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Monday, January 23, 2012

QPR Report Monday Update: Taiwo...Hughes..Barton...Buzsaky...Taarabt...Chelsea...Wigan

- NEXT: Chelsea (And New Statement re Chelsea Fans/Racism!)
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- African Cup Updates

- Two interesting recent articles: re Managers and Agents (including Mark Hughes) and re Malaysia and Football (including re QPR)

- Who is Kia Joorabchian?

- Five Year Flashback: QPR Statement "No China Game at Loftus Road"

- Two Year Flashback: Article re Clubs, Owners and Fans: Time to Fight Back

- "On This Day in Football" (and QPR) January 23

- Portsmouth Again in Financial Trouble

- QPR will Play Newcastle United (Away) in the Fifth Round of the FA Youth Cup

- Tuesday, January 24: The Asian Football Awards: Nominees Include Tony Fernandes and Lakshmi Mittal...Also a couple of other QPR Nominations

- The Current Bottom Six Premiership Clubs: Their Remaining Fixtures

- Latest QPR Player Signing Reports/Gossip

- Recent QPR Transfer Gossip: Player-by-Player

- QPR Podcast this week is with Neil Warnock

West London Sport - QPR to confirm defender signing

-QPR’s signing of Nigerian left-back Taye Taiwo is expected to be confirmed later today.
- Taiwo, 26, is to join the R’s from AC Milan on an initial loan deal with a view to a permanent move in the summer.
The former Marseille player required a work permit before his move to England could be rubber-stamped.
He is likely to make his debut in Saturday’s FA Cup match against Chelsea. West London Sport

BBC/John Bennett - Adel Taarabt keen to stay at Queens Park Rangers

Adel Taarabt has told BBC Sport he wants to stay at Queens Park Rangers.

Taarabt revealed he was set to leave until Mark Hughes was appointed as manager in place of Neil Warnock.

The 22-year-old midfielder, who is currently in Gabon with the Morocco squad ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, believes changing the manager was the right thing for the club.

"I think we needed that. I had good years with Neil Warnock but we were in a bad position," he said.

I think if Mark Hughes was not coming in maybe I was leaving in January. The situation now has changed. They want to keep me

Warnock then made Taarabt a QPR player in August 2010 following a successful loan period, and the Moroccan's good form in the Championship helped his team to win promotion to the top flight the same season.

However, in recent months his relationship with the former QPR boss soured, leading Warnock to state publicly: "If a player wants to leave, he can leave. I've never had a problem with that."

However, since Warnock was replaced by former Fulham manager Hughes earlier this month, Taarabt has resolved to stay in west London.

"I think if Mark Hughes was not coming in maybe I was leaving in January," Taarabt told BBC Sport.

"I spoke with the chairman and the situation now has changed. They want to keep me and we're going to have a discussion when we come back.


23 Jan: Gabon v Niger
23 Jan: Morocco v Tunisia
27 Jan: Niger v Tunisia
27 Jan: Gabon v Morocco
31 Jan: Gabon v Tunisia
31 Jan: Niger v Morocco

"Mark Hughes is a great manager and I think the chairman is giving him money so he's buying players.

"I'm going to meet him and see what's going to happen."

Morocco begin their Africa Cup of Nations campaign against Tunisia on Monday.

They are one of the favourites to win the trophy and Taarabt believes the squad has the ability to go all the way to the final.

"It's going to be a big game for us, for the country and so I hope we can start well," said Taarabt.

"Yes, we are one of the favourites along with Ivory Coast and Ghana, but we just have to concentrate on our group and see what is going to happen."


- Guardian Compilation of QPR-Wigan Photos and QPR vs Wigan: Photos from QPR vs Wigan

- VIDEO: QPR vs WIGAN - Video and also... More Extensive Video of QPR vs Wigan (Via Betacam)

GUARDIAN/Jamie Jackson

Mark Hughes gives his QPR players the structure to escape relegatio

• QPR up to 16th place after 3-1 win against Wigan Athletic
• Hughes has no concerns about Joey Barton's use of Twitter

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Queens Park Rangers v Wigan Athletic - Loftus Road

At the close, Mark Hughes raised a fist at his Queens Park Rangers project achieving lift‑off with this first league win. Nearly two weeks after succeeding Neil Warnock, the Hoops are 16th and clear of the dreaded departure lounge.

While Wigan Athletic remain rooted to the bottom and four points from safety after a tame display, Hughes said of that first win: "Predictable, I know. It was an important game for everybody and I think you saw that from the reaction of the players who stayed out a bit longer to thank the fans, which is important, because they were great today and understood what we were trying to do. So [there will be] more of the same hopefully."

Hughes has been hired to ensure QPR will again operate in the big league next season just as he was when taking over Blackburn Rovers in September 2004, whom he saved. How does it compare? "There are similarities, given the position and the pressure because we needed to win games and we had to do it quickly," Hughes said.

"When I was at Blackburn I had a group of players who were desperate to stay in the Premier League and in a sense that's what I've got here. I'm really encouraged that I've got a similar group of players and hopefully we can get a similar result."

QPR's goals came from a Heidar Helguson penalty and Akos Buzsaky's 25‑yard free-kick in the first half, which was as impressive as Tommy Smith's 30‑yard finish after 81 minutes. Hugo Rodallega produced his own contribution to the game's stunning strikes with a 66th‑minute free-kick but QPR could also afford to miss a second Helguson penalty.

Hughes said of his new charges: "They just needed a little bit of gameplan, a little bit of structure to their work and maybe that's been evident in the games that I've been involved in. That's what I do and my staff does. That's how we work, I've done that for years and years, so I understand very quickly what groups of players need, I would suggest.

"But that's credit to them because I think they worked exceptionally hard to make things happen. Unless you get that effort and commitment to what you're trying to implement on the field of play then you get no chance."

Hughes again reiterated that he has no concerns regarding Joey Barton's use of Twitter, after the midfielder had attacked Warnock on the forum on the eve of this game. "No, not at this stage," the Welshman said. "Joey understands what happens in the dressing room stays there and I don't think it will be a problem. If ever I felt that it was going to compromise us then we'd have a conversation and talk it through but certainly I haven't felt the need to do that up to this point."

Does Barton put pressure on himself? "He's a big personality and he can deal with that, he thrives on that," Hughes said. "Some players carry that well and it doesn't affect them at all. I thought he played really well. Other players try to shy away from all that because it affects their performance level. But for Joey it's water off a duck's back."

For Roberto Martínez the outlook is bleaker. "I would say that every season is tough," he said. "We have done it before [escape from relegation]. This season it will come down to the last game but it is important that we use the January window. It's clear that we need to make sure that we help the players we already have at the club to be stronger and to be brave for the next 16 games but I have huge belief in the talent in the squad." Guardian


Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes insists Joey Barton's feud with Neil Warnock is not a distraction
Mark Hughes is confident that Queens Park Rangers captain Joey Barton’s feud with his former manager, Neil Warnock, will not prove to be a distraction in his side’s attempt to secure Premier League survival.

QPR manager Mark Hughes insists Joey Barton's feud with Neil Warnock is not a distraction as his team fight for survival
No problem: Mark Hughes says Joey Barton's (above) feud with Neil Warnock is no cause for concern Photo: GETTY IMAGES

By Gerry Cox at Loftus Road

11:00PM GMT 22 Jan 2012

QPR's new manager knows his side can lift themselves into a comfortable league position as long as they continue to put in the sort of focused performance that overcame fellow strugglers Wigan on Saturday.

He does not care much for the twitterati, unlike Barton, who was tweeting furiously before and after this game.

The midfielder’s feud with Warnock has been well publicised in the media, but Hughes said: “I don’t think it will be a problem. If ever I felt it was going to compromise us we’d have a conversation and talk it through, but certainly I haven’t felt the need to do that up to this point.”

For all his noise in cyberspace, Barton was muted against Wigan and it was his midfield partner Akos Buzsaky who shone. With Alejandro Faurlin injured, the Hungarian midfielder has taken centre stage and was QPR’s outstanding player.

In between Heidar Helguson’s successful penalty and Tommy Smith’s late strike, Buzsaky scored with a superb free-kick, which was later matched by Hugo Rodallega’s set-piece strike for Wigan.

Buzsaky, who has been given a fresh chance by Hughes, said: “We all know it is a new manager and want to show what we are capable of. Now we are very compact and everyone helps each other out. With the players we have, we shouldn’t talk about survival. We should be in mid-table.”

The Wigan manager, Roberto Martínez, still believes his side can climb off the bottom of the table. “We’ve survived in the Premier League for seven seasons. This result was tough to take, but I remain optimistic that our experience is going to help us.”

Next weekend QPR face Chelsea in the FA Cup fourth round, with John Terry returning to the scene where he is alleged to have racially abused Anton Ferdinand.

Asked if he would speak to Ferdinand about it, Hughes said: “Only to get it clear in my own mind where everybody is with it. I’d like to think football will take the real lead. We hope we can have a good game of football here next week.” Telegraph



Akos Buzsaky contemplated walking out of QPR at the start of this month, but the forgotten man is now looking forward to a prolonged run in Mark Hughes' first-team after handing the Welshman his first league win in charge.

Buzsaky received a huge standing ovation when he came off towards the end of Saturday's 3-1 win over Wigan after playing a big part in orchestrating the Latics' downfall.

The Hungarian put QPR 2-0 up after Heidar Helguson's spot-kick with an exquisite free-kick on the stroke of half-time, and he could have ended the match with a hat-trick had it not been for the brilliant performance of Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.

Had it not been for a change of manager, and an injury to team-mate Alejandro Faurlin, however, Buzsaky may have been lining up for another team.

The 29-year-old had hit rock bottom after being frozen out by former manager Neil Warnock - Saturday was his first home league start of the season - and had thought about leaving the Londoners.

"In the Christmas period I wasn't even travelling with the team," Buzsaky said.

"That was a really hard, testing time for me, to be as low (as that).

"Of course I thought about maybe moving. When you are sidelined that much you think about everything because I wanted to play football.

"I tried to give 100 per cent in training but for some reason I wasn't in the plans."

With Faurlin out for the rest of the season, Buzsaky is now determined to put the past behind him and be a part of the Rangers renaissance under Hughes.

"All that is in the past now. I have been there and I have shown that I am strong enough to get through it," he said.

"It was very unfortunate (Faurlin) had the injury.

"Everyone thought of him and we have tried to support him. We needed someone to fill his position and I have always been available and have always wanted to play so now I have my chance and I want to take it."

Hughes has been active in his pursuit of new players since his appointment, with Nedum Onuoha, Taye Taiwo, Alex and Henrique all in talks with the club over potential moves to Loftus Road.

His players did their best to persuade him no new arrivals are needed yesterday, however.

Helguson, despite missing a second-half penalty, put in a good shift up front and substitute Tommy Smith fired home a memorable 25-yard drive with 10 minutes to go to seal the win.

Rangers are now two points clear of the drop zone and Buzsaky thinks the club can stop worrying about the prospect of relegation.

"Today showed that we are better than where we sit in the table and we have to push forward now," he said.

"With the players we have, we shouldn't talk about surviving, we should be confident about finishing mid-table."

Bottom side Wigan wasted two early chances to go ahead through Steve Gohouri and Victor Moses and other than picking the ball out of the net from Hugo Rodallega's free-kick - which made it 2-1 - Rangers keeper Paddy Kenny had a quiet day.

Wigan have the worst scoring record in the top four divisions but manager Roberto Martinez admits he will not be able to bring in a prolific striker this month so he wants his team to start chipping in with more goals from all positions.

"That 20 goals a season man is the hardest thing is to find in world football," Martinez said.

"They cost you a lot of money. We need to be creative and need to score more goals from other areas of the pitch.

"That's something we need to develop from within the squad because unfortunately we won't be able to go out and spend the money that a clinical goal scorer costs." Sporting Life


Dyer not quitting yet

QPR man hopes to be back for last month of season

Last updated: 22nd January 2012

Dyer: injury nightmare

It's paramount though that we stay in the league this season and we will really kick on with the new manager.

Kieron Dyer told Goals on Sunday about his battle to recover his fitness - and admitted he would consider retiring if he injured his hamstrings again.

The former England international has endured a series of serious injuries in the last four seasons and his hoodoo struck again three minutes into his QPR debut against Bolton in August when he injured his foot.

He admits it has been tough to spend more time on the sidelines, but says he is not ready to hang up his boots because his latest injury is not connected to the hamstring problems he has struggled with in the last few years.

He told Goals on Sunday: "If I'd been injured on my hamstrings, because I was getting hamstring injuries in the past, then I probably would call it a day.

"But this was a freak injury and I should have had the surgery the first time around. If I'd had it when I first did it then I'd be back playing by now.

"It was a one-off injury and there's nothing as a player you can do. That's why I will continue to play football.

"I'm used to it now because it's been like it for the last four years. Obviously you have your low points and it's hard, but you want to play football.

"When you're not it's frustrating because you want to help your team-mates and you want to help your team because they need you. That's what keeps you going."


Dyer said his latest lay-off has been particularly frustrating because the foot should have been operated on in August.

Instead, his doctors opted for a programme of rehabilitation, only for the injury to reoccur three months later, and that has delayed his return to action.

He said: "I thought I'd be okay, but after a few weeks we knew something was wrong and I've finally had to have an operation, which is unfortunate.

"When we first saw the specialist he decided not to operate and said to do a three-month rehab programme and hopefully that would do the trick.

"I did the three months, worked my socks off and was looking great in training, then five minutes into the first reserve game the same thing happened again. That's when we knew it was time to operate."

If his recovery goes to plan then Dyer believes he could be fit to feature for QPR in the last month of the season.

However, he fears that he could be left out of Mark Hughes' 25-man Premier League squad, which has to be finalised by the end of January, and that would exclude him from playing again this season.

He said: "I'll probably be back for the last month of the season, but the problem is obviously that Premier League teams have to put the 25-man squad in by the end of January.

"So if the manager Mark Hughes uses the whole 25 then I will not play this season, although you can play in cup games so hopefully we make it to the FA Cup Final!

"If he only names 23 or 24 in the squad then I have a chance of maybe featuring in the last month of the season.

"If you know you're not going to be involved then from a rehab point of view you take it easier and you don't go flat out. You just get yourself right for pre-season.

"It can work in both ways. If you're not in the 25 you can take your time and not rush back, but if there's a chance then you're going to do everything in your power."

Dyer was also full of praise for new manager Hughes, who replaced Neil Warnock in the QPR hotseat last week.

He believes his new boss brings plenty of pedigree to the club and has backed him to steer them to Premier League survival this season.

Dyer added: "He nearly got the Chelsea job in the summer, so that goes to show what kind of manager he is.

"He's got a professional outfit with Eddie Niedzwiecki, Mark Bowen and Kevin Hitchcock; they're very professional and thorough.

"He left Fulham, who finished eighth in the league, to come and take a job at QPR. If he can keep us up this season with the owners and their vision then QPR is a great place to be.

"It's paramount though that we stay in the league this season and we will really kick on with the new manager."

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