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Sunday, November 18, 2012

QPR Report Sunday: Mark Hughes Future?...Tony Fernandes...QPR-Southampton! Reports and Comments

- Birthday For Gavin Peacock


Aston Villa 12 9
Reading 11 9
Southampton 12 8
Queens Park Rangers 12 4

What  The Premier League Table Looked Like One Year After 12 Games



-  I feel gutted. I have put my heart and soul into this with my other shareholders. And done all we can to give support to players and all management. I can only apologise to the QPR fans. we keep fighting.

Let me tell you Fans come first. Everyone including me let the fans down. Many of us need a hard look at themselves. QPR has amazing fans. They deserve better.


- Photos from Southampton's Perspective

Let me tell you Fans come first. Everyone including me let the fans down. Many of us need a hard look at themselves. QPR has amazing fans. They deserve better.

Read more: http://qprreport.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=33942&page=2#ixzz2CYs9z11K
- Video: The Goals

TELEGRAPH - Jason Burt

Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes ponders Mark Hughes’ fate following Southampton defeat

QPR owner Tony Fernandes has declared he has done all he could to “give support” to the club’s management and players amid angry calls from fans for Mark Hughes to be sacked.

With QPR four points adrift at the bottom of the table, discussions will take place this week as to whether Hughes should remain in charge after overseeing a 12th consecutive Premier League match without a win.
Representatives of Harry Redknapp and Rafael Benítez have already indicated to QPR that they would be interested in taking over should Hughes be sacked. But until on Saturday night Fernandes has been unswerving in his conviction that he has no intention of replacing Hughes, insisting he was the best man for the job, and it would still take a significant change of heart for the Malaysian entrepreneur to act now.
Fernandes, who was not at Loftus Road on Saturday, took to Twitter following the 3-1 home defeat to Southampton, which Hughes said was the club’s worst performance since he was hired in January, to admit: “I feel gutted. I have put my heart and soul into this with my other shareholders. And done all we can to give support to players and all management. I can only apologise to the QPR fans. We keep fighting.”
That will be interpreted as ominous for Hughes, but despite his disappointment with the manager and players Fernandes is agonising over whether or not to make a change and genuinely wants to keep the manager in place.
However, he will talk to the other shareholders – including co-owner Amit Bhatia and Fernandes’ fellow Malaysian backers Ruben Gnanalingam and Din Kamarudin.
Hughes last night rejected the calls for him to step down, arguing that the club needed “stability” – a word often used by Fernandes.
Acknowledging the fans’ anger – some brandished a banner aimed at Redknapp which read 'Harry Come and Save Us’ – Hughes said: “The fans are well within their rights to criticise me. I can understand the reaction, it was exactly my reaction to that performance. I don’t run away from situations or challenges. I came into this with my eyes wide open and it’s my intention to see it through.
“It was a huge challenge in January when I took it. There weren’t too many people queuing up when I decided it was the right role for me.
“The team totally underperformed and they have held their hands up and accepted that. Maybe it’s a watershed moment because we can’t get any lower.”
Supporters also loudly accused the players of being “only here for the money”. Hughes signed seven of the starting team but did not hold back in his criticism. “We were lacking all the fundamental things that build a performance,” he said. Telegraph

Daily Echo/Adam Leitch - Adkins hails Saints win

Nigel Adkins said the hard work had paid off after Saints grabbed a precious three points at QPR.

Rickie Lambert, Jason Puncheon and an Anton Ferdinand own goal earned Saints their first away win back in the Premier League as they defeated QPR 3-1 at Loftus Road.

The win lifted the pressure off of Adkins and gives the players a massive shot in confidence ahead of back-to-back home matches against Newcastle and Norwich.

“We had a good defensive shape about ourselves and we know we can score goals – we scored another three away from home – and there’s a confidence growing about us all the time amongst the players that we’ve got,” said Adkins.

“When you look at how the players have performed and how they perform every day in training they are having a right good go.

“Look at the supporters, they are having a right good go.

“At Southampton everyone is together as one, everyone is working hard.

“We know we’re in a situation at the wrong end of the table but we’ve come a long way in a short space of time.”



Adkins Hails Great Maturity

Nigel Adkins lavished the praise on to his young side for passing a tough test in the high pressure 3-1 win over QPR.

...we had a good resolve and I think we have a growing maturity about the players."
Nigel Adkins

Adkins was delighted with the way that his players rose to the occasion and went on to hold their nerve in a superb display particularly in the first half, with the manager highlighting the cohesion shown both on and off the pitch.

“I thought the players were superb,” he told Saints Player. “It was a good performance, and the supporters were outstanding. It’s a great three points away from home and we should enjoy it.

“They (the supporters) really lifted the players and they’ve done it consistently. We’re together as one at this football club and that was demonstrated in abundance today.
“I’m going to enjoy tonight it’s fair to say. It’s pleasing to get any away victory – it’s pleasing to get any victory, but to get an away one in the Barclays Premier League the players have dealt with the situation and you can see that they’re together.

"There’s a determination about them with a growing maturity which you could see out there through young players who are responding to the challenge in a really positive way, which is very pleasing for the future of this football club.”

Saints were well-organised and good value for their win, and Adkins was pleased to see the application from his players coming to fruition.

“I think we have a good shape about ourselves from a defensive point of view," said the gaffer.

"Offensively we look as though we can score goals, we had a good resolve and I think we have a growing maturity about the players.

We have a very young squadand another young team that’s gone out there today and I think we’re growing with our performances and there’s a good belief about ourselves which is important.

“It was a great performance last week and even the second half in the defeat to Tottenham there were a lot of positives to take from the work we’ve been doing and we shouldn’t forget about that and we keep working on it.

“Today we’ve come away from home and taken a well-deserved three points.”

One player who flourished in the game was former Rangers loanee Jason Puncheon, who capped his impressive performance with a well-taken goal before half time.

“He’s been working hard,” Nigel affirmed. “He’s had a good pre-season and again it’s about that consistency.

"Throughout the game, we’re not going to highlight individuals, but he’s scored a great goal and could have scored three or four more.

“He worked hard for the team as did everybody – it was a real good all round performance, but there’ll talk about Puncheon and maybe one or two others.

“Maya [Yoshida] and José [Fonte] are forming a partnership together and it takes a period of time for everybody,” he added.

“Corky’s come in and played alongside Morgan which has been good, but as a group of players we work hard on the training ground and we talk about lessons learned which we always do, and then you’ve got to go and apply it so the players deserve a lot of credit for what they’re doing.

“Let’s enjoy this one for the moment. That’s important.

"The way the supporters were and the way the players were, we’re together at this football club – and that’s a big statement, I think.”

Dave McIntyre/West London Sport - 
Under-fire Hughes says he will not resign
Mark Hughes insisted he had no intention of resigning following his team’s humiliating 3-1 home defeat against fellow strugglers Southampton.
Bottom of the table and without a league win this season, QPR were well beaten in a one-sided match that had been dubbed ‘El Sackico’ because of the pressure on both managers.
The home fans made their disgust clear, with many calling for Hughes to be replaced as Rangers boss.
But Hughes said: “I don’t run away from challenges and this is a huge challenge.
“It was a challenge in January when there weren’t many people queueing for the job and I decided to come here.
“This season I was happy to raise expectations and I expected us to have a good season but it’s not happening at the moment.
“The fans are well within their rights to criticise myself and my staff who prepare the players.
“But the club does need stability. It’s a huge effort to bring the club to where it wants to be and we’re going through a lot of pain at the moment.
“I still have confidence in the group. Today we didn’t perform and maybe it’s a watershed – we can’t get any lower than this.”
Asked if he felt he had the support of his players, he replied: “Absolutely. Not based on today’s performance, but last week they were excellent.
“Speak to them and I know they’re desperate to turn the situation around.”
Hughes planned a fast start against a side plagued by defensive problems this season.
But it was Nigel Adkins’ men who seized the early initiative, capitalising on shoddy Rangers defending to lead 2-0 at half-time.
“It definitely wasn’t the performance we were looking for,” Hughes admitted.
“We talked all week about the significance of this game and maybe that created anxiety in our players.
“In the first half we weren’t engaging or closing people down – all the fundamental things you need.
“When that happens you’re going to concede goals and that’s happened too many times this season.
“We talked about a fast start and it was a key part of what we were trying to do, but we didn’t put them any kind of pressure.
“We need to look at the reasons why that happened and pick the bones out of it.” West London Sport

Gaffer accepts performance was ‘unacceptable’

MARK Hughes says that QPR fans were well within their rights to voice their frustrations at the full-time whistle, as Rangers went down to a disappointing 3-1 defeat against Southampton in W12.

First-half goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon put fellow strugglers Saints into a two-goal lead at the break.

Junior Hoilett responded shortly after half-time but it wasn’t to be for the hosts, with Anton Ferdinand putting through his own net towards the death.

Hughes told www.qpr.co.uk: “The fans were well within their rights (to voice their anger) today – because that wasn’t a performance.

“We’ll take it on the chin and hold our hands up. The performance wasn’t acceptable.

“The fans have every right to criticise me, criticise the players, because we didn’t perform today.

“We’re in a situation now and we have to realise very quickly that it’s not a case of just playing and hoping things happen – you have to make them happen.”

He added: “Today was a key game for us and unfortunately we didn’t perform – I include myself in that, because at the end of the day, I pick the team. Unfortunately we didn’t function as a unit today.

“We were disappointed with the first goal because we got the first initial contact in our own box and following that, they got six touches and the ball ended up in the back of the net. That’s not defending properly as a team.

“We are where we are. Once again we went behind in a game.  That’s happened too many times this year. 

“You then start chasing games and, in the end, it was nowhere near a team performance, certainly not one I expected.

"We’ll pick ourselves up and we have to go again because we owe the fans. We weren’t at the races today, unfortunately. QPR

BBC - 

Hughes fighting for QPR's survival - and his own

Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes has risked repetitive stress injury as well as a large portion of his personal fortune in support of Mark Hughes.
Fernandes, admirably interactive with the club's supporters, has barely stopped using his Twitter fingers to publicly back Hughes since a sticky start to the Premier League season descended into full-scale crisis.

He was in action again on Friday when he tweeted "for the one millionth time" that Hughes would be allowed time to fashion something resembling a winning formula out of the wholesale, expensive summer reconstruction of QPR's squad.
Number one million and one was not so positive in tone - nor should it have been after a desperate, abject surrender in the 3-1 defeat by relegation rivals Southampton. QPR are now four points adrift at the bottom of the table, the only club in the Premier League or Football League without a win.
After a display which had QPR supporters demanding the manager's dismissal and telling the players "you're only here for the money", Fernandes sounded downcast and who can blame him?
Owner's apology

"I feel gutted. I have put my heart and soul into this with my other shareholders and done all we can to give support to players and all management. I can only apologise to the QPR fans. We keep fighting."

Tony Fernandes tweets apology to fans
"I feel gutted," started his next Twitter pronouncement. "I have put my heart and soul into this with my other shareholders. And done all we can to give support to players and all management. I can only apologise to the QPR fans. We keep fighting."

Whether this represents a subtle shift in Fernandes's position remains to be seen but Hughes should regard himself fortunate that QPR's fans are not deciding his future, such was the animosity aimed towards the technical area and the pitch on Saturday.
In a game light-heartedly (although not for Hughes or his Southampton counterpart Nigel Adkins) labelled "El Sackico" because it was perceived the loser might be out of a job, the Saints were convincing winners.

Amid the obvious focus on Hughes, it would be utterly remiss not to acknowledge the superb performance of Adkins's team, and in particular their positive attacking attitude from first whistle to last.
They were an accurate mirror of their manager's approach, never making a backward move even when Junior Hoilett's strike threatened to stem the momentum created by first-half goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon.
Roared forward by 3,000 followers unstinting and vociferous in their admiration for Adkins and their team, Anton Ferdinand's late own goal gave the scoreline an air of reality.
Play media

Hughes frustrated by QPR performance

For QPR, Hughes and Fernandes, the only stench was coming from a club staring straight into the face of a crisis with an owner facing a huge decision.
Adkins was awash with support from well before kick-off while all Hughes heard was the equivalent of a loud, resounding raspberry from the increasingly rebellious QPR fans.
Post-match, Hughes bristled with the old defiance and fight that were part of what made him such an outstanding player. But the words sounded hollow when placed against the background of the league table and even the ever-supportive Fernandes must surely be casting a very worried look to the future.
Does he veer from his chosen path and ditch Hughes or does he keep faith with a manager he has backed every step of the way, emotionally and financially? QPR's Premier League future hinges on it.
Of course the shadow of the unemployed former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp lurks, with one banner inside Loftus Road reading: "Harry Come And Save Us."
QPR will need some saving on this evidence - and the reality would be that even if Fernandes made this apparently populist move the odds are that he would then be asked to embark on another complete refit of a squad that looks unfit for purpose.
Sacking Hughes and appointing Redknapp, in line with some fans' wishes, would be a very expensive business for Fernandes and those alongside him in the Loftus Road boardroom, but so would relegation.

On Saturday, the players assembled by Hughes carried the appearance of hired hands, many not appearing to have the stomach for the fight, certainly judging by their timid efforts. Physical presence and aggression have long been regarded as a given in a Hughes team, which will make the manner in which they were swept aside by inventive, bold Southampton even more alarming.
The difference could not have been more stark: one manager advancing onto the pitch at the final whistle to take acclaim for a wonderful display of attacking football, the other swiftly down the tunnel with derision ringing in his ears.
Waiting for a win
QPR are the only team in the four tiers of English professional football yet to win a league match this season

QPR's porous defence, disorganised midfield and ill-served attack - and you could go on even more about their deficiencies - represented an open invitation to Southampton. They did not pass it up.
Hughes claimed on the morning of this debacle - and that was what it was - that every club he has managed has been in a stronger position when he left than when he arrived. It is a claim he would struggle to substantiate should he meet a swift end at QPR.
He will hope Fernandes sticks to his word on stability because Hughes himself, let alone QPR and Fernandes, cannot afford to have this failure on his record. He left Fulham at the end of his contract in June 2011, clearly feeling he had bigger fish to fry. It is a decision that has yet to be vindicated.

Hughes, perfectly understandably, jealously guards a reputation forged in football's great arenas, but it is taking a hefty battering.
These will be defining days for Hughes, Fernandes and QPR. It will no doubt be embarrassing for Fernandes should he go back on his many public pronouncements and there is little question his instinct is to stick with the man he believed could make his dreams become reality.

He must weigh those factors up against whether he really believes Hughes is making progress. It is a responsibility that will weigh heavily on him in the coming hours. Fernandes also prides himself on being in touch with the mood of the fanbase and they let him know in very vocal terms that the mood was black as they drifted into the west London night on Saturday.
When Hughes left Fulham abruptly, it was time to prove he could establish a managerial model and stick with it after a somewhat nomadic existence since moving into the dugout. His trusted advisor Kia Joorabchian stated on departure: "He wants to go to a club where he can fight for titles and win championships."

He has rarely looked further away from such lofty ambitions than he did at Loftus Road on Saturday. Yes, he in a fight - but it is for his very survival.|


Match report: Southampton pile more pressure on Mark Hughes as Queens Park Rangers lose again

Nigel Adkins' Southampton won the battle dubbed 'El Sackico' today as under-fire Mark Hughes saw his side's winless start to the Barclays Premier League season extend to a 12th match.

The futures of both managers were subject to intense speculation in the build-up to a Loftus Road encounter contested by the sides bottom and second-bottom of the standings.

QPR and Southampton had conceded 49 league goals between them prior to the game and the hosts' defence was breached 23 minutes in as Rickie Lambert bundled home his fifth of the season.

The Rs found themselves further behind at the end of the first half as man-of-the-match Jason Puncheon returned to haunt the club he spent a loan spell with last season, striking home from the edge of the box.

Boos rang around Loftus Road at the half-time whistle and the hosts came out rejuvenated for the second period, with Junior Hoilett clawing one back four minutes in.

That, though, was to be as good as it got for QPR as Southampton wrapped up victory when Anton Ferdinand deflected home Morgan Schneiderlin's late cross.

Both managers stuck with the same starting line-ups that played last weekend for today's crunch match between the Premier League's two worst sides.

An impressive 3,203 visiting fans crammed into the School End and enjoyed a bright, if fruitless, opening spell.

Southampton were quicker to settle and captain Adam Lallana came close in the seventh minute, firing just over after a neat one-two with Gaston Ramirez.

Just as a chorus of 'One Nigel Adkins' ended, Saints had another chance as former QPR loanee Puncheon's cross evaded Lallana in the box and clipped the far post.

While the visitors were enjoying the lion's share of possession, they were still looking shaky at the back.

Adel Taarabt - so often a threat for QPR - highlighted that defensive fragility by breaking through in-between Nathaniel Clyne and Jose Fonte, before forcing Paulo Gazzaniga into a quick reaction save.

The Argentinian goalkeeper did not fare so well with a Hoilett shot less than a minute later, somewhat fumbling a parry behind.

Saints returned to the attack in the 22nd minute, when Lallana's dangerous ball across the six-yard box was cleared behind for a corner from which Lambert saw an effort deflect behind.

He was not to be denied for long, though, and, when the resulting corner was not cleared properly, Ramirez pulled back for Fonte, whose shot was prodded goalwards by Puncheon. That effort was cleared off the line but Lambert showed his strength to bundle home.

Saints continued to press forward after the opener, although their defence was still looking uneasy as Djibril Cisse and Hoilett threatened to level.

Southampton players claimed a handball against Ryan Nelsen and Jack Cork tested Julio Cesar as they pushed for another, which came on the stroke of half-time.

Puncheon started the move on the right and, when he collected the ball from Clyne, turned Alejandro Faurlin to fire home a left-footed strike.

QPR were booed off at half-time after their inept display and Hughes replaced Faurlin with Jamie Mackie when play resumed.

The west Londoners began brightly and, after Gazzaniga dealt with a Cisse volley, they reduced the deficit.

Adel Taarabt floated in a cross and lost his man, allowing Hoilett to nod home unchallenged in the 49th minute.

They were still looking poor, though, and Puncheon forced Cesar to save and then provided a cross that Lambert came close to turning home.

The Saints striker and Schneiderlin were both thwarted with long-range efforts, before Ferdinand did well to stop Ramirez getting through on goal.

Puncheon was far and away Southampton's standout player and was causing the QPR defence no end of hassle.

After scuffing wide, the winger came close with a drilled effort and then saw a low effort from an acute angle tipped wide by Cesar.

Cisse lashed well wide at the other end and, after Jose Bosingwa's substitution was cheered by home fans, he tried to score with an overhead kick.

The game was flowing from end to end and Cesar had to be at his best to deny a Maya Yoshida scissor-kick 10 minutes from time.

Nelsen headed straight at Gazzaniga moments later and then Saints secured victory, with Puncheon playing a short corner to Schneiderlin for the Frenchman's cross to squeeze in off Ferdinand at Cesar's near post.

QPR fans bellowed 'You're only here for the money' at their players and duly booed the side off at the end of the game, while Adkins and the Saints fans celebrated their first points earned away from home.


Pressure mounts on Mark Hughes as QPR lose to Southampton

Southampton's Ricky Lambert scores a header as Samba Diakite of Queens Park Rangers fails to stop him at Loftus Road. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Mark Hughes declared before this match that defeat would not lead to his dismissal. He also said he still expected Queen's Park Rangers to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season. Neither of those convictions looks particularly safe after Southampton outplayed QPR at Loftus Road to claim their first away win of the season and give further justification for their supporters' faith in manager Nigel Adkins. Goals form Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon put Southampton gave Southampton a two-goal lead in the firsts half and although Junior Hoilett netted for the hosts early in the second, the visitors deservedly went home with three points, their victory secured when Anton Ferdinand deflected a Morgan Scheiderlin cross into his own goal six minutes form time. QPR remain botom of the league, the only team without a win all campaign.

Both managers had assigned part of the blame for their early-season woes to the instability caused by injuries so they were relieved that for this crucial clash they were able to choose line-ups that were unchanged from their last outing. It was the first time Hughes has done that this season and only the second time for Adkins and it reflected both men's belief that their teams have been performing better in recent weeks than their league positions suggested. Adkins found far more sustenance for that conviction in the first half as his team made a vibrant and combative start, contrasting with the passive hosts.

Frequently Southampton have been caught out by being too open this season but here they were vigilant and tough, with Jack Cork marshalling midfield and the young fullbacks Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw being amongst the visitors making fine crunching tackles. That gave Southampton the platform on which to show their fluent attacking play. Adam Lallana and Gaston Ramirez combined slickly in the in the sixth minute before the midfielder fired just over. Lallana again came close to scoring in the ninth minute when he just failed to connect with a Jason Puncheon cross that rebounded back of the post.

That warning woke the home side up. Adel Taarabt, as ever, led their resurgence, dribbling past three defenders before forcing Paulo Gazzaniga into a solid save in the 15th minute. Southampton soon seized back the initiative and took the lead with a goal that typified the difference between the sides. Gaston Ramirez showed the wit and composure that QPR were lacking when he brought intelligence to a goalmouth scramble by laying the ball into the path of Jose Fonte, whose low drive was turned goalward by Puncheon. Jose Bosingwa cleared it off the line but Lambert showed greater determination than any of the defenders to head into the net from close range.

Even before that the 3,000 travelling fans had been chanting their support for Adkins and they had further cause for joy just before half-time when Clyne, again demonstrating Southampton's superior vigour, won the ball back of Armand Traoré outside the QPR box and passed to Puncheon, who rolled past Alejandro Faurlin and curled a low shot into the net from 18 yards.

Furious boos accompanied the home side on the way to the dressing room. Hughes had to do something and he chose to introduce Jamie Mackie for the second half in place of Faurlin and switch to 4-4-2. All Southampton had to do, meanwhile, was repeat their first-half display.

But there was to be no first clean sheet of the season for Saints. The resumption brought improvement from QPR, with Djibril Cissé going close in the 46th minute before Hoilett halved the deficit, heading a Taarabt cross into the net. The goal, and Gazzaniga's bungled attempt to cut out the cross, infused new belief into the home fans, transforming the atmosphere. Puncheon nearly punctured the new optimism straight away but Cesar saved his powerful shot form the edge of the box.

With play hurtling from end to end Adkins decided to tighten things up in the 61st minute and introduced midfielder Steven Davis for Ramirez. That did not put a halt to their attacking, however. On the contrary. They should have extended their lead in the 65th minute when Lambert nodded a Schneiderlin cross to Puncheon, who dragged his shot wide from eight yards.

One minute later Puncheon almost compensated for that but his 20-yard rocket flew inches wide. Taarabt presented Cissé with a chance to score against the run of play in the 72nd minute but the Frenchman's shanked wide in familiar fashion. Cesar then had to make a good blocks from Puncheon and Maya Yoshida But the goalkeeper was helpless in the 84th minute when Schneiderlin was given time to size up a cross and set a low one to the near post, where Ferdinand diverted it into his own goal. Such basic mistakes have been all too frequent from QPR this season. Next week they travel to Manchester United. With or without Hughes, is the question.



TWO first-half goals proved crucial as QPR fell to a 3-1 home defeat against fellow strugglers Southampton.

Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon handed the Saints a first-half advantage but Junior Hoilett’s header gave the R’s hope soon after the re-start.

A comeback wasn’t forthcoming, though, as Anton Ferdinand’s own goal seven minutes from time sealed Rangers’ fate – and the Saints departed Loftus Road with maximum points.

Mark Hughes named the same XI which lined up at the Britannia Stadium last time out. Stand-in skipper Ryan Nelsen retained the armband amongst the back four despite missing New Zealand’s midweek international through injury, while there were places for fit-again duo Fabio da Silva and Kieron Dyer amongst the substitutes.

In front of a boisterous sell-out crowd, it was the Saints who settled quickest but Lambert’s early forages forward were dealt with easily enough by the R’s backline. Neat interplay in the middle of the park on nine minutes next saw Lambert tee-up team-mate Adam Lallana but the playmaker couldn’t prevent his volley from flying over Julio Cesar’s crossbar.

It was Lallana’s presence, though, which nearly created the opening goal two minutes later. Puncheon’s dangerous inswinging cross was inches away from finding the highly-rated Englishman but instead clipped the far post, as the ball rebounded off the woodwork to safety.

Rangers soon found their stride at the other end and it wasn’t long until Adel Taarabt made an impression. The Moroccan danced his way past two defenders before opposing goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga came to the visitors’ rescue, standing firm to beat the ball away for a corner.

The Argentine was called upon again moments later to claw Hoilett’s curling effort around the post.

The R’s were on the back foot soon after, though, and Hughes’ men had Nelsen to thank for clearing Lallana’s pullback across the six-yard line. Respite for the Hoops was brief, however, as Southampton made the all-important breakthrough on 23 minutes.

Lallana’s corner caused mayhem in the box and after Jose Fonte and Puncheon were both denied, Lambert bravely stooped to head the visitors in front from the rebound.

The home side battled tirelessly as the half wore on but clear-cut chances were proving hard to come by. Esteban Granero came closest to finding an equaliser six minutes before the break after Taarabt stole possession midway in the Saints’ half, but the Spaniard dragged his 25-yard shot wide of the left-hand post.

The R’s were dealt a hammer blow on the stroke of half-time, though, as Nigel Adkins’ side doubled their lead. Persistence from Nathaniel Clyne on the touchline handed Puncheon the opportunity to let fly from the edge of the area, and the former R’s loanee arrowed his effort into the far corner.

The half-time whistle sounded seconds later and the hosts were left with a mountain to climb in the second period.

Hughes wasted little time in trying to repair the damage and made a change for the second half, replacing the industrious Ale Faurlin with Jamie Mackie.

Taarabt was leading the charge for the hosts, though, and his pinpoint pass found Cisse, whose glancing volley was smothered at the second attempt by Gazzaniga.

Gazzaniga was exposed moments later as the R’s made the perfect riposte to the second half, reducing the deficit just three minutes after the re-start. Another inswinging cross from Taarabt found Hoilett unmarked six-yards out, who headed past the stranded goalkeeper and into the unguarded net to restore belief around Loftus Road.

But it was the visitors who reacted quickest to losing their clean sheet and Puncheon almost restored the Saints’ two-goal lead with a carbon copy of his earlier strike. Again the midfielder was allowed room to cut inside his marker but this time Cesar was equal to the shot before Ferdinand cleared the danger.

At the other end Taarabt was the R’s main hope going forwards and was unlucky not to pick out either Cisse or Granero with his pull-back from the by-line on the hour mark.

Southampton’s attacking trio of Lallana, Lambert and Puncheon continued to cause Rangers problems, though, and the latter twice came agonisingly close to doubling his tally. After Lambert’s clever knock-down, Puncheon’s half-volley tamely bounced wide before he saw a rasping effort from 30 yards drift inches wide of the same post.

Adkins’ men were taking command and Hughes responded by brining on Shaun Derry after 71 minutes for Samba Diakite to bolster things in midfield.

The R’s carved out a chance of their own a minute later but Cisse skewed wide after being released by Taarabt, while Cesar was called upon to tip away Puncheon’s strike at the other end.

Hughes made his second switch on 74 minutes as Fabio marked his return from injury, replacing Jose Bosingwa on the right-hand side of defence.

And it was the home defence who were the busiest as closing 10 minutes approached. A succession of Southampton corners reaped havoc in front of Cesar’s posts, who was in the right place to keep out Maya Yoshida’s close-range volley.

But the Brazilian could do nothing to prevent the Saints extending their advantage with seven minutes left on the clock. Morgan Schneiderlin was allowed freedom in the area to cross and the ball ricocheted off Ferdinand into the net.

The third goal quelled any thoughts of a comeback as the visitors controlled the final stages, playing out time as the full-time whistle signalled another disappointing afternoon for the R’s.


Man City1228
Man Utd1227
West Brom1223
West Ham1118
Aston Villa129


    The Home Office has released its annual STATISTICS ON FOOTBALL-RELATED ARRESTS and  BANNING ORDERS: SEASON 2011-12

  In comparison to other Premier clubs, the QPR numbers don't seem to be too bad (though even a single one is very unfortunate. There were 22 Banning orders in total imposed on QPR Fans - as compared to 112 on Chelsea Fans and 5 on Fulham Fans.
 In the last year, there have been 5 bans imposed on QPR Fans.
And then the breakdown on Arrests for Fans of Each Club:
For QPR the Offenses break down: 
 - 24 Total Arrests
- 8 Arrests for Home Matches
-16 Arrests at Away Matches
- 4 for violent disorder
- 8 for public disorder
- 1  Pitch Invasion
-11 Alcohol Offenses
NO Missile Throwing...No Racist Chanting

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