a 0-0, but they had a good chance in the second half when Paddy made a great save.

"All in all, it's another point on the board and every point is vital.

"Now we move on to Cardiff for what promises to be a cracker.

"I'm sure there'll be a few teams rooting for us there on Saturday lunchtime.

"I'm really looking forward to it."

PFA "Give Me Football" - Savage taunts Taarabt

"He's a talent, but sometimes when it is not going his way he can have a little strop," Savage told Sky Sports... Player Profiles

Robbie Savage claimed he once again had Adel Taarabt in his pocket as npower Championship leaders QPR were held to a goalless draw by Derby.

The veteran midfielder boasted after last season's meeting between the sides that he had kept Rangers' star man quiet. It was not long before Savage had reintroduced himself to the Championship player of the year, lunging into a reckless challenge before kicking the ball against his grounded opponent to earn a booking after 12 only minutes.

"He's a talent, but sometimes when it is not going his way he can have a little strop," Savage told Sky Sports.

Savage, approaching 37 and retirement, continued to follow the 21-year-old Moroccan's every move, chipping at his heels and chirping in his ear until he was finally substituted with 20 minutes to go. Taarabt hurled a water bottle in frustration as he stomped off while Savage mimed taking him back out of his pocket to the delight of the travelling fans afterwards.

He added: "He deserves to be the player of the year because he has got great skill and great ability and he's very good on his day. I would have preferred him to stay on because he was not doing anything."

Rams boss Nigel Clough said: "I think it's a psychological thing. Robbie's done it to him a few times in the past. It's down to experience. The kid has got ability but he knows Robbie will stick to his task. He's probably the only player in the league you would do it for."

The one time Taarabt did escape Savage's shackles he conjured up a superb curler with the outside of his boot which Brad Jones tipped over. Rangers had plenty of other opportunities too, with Heidar Helguson and Wayne Routledge firing wide in the opening 10 minutes and Tommy Smith heading a good chance over.

But the best chance of the match fell to Derby's Stephen Pearson, who was denied by a stunning one-handed save from Paddy Kenny as Rangers edged another point closer to promotion.

"The longer it went on you knew they would get a chance and it was a great save by Paddy," said Rangers boss Neil Warnock.

But Savage was the undoubted star of the show, and Warnock added: "You either love him or loathe him - he's a bit like me. When you look at his ability he's done fantastically to make the living he has. He's long past his sell-by date but he does a job. He's been superb."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

City AM - Rangers are nearly there.

QUEENS PARK RANGERS manager Neil Warnock paid Derby veteran Robbie Savage a backhanded compliment as the former Wales international helped spoil the promotion party at Loftus Road.

Savage was magnificent in helping to stifle the Championship’s player of the season, Adel Taarabt, as Derby escaped with a point from the home of the leaders.

Taarabt hurled a water bottle in frustration as he stomped off having been substituted with 20 minutes to go and Savage still chirping away at him.

Warnock, whose side will clinch promotion back to the Premier League with a win over Cardiff at the weekend after a 15-year absence, said:?

“You either love him [Savage] or loathe him – he’s a bit like me.

“When you look at his ability he’s done fantastically to make the living he has. He’s long past his sell-by date but he does a job. He’s been superb.”

The 37-year-old Savage, who is set to retire at the end of the season added: “Taarabt’s a talent, but sometimes when it is not going his way he can have a little strop like he did tonight.

“But he deserves to be the player of the year because he has got great skill and great ability and he’s very good on his day. I would have preferred him to stay on because he was not doing anything in the game.”


Derby midfielder Robbie Savage admitted to feeling satisfied with his night's work after frustrating Queens Park Rangers playmaker Adel Taarabt in Monday's goalless draw at Loftus Road.

Taarabt has been named Championship Player of the Year after inspiring QPR towards promotion, but he could not shake off the attentions of Savage and was substituted with 20 minutes to go.

Taarabt hurled a water bottle in frustration as he stomped off while Savage mimed taking him back out of his pocket to the delight of the travelling fans afterwards.

"He's a talent, but sometimes when it is not going his way he can have a little strop like he did tonight," Savage told Sky Sports.

"But he deserves to be the player of the year because he has got great skill and great ability and he's very good on his day.

"I would have preferred him to stay on because he was not doing anything."

Savage later added on Twitter: "It was hard playing with 12 stone in my pocket!!"


Rams boss Nigel Clough insisted that it was out of respect to Taarabt that he asked Savage to man-mark the Moroccan.

"I think it's a psychological thing. Robbie's done it to him a few times in the past. It's down to experience," said Clough.

"The kid has got ability but he knows Robbie will stick to his task.

"He's probably the only player in the league you would do it for."

GUARDIAN/John Ashdown - QPR's promotion procession is stalled by Derby County

Queens Park Rangers edged closer to the Premier League with a point against a resilient Derby County side, but this was not a performance that will live too long in the memory. Rangers' gap over second-placed Cardiff City is now eight points, and, perhaps more importantly, they lead third-placed Norwich City by nine. With four games to play surely, despite this disappointing result, a return to the top flight remains a case of when not if.

Saturday's results meant this could not have been a promotion party whatever the scoreline, but the title could be assured by victory in the Welsh capital on Saturday. Rangers, however, will have to play better than this if they are to wrap things up by the end of the week.

"Everybody talks about pressure but I'm enjoying it," said the QPR manager, Neil Warnock. "Eight points clear with four games to go? I'm loving every minute of it. I can't see Cardiff, Hull, Watford or Leeds coming for a point, so I think there's four great games to come."

That was a reference to Derby's defensive outlook but in truth the Championship leaders began with a bang but ended in a whimper. Before 20 minutes had elapsed Warnock's side could have been several goals to the good. After five minutes Wayne Routledge narrowly failed to capitalise on Tommy Smith and Heidar Helguson's fine work down the left, and the same player poked wide from close range six minutes later. Smith then headed over Adel Taarabt's superb curling free-kick and the Moroccan almost gave the home side a deserved lead with a 25-yard effort that was as cheeky as it was delicate, but Brad Jones did well to tip over.

Amid the Rangers attacks there was time for Robbie Savage to pick up a booking for an ugly chop on Taarabt that sparked a brief melee. The battle between the teams' two talismen bubbled under throughout, Taarabt twinkling his toes and Savage snapping at his heels, playing a pantomime Hook to the QPR man's Peter Pan.

The handshake between the two as Taarabt was substituted in the second half was on the sub-zero side of frosty, from the Moroccan's side at least. His frustrations were taken out on the water bottle he flung to the floor as he traipsed down the tunnel. "It was hard playing with 12 stone in my pocket," tweeted Savage after the match, refusing to end the performance despite the curtain coming down.

The cushion QPR have at the summit precludes panic, but the preference this season has been to do things with a certain amount of style and as Derby continued to prove difficult opponents Loftus Road grew a little grumpy, if not especially nervy. Those nerves might have been jangled, however, had Paddy Kenny not made a stunning save to deny Stephen Pearson just after the hour.

Indeed, the visitors fought back admirably from that early flurry, even if Pearson's effort proved the final goalmouth action of the game as the final quarter of the match petered out into a scrappy tussle.

But with the Rams, like QPR, shuffling steadily towards their objective, there was a certain amount of satisfaction all round. "It was a brilliant point and a brilliant performance," said the Derby manager, Nigel Clough. "Despite being 19th in the league we don't feel its all doom and gloom."

Telegraph/Jonathan Liew

The champagne, the open-top bus rides and the freedom of White City will have to wait for the time being. Mathematically, Queens Park Rangers may not have been able to seal promotion last night, but the opportunity was there to take a huge, purposeful stride into the Premier League. Instead, a journey that has long seemed inevitable is being made in short, fitful shuffles.

It was a frustrating evening for QPR, who dominated large parts of the game against a resolute Derby side, but failed to score at home for only the third time this season. They still lead second-placed Cardiff by eight points, and a win against them on Saturday will secure their passage.
But given the threat of a points deduction by the Football Association over the transfer of Alejandro FaurlĂ­n, it would be as well for them to secure a little breathing space.

This was a game equal parts sublime and ridiculous. If QPR could be forgiven for being a touch nervous, Derby at times looked petrified, their wastefulness in possession trumped for entertainment value only by their habit of panicking wildly when in sight of goal. Yet they grew in strength in the second half, frustrating the home side by throwing bodies in front of the ball, successfully turning the game into a scrap.

The kind of game, in short, that Robbie Savage adores. His duel with Adel Taarabt was a delight to watch: the flaxen-locked warlock against the impish little rascal. From the off, Savage took to his man-marking role with gusto, never letting Taarabt out of his sight. Savage did a better job than most in subduing the Morrocan, and it was a tribute to his potency that Neil Warnock withdrew his prize calf with 20 minutes remaining, the frustrated Taarabt storming straight down the tunnel.

“With the ability he’s got, he’s done fantastic to make the living he has,” Warnock said of Savage. “He’s long past his sell-by date, you can love him or loathe him, but you have to hold your hands up. On the pitch, he’s been superb.”

Taarabt did have one flourish, a delicious twist of genius in the first half that will lodge long in the memory. Looking up 20 yards from goal, he spotted Brad Jones off his line, and with the outside of his boot flicked it nonchalantly towards the top corner, where the alarmed, back-pedalling goalkeeper tipped it over the bar.
QPR should, by rights, have wrapped the game up within 45 minutes. Heidar Helguson and Wayne Routledge both squandered excellent chances, but the deadlock still had an impermanent feel about it.
Instead, as the home side began to get crochety, Derby gained in resilience.

Tempers bubbled on both sides. Daniel Ayala could have seen red for a rash two-footed lunge on Tommy Smith; John Brayford probably should have done for a shove on Kaspars Gorkss. But it was Derby who enjoyed arguably the best chance of the game when Paddy Kenny brilliantly saved Stephen Pearson’s left-footed drive from 12 yards. “They came for a point and made it difficult,” Warnock said. “A goal would have opened it up. We should have had two or three goals. They were good chances.”
Derby’s commitment could not be faulted. They are not yet safe themselves, but after beating Leeds last week, this result shoves them another inch towards safety. They may have floundered aimlessly for much of the evening, but ultimately they did at least have a point.

QPR (4-2-3-1): Kenny; Orr, Gorkss, Hill, Connolly; Derry, Faurlin; Smith, Taarabt (Agyemang 71), Routledge (Miller 83); Helguson (Hulse 85). Subs: Cerny, Buzsaky, Shittu, Ephraim. Booked: Routledge.
Derby (4-3-3): Jones; Brayford, Barker, Ayala, Roberts; Pearson, Bailey, Savage; Davies S (Leacock 90), Robinson, Ward.Subs: Atkins, Anderson, Davies B, Porter, Doyle, Bueno. Booked: Brayford, Ayala, Savage, Bailey.
Referee: D Deadman (Peterborough). Att: 16,745

Indepedent/Paul Newman - QPR falter once again on the home straight

Just as many London Marathon runners discovered up the road the previous day, so Queen's Park Rangers are learning that the final mile can be the hardest part. Neil Warnock's team have set the pace in the Championship nearly all season, but crossing the finish line is proving a troublesome process.

Nine days after losing 4-1 to Sc**thorpe United, Rangers struggled against another team who have spent much of the campaign worrying about relegation. Derby County, who have only recently pulled clear of the drop zone, gave as good as they got for long periods at Loftus Road last night and might even have stolen an unlikely victory.

Nevertheless, the point Rangers earned leaves them eight clear of Cardiff City, with just four matches remaining. It is surely still only a matter of time before they clinch a return to the Premier League after a 15-year absence, although this result will add spice to their visit to Cardiff on Saturday.

Robbie Savage gave a masterful display in front of the Derby back four. The 36-year-old Welshman, who is retiring at the end of the season, was given the job of stamping out Rangers' biggest threat, Adel Taarabt, although he took it too literally in the early stages.

Savage was booked for a foul on his opposing captain after only 13 minutes and enraged the home side when he appeared to kick the ball at the Moroccan as he lay on the ground. Routledge, who was the first to push Savage away in the ensuing melee, also saw yellow.

Taarabt had threatened to open up Derby in the opening exchanges but Savage quickly found the measure of the striker, who faded in the second half and was substituted with 20 minutes remaining, upon which he hurled his gloves to the floor in disgust.

With Wayne Routledge attacking down the right and Tommy Smith looking to provide support for Heidar Helguson, Rangers created several half chances in the opening stages. Routledge shot wide from an acute angle and Smith headed over the bar.

Derby, nevertheless, might have taken all three points. Although his team defended in numbers, Nigel Clough fielded an adventurous line-up at the other end of the pitch, with Jamie Ward pushing up in support of Theo Robinson and Stephen Pearson, who had the best chance 17 minutes into the second half.

Ward beat Bradley Orr with ease down the left wing, ran to the byline and rolled the ball perfectly into the path of Pearson, who shot first time from 10 yards out. A goal looked certain, but Paddy Kenny pushed the ball over the bar.

Clough talked about "a brilliant point and a brilliant performance" and was full of praise for Savage. Warnock said he also admired the Welshman, though his compliment sounded back-handed. "With the ability he's got he's done fantastically to make a living the way he has," Warnock said. "You can love him or loathe him. He's a bit like me really."

Queen's Park Rangers (4-4-2): Kenny; Orr, Connolly, Gorkss, Hill; Routledge (Miller, 83), Derry, Faurlin, Smith; Taarabt (Agyemang, 71), Helguson (Hulse, 85). Substitutes not used Cerny (gk), Buzsaky, Ephraim, Shittu.

Derby County (4-1-2-3): Jones; Brayford, Barker, Ayala, Roberts; Savage; Pearson (Anderson, 89), Bailey; Robinson, S Davies (Leacock, 90), Ward.

Substitutes not used Atkins (gk), Porter, Doyle, Bueno, Ben Davies.

Referee D Deadman (Cambridgeshire).

Mick Dennis/Daily Express - LET QPR GO UP IN PEACE

QPR must be allowed to play Premier League football at their grotty little ground
- QPR must be allowed to play Premier League football at their grotty little ground next season, even if they are found guilty of breaking the rules when they signed Alejandro Faurlin.
- The club I support, Norwich, might earn automatic promotion if Rangers are docked enough points. Or Norwich could do what Sheffield United did in the Carlos Tevez affair – refuse to accept tribunal decisions and fight for two years until, eventually, they are awarded a multi-million-pound settlement.
- I’d say keeping us out of the Premier League would be worth £90million.
- But the Tevez judgment was based on a complete misunderstanding of the facts and of football. And QPR have been the best team in the Championship since the first kick of the season.
- Perhaps the most elegant solution would be a points deduction that makes no difference to the final positions.
- But here’s a thought. Neil Warnock, who was the Blades boss hurt by Tevez, is now the QPR coach benefiting from Faurlin. If he were manager of a rival club, he would surely respond to the situation with good grace and equanimity. Or perhaps not. Express

When Saturday Comes (WSC) -Andy Ryan - A single cloud over QPR's very successful season

Pride Park was where many QPR fans realised that this season was going to be different. As the game entered injury time, Derby were 2-0 up and comfortable. The Rs had offered little while Robbie Savage had kept Adel Taarabt under lock and key. We had won our opening three games but this game was reminding us that we weren't as good as we thought. But then a hopeful long ball resulted in a Pat Agyemang goal and, in the game's final attack, Jamie Mackie powered past two defenders to slam home an equaliser. It was a glorious robbery, a point conjured out of nowhere.

It had little to do with skill and lots to do with the new-found character of QPR under Neil Warnock. We had discovered that knack of getting results even when they haven't been earned. Somehow our unbeaten record had survived; it would be four months and 15 matches before it was broken. It's the return fixture tonight and while Rs fans hope for the win that might just seal promotion, Derby supporters can only look forward to the summer. They hit a bad slump after looking genuine promotion contenders at one point and recent wins over Leeds and Swansea have hinted at what might have been.

Our formidable home record suggests that tonight will be straightforward but, with safety virtually secured, Derby come to Loftus Road without pressure and with plenty of players keen to prove a point. Cardiff, Hull, Watford and Leeds mount up to a tough run-in for QPR; Warnock and his players would dearly like to go into those games with the job done. And then there's QPR's tradition of melting down in front of TV cameras.

If there is, however, to be a major collapse in our fortunes, it is most likely to come in a courtroom rather than on the pitch with the FA having charged the club with various offences relating to the signing of Argentinian midfielder Alejandro Faurlin in 2009. Rangers fans divide into three camps on this issue. Firstly, there are the optimists who are so swept up by euphoria and a belief that "this is our season" that they refuse to believe that we will end up with anything worse than a gentle slap on the wrist. Then there are the pessimists, hardened by years of underachievement and suspicious of how well this year was going. Now they have found their hitch. They talk ominously (and without evidence) about the FA wanting to set an example.

I'm a member of the final group, the "don't-knows". I am fairly sure that we are guilty of something; the FA's investigation appears to have been thorough and chairman Gianni Paladini has a reputation that could be reasonably described as colourful. The decision to delay the judgement until May 6 makes a points deduction seem unlikely. Surely the FA would not want to alter the league table on the day before the final fixtures? Yet the FA has long had its own perverse logic.

I can sympathise with the irritation of some of our rivals as Alejandro Faurlin is a vital player. In addition, I think the FA are right to take a strong line against the unattractive idea of third-party ownership. But here is a huge gulf between a fine and a substantial points deduction. The former is a slight annoyance for wealthy owners while the latter overturns the outcome of a 46-game season. When creating these regulations, the FA failed to be specific enough about when points deductions will apply. Whatever decision they come to will now seem arbitrary. One thing is certain – the lawyers are getting ready for the long-haul. Andy Ryan

Evening Standard - Julian Bennetts - 'What if' factor is still a worry for Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith has insisted that QPR cannot relax when promotion is secured as the Alejandro Faurlin affair hangs over tonight's possible celebrations on clinching a place in the Premier League.

Rangers will be all but assured of a return to the top flight after a 15-year absence if they beat Derby at Loftus Road tonight, as they will be 11 points clear of third-placed Norwich with just four games remaining.

But Neil Warnock's side must then wait until the day before their final game of the season to see if the Football Association will deduct them points for alleged irregularities in midfielder Faurlin's transfer from Argentine club Instituto in July 2009.

And Smith admits that the players are in the dark over the punishment and are aiming to finish the season at least 10 points clear of third place so that they will be unaffected by a possible deduction.

"We want to seal promotion as quickly as we can, but then we have to win as many games as possible so that we avoid any problems if we are deducted points," said Smith.

"We have no idea what will happen, but there is a little feeling at the back of your mind, thinking 'what if'.

"Even without the possibility of the points deduction we would try and win as many games as we can, but with that looming we should make sure we pick up as many points as possible.

"Anything can happen, and we can't allow ourselves to relax, even if and when we do seal promotion."

And Smith admits that it could be an uncertain summer for much of the club as Rangers appear certain to spend the amounts of money that would justify their 'richest club in the world' tag.

Warnock will be given funds to overhaul a side which is based on experienced Championship campaigners who have not necessarily made the grade in the Premier League, and Smith admits promotion could lead to a number of players leaving Loftus Road.

But having gone months without being paid at cash-strapped Portsmouth last season, Smith admits he can barely believe how quickly his own personal fortunes have changed.

He added: "We are all aware of the money that the club's backers have, so most players probably would have thought about it (if they will have to leave if promotion is secured).

"We will worry about it if it happens, we have so many experienced players here who know that in football anything can happen.

"But I'm sure it won't dampen anyone's spirits if we do go up, and we will make sure we enjoy the moment.

"It's pointless looking at who we might end up signing in two months time." The Standard


Fulham Chronicle

Striker happy to take QPR chance

By Jon Batham - Apr 18 2011

QPR’s newest signing insists choosing the Championship leaders is no gamble - even if he is shunted off to the sidelines for a bit.

Troy Hewitt (pictured) surprised more than a few in football when he gave Neil Warnock’s table-toppers the nod rather than accept offers from Swindon and Barnet where he almost certainly would have walked into the first team.

Instead, the 21-year-old former Harrow Borough hotshot is happy to bide his time in the Loftus Road reserves.

He said: "I don’t see it as a gamble to have chosen Rangers because patience is a virtue. I feel I am in a team I’m going to be able to grow with so I’m not going to rush anything.

"I didn’t think too seriously about going to any of the other interested clubs because at the end of last year I was supposed to go to QPR to train anyway.

"They were always like my first priority and I felt if I got a chance there I would take it.

"For a while, I didn’t think it would happen so when it did, it came as something of a surprise. The Championship leaders chasing my signature was quite a big deal for me."

Hewitt hit 20 goals in just 30 appearances for Harrow in the Ryman Premier League this season as well as winning FA Cup player of the round with a hat-trick against Blue Square Premier Eastbourne Borough in October’s fourth qualifying round. Fulham Chronicle

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- A Look Back at the Various Pre-Season Predictions and Previews for QPR's 2010/11 Championship Season

- Two Year Flashback: Warnock Backed for QPR Job!

- Flashback: Thirty-Five Years Ago QPR's Shock Loss at Norwich in effect resulted in QPR - the best and best playing team in England, Missing out on being First Division Champions

- Bernie Ecclestone Denies Wrongdoing in Germany

- Tiger Feet II: Sponsored Walk to Watford

- Examples of Why Owning You Own Stadium Matters

- QPR Rank Fifth in the Championship in Twitter Followers

- Ex-QPRs Play in London Masters: July 9

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