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Thursday, January 12, 2012

QPR Report: Hughes's Team...Warnock's Axe...Magilton Claims "Fabricated" Headbutt...MK Dons: More Tickets...Everton Youth...Ugo Ukah


- Check out and post on theQPR REPORT MESSAGEBOARD where there are updated QPR and other football articles and discussion throughout the day....Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- QPR vs Everton Youth Tonight in the FA Youth Cup...Ross Barkley apparently Injured

- The DaisyCutter: Farewell Neil Warnock: The Man Who Restored QPR’s Pride - Hoops fan Rollercoaster Ranger looks back on Neil Warnock’s short but eventful reign at Loftus Road.

- Ugo Ukah: Five Years Ago Today Flashback - Departure Announced for Second Time

- Four Years Ago: QPR Announce Sebastian Rusculleda NOT Signing...Two Years Ago: Paul Hart on the Brink...and QPR Crash out in the FA Cup vs Sheffield United...Sixty Years Ago Today, Brentford Knock QPR out of the FA Cup! Before a crowd of 35,000

- Non-QPR Factoid: Longest-Ever Managerial Term: WBA's Fred Everiss: 46 Years!

Blackburn Fan Perspective of Mark Hughes
MaudesFishnChips/QPR Report
Many thanks to Joe Ainscough from vital Blackburn who gives QPRreport his view on our new manager.

Mark Hughes took on his first Premier League managerial role at our club, as successor to Graeme Souness, a man who had brought us up into the top flight, brought us European football, and a Worthington Cup win (now the Carling Cup). Certainly a tough act to follow. Rovers fans had seen Mark before of course, as a player whilst he was manager of the Wales national side, but there was a sense of intrigue when he put his name on the door of the manager’s office.

Hughes took over with us in a bit of a relegation fight (much like yourselves now) and helped to steer us clear of the bottom three, and also got us to the FA Cup semi-final for the first time in over 40 years.

In his second season in charge, we stormed up the table, claiming a top 6 spot beating Manchester United twice, as well as Chelsea and Arsenal. We also reached yet another semi-final, this time in the Carling cup. They certainly were good times for the club!

Hughes spent very little money at Rovers, and was VERY good at it. He is quite possibly the best we have had for finding bargains. Hughes assembled a team on a shoe string budget, bringing in the likes of Benni McCarthy for £2 million, who went on to score 18 league goals in his first season, only to be beaten to the golden boot by Ronaldo.

The frugal spending didn’t stop there, Hughes also added the likes of David Bentley for £500k, who went on to be sold for £15million several seasons later. Chris Samba came in for as little as £400k. Stephen Warnock for £1.5million, Ryan Nelsen on a free transfer! The list goes on.

Not only was Hughes developing a strong squad on the field, he was also developing one off it. A large backroom staff was being assembled behind the scenes with fitness experts and experienced heads all working their magic at the club training ground, Brockhall.

Hughes guided us to a 10th place finish the following season, and a third consecutive cup semi-final, this time against Chelsea . The prize, the first ever cup final at Wembley. Rather unluckily, Watford and Blackburn were drawn out against the two “bigger teams” in Manchester United and Chelsea. For those few of you that care, we lost 2-1 in the end.

The frugal spending continued throughout Hughes’ time at Rovers, bringing in Roque Santa Cruz along the way for as little as £3.5 million. Santa Cruz scored 19 league goals in his first season at the club, helping Blackburn to finish 7th in the 07/08 campaign.

Hughes left Rovers for mega rich Manchester City , something he could not be blamed for, and few Rovers fans hold a grudge against him for it.

As for now, we would have LOVED him back at our club. He provides everything our side is lacking at the moment.

In Hughes you have got a manager who will provide solid foundations, an extremely strong work ethic, a shrewd business man, and most of all, a highly competent tactician. I hope I have done the man justice, and he will be welcomed back at Ewood any time.

Joe Ainscough
www.blackburn.vitalfootball.co.uk QPR Report

MK Dons Official Site


Posted on: Wed 11 Jan 2012

MK Dons have requested additional tickets from Queens Park Rangers after exhausting the initial allocation for the FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round Replay.

The rematch at Loftus Road next week has received great interest from Dons fans with 1,350 tickets sold in the away end in just over two days. The Club have since received an additional 1,832 tickets which are on sale now from the Box Office at stadiummk and thecentre:mk, via the MK Dons Online Ticket Service and by calling 01908 622900.

Article continues

Prices are as follows:

Adult - £15 with £5 discount for Season Ticket Holders and Members
Young Adults (16-21) and Seniors (Over 60) - £10 with £3 discount for Season Ticket Holders and Members
Under 16 - £5 with £3 discount for Season Ticket Holders and Members
Under 8 - Free (accompanied by an adult and only available prior to matchday)

Proof of age will be required at the turnstiles.

Ambulant disabled are entitled to a free career with tickets priced at £10 with £3 discount for Season Ticket Holders and Members. The Club have been allocated three wheelchair tickets which will be issued in accordance to the Club Charter.

Discounts apply to both clubs on tickets purchased up to 5pm on Monday 16th January. Full prices apply thereafter.

A convoy of 12 MK Dons Official Away Travel coaches will be departing stadiummk on Tuesday afternoon for the big game, which has been chosen to be shown live on ITV4.

MK Dons Away Travel is on sale with adult tickets priced at £14 and senior/junior tickets £13. Season ticket holders and members are entitled to a £1 discount.

Coaches will depart stadiummk at 4.30pm. Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office at stadiummk and thecentre:mk or via the Online Ticket Service.

The match kicks off at 8pm and the winner of the tie will go through to the Fourth Round where they will play host to Chelsea.
MK Dons


Plenty of ifs in Jim Magilton's famous butt

by: David Davutovic From: Herald Sun January 11, 2012

JIM Magilton has accused former club Queens Park Rangers of fabricating the alleged headbutt incident that led to his exit in 2009.

Magilton was sacked after just six months in charge of QPR after a dressingroom bust-up with Hungary international Akos Buzsaky.

Melbourne Victory is Magilton's first senior job since and he said he had "no idea" why the story was leaked in such a way.

"It's absolutely ridiculous, there was nothing in it. There was a coming together, it was totally embarrassing, like nothing that you haven't seen a million times, that you don't see on the park every Sunday," Magilton said.

"There was a bit of finger-pointing, there were a few home truths."

Magilton started the 2009-10 season well but the incident happened after an away loss to Watford that saw QPR drop five spots.

He questioned the QPR board's motives, namely former chairmen Flavio Briatore and Gianni Paladini and revealed they tried to get involved in team selection.

"The next day after our debrief I got a call that Mum had a major operation in hospital, not sure if she will pull through.

"Mr Briatore rang and requested a meeting - I said, 'I can't be there'.

"That afternoon that whole Akos Buzsaky thing blew up. It was rubbish, utter rubbish." Herald Sun

Site for new QPR training ground revealed
By Paul Warburton

THE Warren Farm Sports Complex is set to become QPR’s new training ground – and one of the reasons Mark Hughes became the club’s new manager this week.

Rs ambitions to develop the 59-acre site in Windmill Lane that borders Southall and Osterley, and provide a state of the art complex for both the Premier League Club and the community, is within weeks of being finalised with owners London Borough Of Ealing council.

Hughes was unveiled as the man to replace the sacked Neil Warnock on Tuesday, and ironically returned to the place he trained as a Chelsea player when he took his first session as Rs boss the following day.

But the Imperial Sports Ground at Harlington is past its sell-by date according to Hughes, and plans for not only a new stadium to replace Loftus Road, but a training ground worthy of a Premier League club was a clincher in securing Sparky’s return to west London 16 months after he quit Fulham.

“Harlington is also 10 years older since I was last there,” said Hughes, “and I realised the Rangers’ ambitions were mine as well with the various exciting plans they have in place.”

QPR have slated two other possible sites for its new training base, but the rundown Warren Farm complex is the favoured choice by a distance. Fulham Chronicle

QPR Official Site

Posted on: Wed 11 Jan 2012

QPR Reserves face their opposite numbers from Tottenham Hotspur in a behind closed doors friendly at Harlington this afternoon (Wednesday).

Hogan Ephraim is in the squad following his return from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic, while Angelo Balanta and Michael Doughty are also involved after stints at MK Dons and Crawley Town respectively.

A report on this fixture follow on www.qpr.co.uk later today.

QPR squad: Putnins, Harriman, Borrowdale, Rowlands, Perone, Shittu, Ephraim, Balanta, Vine, Doughty, Shariff, Francis, Lennox, Parmenter, Hewitt.

Hughes offers chance to QPR outcasts

By Jacob Murtagh / Fulham Chronicle

MARK Hughes has promised QPR's fringe players a clean slate – but hinted that he needs to whittle down the size of his squad.

Rangers have more than 40 professionals on their books, with the new boss keen to make additions in the January transfer window.

However, Hughes has offered fresh hope to the likes of Hogan Ephraim (pictured) and Rob Hulse, who failed to make QPR's 25-man squad for the first half of the season.

Asked whether everybody with be given a fair crack of the whip, Sparky said: “I would think so. There's a big group in fairness and that brings it's own difficulties.

“I've always tried to involve everyone on the periphery. That's the way that I work. We'll give everybody a chance.” Fulham Chronicle

Mark Hughes once described his coaching team to Sportsmail as 'the most qualified in the Premier League'.
They are modern, forward-thinking and ambitious, using software and high-tech equipment to study, analyse and measure player fitness and development, called KPI (Key Performance Indicators).
At Manchester City they introduced diet and dehydration tests in use at superpowers such as AC Milan and Bayern Munich.
The close-knit coaching unit have joined forces with Hughes several times before and are back alongside him at QPR. They notably signed £8million-rated Christopher Samba for Blackburn for £400,000. How does it work?

Mark Hughes
Manager, front man, medals on the table. Played for Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, as well as clubs at the other end of the scale.
His fourth Premier League job. Already owns a west London property. Keen disciplinarian. Likes his teams to tackle like he did. Can be surprisingly quiet and reserved at times, but don’t cross his path, Joey...
Will take team meetings on match day and through the week. Also takes charge of the detail provided in video presentations, such as weaknesses of opponents and where they can be exploited.
Nothing happens without Hughes giving it the nod, although he is considered to be a good listener in daily coaching meetings. Has a son on the technical staff at Manchester City.

Mark Bowen
Highly-rated right-hand man. Works closely with players and acts as a conduit between a sometimes-frosty Hughes and the squad.
Close confidant who is trusted by Hughes since playing alongside him for Wales. They became great mates and Bowen then followed him into international management as a coach. Together they have worked at Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham and now QPR.
Former Tottenham and West Ham full back who turned down the chance to be Norwich manager. Bowen often takes charge of set pieces and will observe coaching sessions with Hughes. Takes an active role in player recruitment. Has a son on the technical staff at West Ham.

Eddie Niedzwiecki
Hands-on coach who will take soundings from Hughes and Bowen, but is responsible for daily coaching sessions with the first team after working with the data analysts to determine intensity of training.
His style is described as ‘demanding, but rewarding’ and was praised by Fulham players.
When ex-striker Hughes was asked if he joined in, he explained: ‘The quality of the sessions Eddie puts on is so high, I would only ruin the level of performance, and therefore the stats, by taking part. I stay away and rely on my memories.’
Former Wales and Chelsea goalkeeper Niedzwiecki has an encyclopaedic knowledge of players around the world.
Kevin Hitchcock
Former Chelsea goalkeeper and Hughes’s goalkeeping coach. Like Bowen and Niedzwiecki, has previously worked with Hughes at Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham.
A similar role under Gianfranco Zola at West Ham, where he replaced Ludek Miklosko. Hitchcock played almost 300 games for Mansfield, Chelsea and Northampton.

Kia Joorabchian
Transfer Mr Fixit who sought Hughes for Manchester City and then arranged the transfer of Carlos Tevez, among others.
Behind Moussa Dembele’s move to Fulham and likely to be given a mandate by QPR - driven by Hughes - to improve the playing staff.
Has been working with Hughes, Bowen and Niedzwiecki looking at players in preparation for this opportunity. Don’t expect Tevez. Do expect Alex. And a few others. Mail

GUARDIAN/Jamie Jackson
Mark Hughes insists he will not repeat Manchester City mistakes at QPR•

QPR's manager hopes for good relationship with owners

Mark Hughes has admitted mistakes he made as Manchester City manager will ensure he establishes a productive working relationship with the Queens Park Rangers owners. The Welshman's comments came as he revealed that he had taken the QPR job despite not meeting the majority shareholder, Tony Fernandes, during the process of his hiring.

Hughes, who has met Fernandes in the past and who did have conference calls with the Malaysian businessman before accepting the post, was asked whether he had any concerns regarding the inexperience of the club's owner, who bought QPR in the summer.

"I've been there before to be fair," he said, referring to Thaksin Shinawatra and the Thai's successor, Sheikh Mansour, who each became first-time owners of Premier League clubs when they bought City. Hughes was sacked by Mansour in December 2009 when City were sixth.

"Maybe that experience will help me and I am sure it will," he said. "In fairness probably I made mistakes with respect to the new owners last time. I understand that now. So I can learn from that and I am a better manager now than when I first went through that."

Could he give an example? "The lines of communication and the different ways of management, that was a little bit difficult to navigate, but I'm happy with the structure here and I think that it will be more beneficial to me.

The owners are passionate about what they are trying to do here and they are very accessible. I only have to pick up the phone or look at Twitter. That's important – I have to build that relationship and make sure it's strong. That's what I will endeavour to do, to make sure we are all on the same page."

Hughes stated he was relaxed about Fernandes's penchant for Twitter. "We will possibly have a discussion about it but I'm not in a position to say anything," he said. "It's great he engages with the fans and he has passion for the fans and the businesses he has around the world."

A major reason why Warnock was sacked and replaced by Hughes was the QPR board's belief that the Welshman could attract what he described as "big players". Although Hughes would not confirm specific targets he did admit that Alex, the Chelsea defender, was of the ilk he hopes to sign.

"Its not easy to bring players in," he said. "It's January. In fairness it does seem that there is a better quality of player available in this window."

QPR are 17th after a dire run of results that has yielded only two points from the last available 24. So would it be a disaster if Hughes failed to add anyone to his squad? "I would be disappointed if we didn't. It's important that we explore all avenues and see where we go with that," he said.

His first priority is to avert relegation but he claimed that even if QPR do go down, he will remain at the club. "My intention is to be here for some time," said Hughes, whose first game is at Newcastle United on Sunday. "I have got a two-and-a-half-year contract and if I stay here longer I will be delighted. You want to make a mark on the game and in my view this is a fantastic opportunity to be able to do that at this club. That's the attraction for me, building something from the start."

Hughes admitted he needs to restructure the club immediately. "We need to stay in the league this year," he said. "That's difficult because teams in and around us have had the benefit of being in the league for a number of years so that means everything that underpins the first-team operation is in place. Possibly we have not got that structure. But we will address that very quickly I am sure." Guardian

Exclusive: Warnock reveals blow-by-blow account of QPR exit
By Paul Warburton Jan 11 2012 Comment (1) Recommend (1)


NEIL Warnock knew the writing was on the wall the second he saw an 8am text from chairman Tony Fernandes on Sunday.

The manager was formally axed two hours later in his own living room after a miserable run of nine games without a win leaving Rangers hovering just a point above the Premier League drop zone.

“Of course, I knew what was coming,” said Warnock. “Tony asked to meet him at the ground, but I asked him to come to my house instead.

“He came around 10am, and was embarrassed. But all I asked for was a bit of delay in announcing the news while I told my friends and family.”

The ex-manager had no axe to grind against the chairmen who took over in August, but was pretty sure he might forego any new supremo so keen on tweeting.

‘He’s fond of all that,” said Warnock. “And I know it’s the modern way, but I’m not so sure the football world has room for many more all throwing out instant messages.

“But it’s been a great time at QPR and I can’t thank the fans enough for all their support – they are truly a magnificent bunch.”
Fulham Chronicle

Telegraph/Oliver Brown

Farewell to Neil Warnock - an eccentric entertainer who will be sorely missed

So farewell Neil Warnock, the unlikely renaissance man. He was, to invoke David Brent briefly, “a friend first, a boss second probably an entertainer third”.

This bluff son of Sheffield had forgotten more about the vagaries of football management than Tony Fernandes, counting his Airbuses from an office in Kuala Lumpur, could ever hope to know. What follows, then, as he cedes command at Queens Park Rangers, is no mere eulogy from his one-man appreciation society. It is a lament.
Are we no longer to hear his priceless witterings about female intuition, myopic referees, or the time he once felt aroused by Kelly Holmes? Must we be deprived of his infamous (and highly creative) touchline diatribes?

It would, after all, be difficult to surpass the moment in 2003 when he told Liverpool's Phil Thompson: “---- off Pinocchio. Get back in your ------- cupboard.”

Visits to QPR’s Harlington training ground, a ramshackle compound under the Heathrow flight path, will never be the same - especially when his successor, Mark Hughes, tends to project all the personality of a chair.
To many, Warnock is an irritant, a squat and sniping figure who couches often outrageous accusations in his eeh-bah-gum south Yorkshire patter.

But amid all the sanitised, evasive Premier League manager-speak, his candid monologues could be electrifying. His verdict on the loathsome El-Hadji Diouf - “I was going to call him a sewer rat, but that might be insulting to sewer rats” - merely expressed a sentiment his contemporaries had been too timid to utter.

One wishes Warnock, who, at 63, is just two years off pensionable age, a happy period of reflection after his firing by Fernandes. He ought, perhaps, to spend a few weeks in his beloved Cornwall, where he once took QPR for pre-season friendlies against Truro City and Bodmin Town.
Equally, he could whisk wife Sharon away on some exotic mini-breaks.
For here is a man who knows how to show a girl a good time. Last year he walked her through the souks of Marrakech, writing: “We saw all the snake-charmers with their cobras. I was a bit disappointed no one offered to swap Sharon for a camel, but she wasn’t. I think it was her dark hair. I’m told blondes are more popular.”

It sounded like classic casual misogyny from the unreconstructed northern male. But Warnock’s personality has always been more nuanced. He acknowledges great deference to the wisdom of Sharon, with whom he has four school-age children, recognising that her calmness serves as the perfect counterpoint to his own lunacy.
How many other top-flight managers do you know who would take prospective signings back to their homes, to be judged by their wives? “I like my missus to see them,” he explained. “If I don’t get the player I say, ‘That was down to you, love’. Women have got more idea about people.” Well, quite.
He tried this unusual audition technique out on Danny Graham, with great success, at least until the striker spurned QPR’s advances for those of Swansea City.
Warnock’s methods were eccentric, but they remained the product of constant refinement.

Here, indeed, was a man who had earned his chance, whose apprenticeship had in some respects never ended. Up through the managerial food chain he had toiled, from the Sunday leagues to Loftus Road via Burton, Scarborough, Torquay, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Oldham, Bury, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, scattering his brand of maverick inspiration wherever he happened to cast anchor.
Such a nomadic existence was no choice for a man in his seventh decade, though, and Warnock made no secret of his relief at laying down roots in London. He looked upon his five years in the metropolis, first at Palace and latterly at QPR, as his reward for a half a lifetime of provincial graft.

“I absolutely love London,” Warnock once said from the lounge of his rented Richmond home. It was, to be sure, a disarming admission from such a proud Yorkshireman. “I never thought I’d say that. I used to think you needed a passport to go south of Watford.”
For this settled lifestyle to be suddenly snatched away, by a Malaysian entrepreneur with more money than sense, seems a trifle cruel. Warnock had, in his 32 years in the technical area, engineered seven promotions. He knew how to excoriate his players - as witnessed in a notorious televised team-talk during his spell at Huddersfield - but equally, he grasped the art of praise.

Few could watch his dressing-room address at QPR after last season’s promotion, when he singled out centre-back Clint Hill as a “hero”, and fail to be moved. His exile from the game is only four days old, but already Warnock’s contribution is acutely missed Telegraph

Gullit's Perspective on Managerial Changing


Appointing Mark Hughes at QPR is a quick fix, not the long-term solution
Simon Johnson11 Jan 2012

Ruud Gullit today warned Queens Park Rangers that appointing his former Chelsea team-mate is not guaranteed to halt their slide down the Premier League.

New boss Mark Hughes met the Rangers players yesterday and takes charge for the first time on Sunday when QPR travel to resurgent Newcastle.

But Gullit counselled caution today when asked his verdict on Hughes, a player who joined Chelsea on the same day as him 1995 and who then went on to play under the Dutchman when he was made manager at Stamford Bridge.

He told Standard Sport: "When you change managers in the middle of a season, in the first matches there is always a change. Naturally there is a bit of a response from the players and there is a new energy. But all of a sudden it tends not to happen any more. The League Managers' Association has done a report which shows this.

"It is a quick fix, not a long-term solution, most of the time. That is what the figures say and they don't lie. You always hope that things go better but it doesn't necessarily happen. Most of the time it doesn't go better over the long-term than it was in the first place. It is a gamble, changing manager always is. The people in the boardroom don't know how it is going to work out. They just hope it will go well."

With the club just one point above the relegation zone, owner Tony Fernandes argues he had no choice but to remove Warnock. And having seen Sunderland win five of their seven games since they sacked Steve Bruce and appointed Martin O'Neill last month, Fernandes will be hoping for a similar effect at Loftus Road.

Gullit rates his former team-mate highly and has been impressed by his work with Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham. But with Rangers having gone eight League games without a win, Gullit knows Hughes's managerial talents face a tough examination. He said: "Hughes has done well as a coach, looks reliable and is a great guy. He is the kind of manager that can turn results around in this situation, I hope he can.

"But the question is whether the quality of players are good enough. Even with Hughes there instead of Warnock, it's still going to be a hard task.

"I don't know the ins and outs of QPR and the reason why they have sacked Warnock. The club have said some things but no one knows what has happened internally.

"As a manager, the only certainty is that you will be sacked. The owners decide what to do with the club because it is all up to them but sometimes they could show more patience.

"Staying in the Premier League has become the main prize for a lot of clubs. Maybe QPR looked at what has happened at Sunderland since O'Neill has come in and that is what made them think about doing it. Clubs don't want to leave it too late if they're thinking of making the change. They'd rather do it now when they have four months left to do something."

One club who have stood by their man is Blackburn. Gullit admires the way Rovers have ignored supporters' protests against Steve Kean and believes the bottom-of-the-table club could benefit in the long run.

"The fans are obviously desperate to get him out but the board has a lot of trust in him," said the Dutchman. "He had a great result at Manchester United over Christmas, which they needed, and sometimes things like this can help change things around.

"Maybe with a little more patience like this things can change for a manager and his team but it all depends on the relationship between the manager and the players, the board also."

Warnock's relationship was clearly not as strong as he thought at Loftus Road. Hughes will hope for better fortune
This is London

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