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Marooned 5: QPR players fuming after being given the cold shoulder
Bothroyd, Young, Campbell, Hulse and Smith can't understand why Mark Hughes is treating them so badly
Dead wood: Mark Hughes has ignored players signed by former boss Neil Warnock Dead wood: Mark Hughes has ignored players signed by former boss Neil Warnock
Queens Park Rangers have dumped five senior players into training ground exile.
Jay Bothroyd, Luke Young, DJ Campbell, Rob Hulse and Tommy Smith were all ordered to train away from the rest of the first team squad.
Along with bad boy Joey Barton, who has been told he can move on, the quintet were not allocated squad numbers as boss Mark Hughes made it clear they were surplus to his requirements.
Smith joined Cardiff on Friday but the other quartet are still on the payroll and unhappy at their treatment.
A source close to the players said: “They find the way they have been treated disrepectful. They have not been a moment’s trouble to the club. They cannot understand what is going on and why this has happened.”
Both striker Bothroyd and full-back Young are England internationals and, along with Campbell and Hulse, believe they have done nothing to justify the cold shoulder treatment from Rangers.
Jay Bothroyd (Pic: Getty Images) Wanted man: Jay Bothroyd is being chased by Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones
They have been ordered to report at various times since the players returned to full training after the summer break.
Sometimes they must work together from 4pm.
On other occasions, they are told to report at 9am and stay until 5pm with no inter-action with the first team squad.
All five players were signed by former boss Neil Warnock who was sacked in January to make way for Hughes.
They were part of the squad that ensured Rangers survived in their first season back in the top flight.
The players have made their feelings known to the PFA and the union representative at the club – midfielder Shaun Derry – is also aware of their feelings.
Bothroyd turned his career around after he was kicked out of Arsenal as a young player for throwing his shirt at coach Don Howe when he was substituted. He played for Perugia in Italy and went to Cardiff where he excelled.
He became one of the few players from outside the top flight to play for England when he won his England cap against France in 2010.
He was taken on by Rangers after his contract expired in July last year.
Bothroyd is rated highly by former Cardiff boss Dave Jones, now in charge at Sheffield Wednesday. The ambitious Yorkshire club would like to see the striker join their bid for successive promotions and a return to the top flight, but his £30,000 a-week wages are proving a stumbling block.
Young cost £1million when signed from Aston Villa and Warnock praised both his attititude and his versaility. The 33-year-old can play at both full-back and in central defence and played seven times for England.
Striker Campbell cost £1.2m when he joined from Blackpool last August, while Hulse, 32, was a £500,000 signing from Derby in 2010.
Campbell has had talks with Blackpool recently but was unable to agree terms while Hulse is believed to be ready to allow his contract to run down which will make him a free agent at the end of this season. Mirror
Mark Hughes felt his side’s result at Norwich – QPR’s first away point since he took over as manager – was a definite step in the right direction.
Bobby Zamora’s equaliser secured a 1-1 draw for Rangers at Carrow Road, where the home side took an early lead through Simoen Jackson.
Rangers’ display encouraged Hughes following the humiliation of the 5-0 thrashing by Swansea on the opening day.
Zamora netted for Rangers.
Hughes said: “Obviously we had a bad day last weekend and it was important to get something.
“It was also the first away point we’ve been able to accrue while I’ve been the manager, which is a bonus and something to build on.
“It’s an important step. We’re off the mark in terms of scoring as well, so there’s a couple of landmarks there for us.
“On occasions we just lacked the right ball at the right time. We could have freed Djibril Cisse and didn’t quite give him the service he thrives on.
“We can certainly get the ball down and play a lot more. But in terms of getting a positive result, we’ll take this.”
Hughes insisted the decision to award Rangers the first-half penalty which led to their goal was correct.
Norwich felt aggrieved that a spot-kick was given for an apparent foul on Cisse by Sebastien Bassong and also felt Zamora encroached into the box before scoring from the rebound after Cisse had missed.
“I think there were about seven players in the box,” Hughes argued.
“There was contact for the penalty and if you make contact there is always the potential there for a penalty. By the letter of the law it was a penalty.”
Gaffer pleased with a point at Carrow Road
We’ll take the positives out of it because we were very poor last weekend."
R’S BOSS Mark Hughes was pleased to see his side kick-start their season with a point at Carrow Road.
Rangers trailed early on to Simeon Jackson’s goal, only for Bobby Zamora to level from close range following Djibril Cisse’s saved spot-kick.
Hughes told www.qpr.co.uk: “We’ll take the positives out of it because we were very poor last weekend.
“It was important that we showed up today and I thought we did that.
“It was a game of few chances in fairness, but in terms of our organisation and quality it was a vast improvement.
“They utilised the threat of Holt very well in the first half, but I thought we improved defensively in the second half and Anton marshalled him very well, to the extent that they had to make a change.
“All in all, we can be encouraged from what we took from the game.
“It’s only my second away point in charge here, so that’s got to be a positive as well.”
Hughes added: “it gives us something to build on.
“We know we can improve markedly on that performance in terms of our quality, but we’re a new team and we will improve.
“The longer we spend together as a group, the better we’ll become.”
Goalscorer Zamora received a deep gash to his head midway through the second half and Hughes added: “It’s a bad gash for Bobby.
“I thought he was excellent today and showed what we missed on the opening day.
“He’ll definitely miss Tuesday night against Walsall and we’ll have to wait and see for Manchester City.” QPR
Zamora secures a point for Rangers
Norwich 1 QPR 1
Bobby Zamora’s equaliser secured QPR’s first Premier League point of the season.
Zamora netted from the rebound after Djibril Cisse’s penalty had been pushed onto the post by Norwich keeper John Ruddy.
Rangers looked vulnerable at the back throughout, but their performance was a marked improvement on the opening-day shambles against Swansea.
And there was a debut for recent signing Jose Bosingwa, who came on as a second-half substitute.
Norwich – themselves beaten 5-0 by Fulham last weekend – punished some slack defending to go ahead in the 12th minute.
Fabio, who started at right-back in place of Nedum Onuoha, was sucked into the middle, enabling Anthony Pilkington to collect Robert Snodgrass’ pass and cross from the left for Simeon Jackson to head home from close range.
Rangers were handed a lifeline six minutes later, when Sebastien Bassong, making his Canaries debut, was adjudged to have fouled Cisse in the area.
Cisse was unable to convert the resulting spot-kick, but Zamora was on hand to rifle the loose ball into the far corner of the net.
Jackson squandered a great chance early in the second period, while Cisse inexplicably failed to connect properly after Zamora’s chip into the box found the Frenchman in acres of space with only Ruddy to beat.
Rangers were almost made to pay for that miss when Russell Martin headed Pilkington’s cross against the bar.
Norwich City fail to make chances count in draw with QPR
The last time Norwich City were managed by someone other than Paul Lambert at Carrow Road they lost 7-1 to Colchester, so this was an improvement of sorts. However this was a frustrating afternoon for Chris Hughton, who is still waiting for his first win as Norwich manager since replacing Lambert in the summer, as his new side were held to a disappointing draw by an expensively assembled but distinctly underwhelming Queens Park Rangers.
It was not difficult work out why both sides suffered humiliating 5-0 defeats last Saturday. In Fabio Da Silva, QPR had a player who started at right-back for Manchester United in the Champions League final last year, yet it did not take long for Anthony Pilkington to penetrate on the left.
After 11 minutes, Robert Snodgrass found Pilkington in space and the winger's cross to the far post was headed in from close range by Simeon Jackson after 11 minutes. A simple goal, but beautiful in its efficiency.
QPR were all over the place and with their midfield offering little protection, their defence was as exposed as a prince in Las Vegas. Mark Hughes has been criticised for his scattergun transfer policy, yet as his side floundered during a frantic start his attempts to sign Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Dawson from Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur respectively made sense. On this evidence, they could do with both and possibly more.
However if QPR could not rely on their defence to keep them in the game, they could at least count on Norwich's to offer them a route back into it.
Only seven minutes after Jackson's opener, Junior Hoilett slid a pass into the Norwich area towards Djibril Cissé, who was clumsily brought down by Sébastien Bassong, making an inauspicious debut after his move from Tottenham. QPR's appeal was not loud, Norwich's protests were, but Mark Clattenburg's decision looked sound and although John Ruddy brilliantly pushed Cissé's penalty on to the left post, Bobby Zamora swept home the rebound.
The equaliser was thoroughly against the run of play and Norwich remained the more fluent side. The influential Snodgrass wriggled into the area, only to see his low cross cleared yards from his own goal by Anton Ferdinand, before the former Leeds winger forced Robert Green into a superb save with a drive from 25 yards.
Hughes responded by replacing Clint Hill, who was lucky not to be sent off for two bookings having lost his wrestling match against Grant Holt, with Nedum Onuoha. Little changed, however, Jackson bursting into the area shortly after the restart and firing into the side-netting. Then Green, making his first appearance at Carrow Road since leaving for West Ham six years ago, was fortunate to escape when he appeared to handle outside the area. No wonder QPR have been linked with the Internazionale goalkeeper Júlio César despite Green only arriving at Loftus Road this summer.
Although the visitors gradually grew in confidence they were largely restricted to speculative efforts, Norwich continued to create the clearer chances. Leon Barnett should have done better than to put a free header wide from a free-kick, before Snodgrass raced past the sluggish Armand Traoré, and curled in a cross that Jackson missed by inches.
Norwich's best chance came with 20 minutes left. Jonny Howson's delightful cross from the left was met by Snodgrass at the far post, but with Green rooted to the spot, his powerful header flew inches over the bar. While Snodgrass's approach play oozed class, his disappointment at wasting such a glorious opportunity was palpable.
By now, QPR could barely get out of their own half – and whenever they did try to mount a counterattack the dozy Cissé was repeatedly caught offside - and they escaped again when Russell Martin's looping header clanged against the bar with seven minutes remaining.
That miss seemed to deflate Norwich, who were unable to fashion another opening despite concerted pressure. QPR will know they should have left with nothing. For all their spending they are not a team but a collection of individuals who desperately need to gel sooner rather than later and after last week's thrashing at home by Swansea, a first point of the season was more than they merited. Not that they will turn their noses up at it.
It will do for now, but Hughes will know there is plenty of work to be done. Simply throwing money at the problem may not be the answer.
NORWICH 1, QPR 1
Spoils shared at Carrow Road ...
QPR came from behind to earn a point against Norwich City at Carrow Road.
An entertaining affair throughout, the Canaries took the lead after only 11 minutes when Simeon Jackson headed home Anthony Pilkington’s hanging cross.
But Rangers responded just eight minutes later to take a share of the spoils.
Djibril Cisse saw his penalty saved after Junior Hoilett was originally felled in the box, before Bobby Zamora was on hand to drill home the loose ball.
How they lined up …
In light of last weekend’s home defeat to Swansea City, Hughes made two changes to his Rangers side for the trip to Carrow Road.
Armand Traore and Zamora both came into the starting line-up, with Nedum Onuoha and Adel Taarabt dropping to the bench. New signing Jose Bosingwa was also among the substitutes.
The changes meant the R’s reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.
Rob Green kept his place in goal, behind a back four of Fabio da Silva, Anton Ferdinand, Clint Hill and Traore.
Captain Ji-Sung Park partnered Samba Diakite in the centre of midfield, with Jamie Mackie and Hoilett marshalling the flanks.
Zamora joined Cisse in attack.
For the home side, there were debuts for both Sebastien Bassong and Javier Garrido following their recent moves from Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio respectively.
First half …
The contest enjoyed an extremely open start, with the visitors fashioning the first attempt in the 7th minute.
Cisse instigated the move, finding Mackie down the right who ghosted past his marker before dragging a low effort straight at John Ruddy.
But Norwich were soon on the attack themselves – finding the opening goal of the afternoon on 11 minutes.
Jackson and Grant Holt combined excellently before the latter found Pilkington out wide on the left.
In space, the Canaries wide-man looked up before delivering a telling cross for Jackson on six yards, who had the simple task of heading home.
It took Rangers just eight minutes to put themselves on terms.
Hughes’s men were originally awarded a penalty after Hoilett’s ball into the box saw debutant Bassong clatter into the back of Cisse.
The French ace also stepped up to take the spot-kick. However, when his effort forced a fine stop from Ruddy, Zamora was alert to smash home the loose ball.
Already boasting two goals, this was fast becoming a scrappy affair but one that saw Norwich enjoy the better chances as the first half progressed.
Russell Martin nodded a Robert Snodgrass free-kick past the post on 25 minutes, before Pilkington’s rasping low drive was caught at the second attempt by Green a minute later.
The R’s keeper was also called into action three minutes before half-time, tipping Snodgrass’s 25-yard blast around the post.
Second half …
With Hill – who enjoyed a fierce battle with Holt in the first period – already on a booking, Hughes opted to introduce Onuoha at the defender’s expense at the interval.
Norwich had the first opportunity of the second half just a minute in. Jackson turned on a misplaced clearance before firing a shot into the side-netting.
Rangers missed a chance of their own three minutes later. Zamora’s lovely, dinked pass over the top of the Canaries defence put Cisse in the clear, but the striker was unable connect with the former Fulham
Jackson was then involved once again for City in the 52nd minute, thundering an effort over the bar from 20-yards out.
Much like the first half, this was a fast-paced, end-to-end spectacle – not always pleasing on the eye, though nonetheless real edge of the seat stuff.
Rangers grew in confidence as the half progressed – as did their possession count.
It was Norwich, however, who went close in the 65th minute, after Leon Barnett headed Snodgrass’s teasing free-kick wide from close range.
Snodgrass was again involved two minutes later, breaking away from Traore before his cross just evaded Jackson.
City missed an even better opportunity soon after, with Snodgrass in the thick of the play once more when he somehow headed Jonny Howson’s pinpoint centre just over.
Jose Bosingwa was handed his Rangers debut in the 70th minute, brought on to replace Traore.
Norwich almost won it in the 83rd minute. Pilkington’s cross from the left was met by Martin, whose header smashed off the face of the bar.
Norwich City: Ruddy, R. Martin, Johnson, Bassong, Snodgrass, Howson, Holt (Morison 87), Jackson (C. Martin 87), Pilkington, Garrido, Barnett.
Subs: Rudd, Surman, Hoolahan, Tierney, R. Bennett.
Goals: Jackson (11)
QPR: Green, Diakite (Derry 85), Traore (Bosingwa 70), Ferdinand, Hill (Onuoha 46), Park, Cisse, Mackie, da Silva, Hoilett, Zamora.
Subs: Murphy, Johnson, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips.
Goals: Zamora (19)
Bookings: Hill (24), Ferdinand (82)
Referee: Mr M Clattenburg
Attendance: 26,317 QPR