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Adel Taarabt could be on his way this time after he’s sent home
Rangers are determined to sell star after his latest misdemeanour on club’s pre-season training camp
Stalemate: QPR have struggled to find a buyer for Adel Taarabt
Adel Taarabt’s career at Queens Park Rangers look in trouble after he was sent home from the club’s pre-season training camp in Devon.
Standard Sport understands Taarabt was ordered to leave after failing to turn up for a training session on time.
QPR travelled to Woodbury on Sunday ahead of their first friendly of the summer against Exeter tomorrow.
However, Taarabt’s time there was over in less than 48 hours after falling foul of the coaching staff and he is already back in London. QPR today refused to comment on the incident.
It is not the first time the Morocco international has got in trouble as he was believed to have been fined £60,000 at the back end of last season for several breaches of discipline.
There has been a growing concern over his physical condition and a lack of work rate compared to the other players during training sessions. It is understood the club are determined to sell the 24-year-old this summer, although no bids have been received as yet.
Taarabt has enjoyed a long association with the club since he joined them on loan from Tottenham for the first time in March 2009. He secured a permanent switch from White Hart Lane in the summer of 2010 and went on to play a major role in them winning promotion to the Premier League that season.
French club Paris St-Germain wanted to sign him in 2011 but they could not agree a fee with Rangers. Significantly, he was only used as a fringe member of the squad near the end of the last campaign as the club slumped to the bottom of the League.
Rangers still regard him as one of the most technically gifted players in their squad but feel the time has come for him to move on. The club are hoping to make a number of changes to their squad this summer and have already sold Chris Samba back to Anzhi Makhachkala for £12m.
Manager Harry Redknapp wants to reinvest that money but it is understood hopes to sign Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker have faded.
Parker is available for transfer at Spurs as he is unlikely to get much first-team football next season following the arrival of Paulinho from Corinthians.
Hopes: QPR's bid to sign Tottenham’s Scott Parker has faded The England international will also have Mousa Dembele and Sandro to compete with for a first-team berth and Redknapp was hoping to capitalise on the situation. However, it is believed QPR are struggling to secure the deal, with Spurs asking for around £5m for his signature, while his wages are also an issue. It is also why any hope to sign Stoke striker Peter Crouch is not going to happen.
Meanwhile, QPR’s pre-season plans have suffered a blow with the news that Redknapp has had to undergo an operation on a knee injury.
The 66-year-old had to leave the club’s training base yesterday to have surgery on the problem which has been troubling him for several months.
Speaking today about the impact it could have, he said: “I have to spend at least six weeks on crutches, which is going to be a nightmare but I had no choice. It’s going to be a problem taking training but I have good staff — Kevin Bond, Joe Jordan and Steve McClaren.” Standard
Cheltenham Town: I will still manage in the Premier League vows Cotterill
STEVE Cotterill is hungrier than ever to manage in the Premier League.
With his 49th birthday approaching later this month, the man who transformed Cheltenham Town from a semi-professional non-League team into an established, full-time Football League club is ready to return to the management hot-seat.
Cotterill spent the second half of last season coaching for Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers.
He was invited back, but politely declined Redknapp's offer.
Cotterill described his experience at Loftus Road as valuable, but he is looking forward to being a number one again.
"It was a different experience, not being the manager, and there was a certain amount of frustration when you've been a manager for a long time," Cotterill said.
"There are already a couple of coaches and an assistant manager Harry has had with him for years really in Kevin Bond and Joe Jordan.
"It was probably good for me because it taught me to be a little more diplomatic, which you have to be in that type of environment.
"He's had those guys with him for a long time, so it was about me trying to fit into it and it was interesting and a good learning curve."
Cotterill left Cheltenham in 2002 after five years of unparalleled success, taking the top job at Stoke City.
He has since been number two at Sunderland as well as managing Burnley, Notts County, Portsmouth and, most recently, Nottingham Forest.
He was sacked for the first time in his career at Championship club Forest, something he said was hard to take after working so hard to turn around the former European champions' ailing fortunes.
"I want a managerial job and my ambition is still to manage in the Premier League and I am determined to fulfil that," Cotterill said. "With my last job at Forest, I walked into carnage really because they were all over the place.
"At that stage of my career, it was the right size club and challenge, but turning it around ranks as one of my biggest achievements."
Cotterill was dismissed by Forest's new owners from Kuwait, the Al-Hasawi family, before he had even met them.
"Sometimes circumstances don't allow you to carry on your progression and you almost have to choose the chairman before the club now," he said.
"Nigel Doughty was the chairman when I went in and he was one of the best in the Championship.
"For the money he put in, he deserved to be a Premier League chairman, but what can you do about someone dying at 54 of a heart attack?
"That was a huge kick in the teeth for everyone at Forest because he was a really wonderful man.
"The minute Forest lost Nigel, there was always going to be a rocky road and I ended up getting the sack from someone I'd never met!
"That's the way football is, but it doesn't make it any easier when it happens like that.
"I am more ambitious than ever now, but when you are older, you learn to keep it in check a little bit because sometimes your burning desire can go against you.
"I think I am far better and far wiser and I have had the benefit of travelling abroad and watching a lot of different styles of football, which I think all stands me in good stead."
Before taking the job at Forest, Cotterill had to deal with Portsmouth's deepening financial crisis, suffering the uncertainty of two periods of administration at Fratton Park.
"I was happy at Portsmouth because I loved the club and the fans are something special there, so to leave was very upsetting for me," Cotterill said.
"I think I've been pretty lucky in my life, but maybe I am due a lucky break now.
"In my last two jobs I had two owners at Forest and three at Portsmouth with two administrations, so hopefully there is better fortune around the corner."
Cotterill is known for his extensive knowledge of players and attention to detail, particularly with tactics.
He has embraced the new technology available to managers and believes his passion for the game makes him ready to hit the ground running, wherever his next job turns out to be.
"One of the reasons I left QPR is because I don't want to be seen as a coach who can manage, I am a manager who can coach," Cotterill said.
"I need to lead a team and I like the tactics and preparing a team for a Saturday.
"You can only do that when you are a manager.
"The next job has to be the right type of job, but I am constantly preparing for it.
"When I am in a job, I am in my office at 6.50am every morning and unless I am going to a game I wouldn't be leaving before 7pm – those are the hours I've kept wherever I've been.
"When I am out of work, I am constantly driving to games at my own expense because I am a football nut.
"I love football, that's the bottom line. I would cross the road to watch a game of football.
"Not everyone is like that, but I always have loved the game and I always will do.
"It hurts sometimes when you are not involved and it's difficult for me to not be involved in football at this moment in time.
"I need to get back in, lead from the front and make decisions – that's what I do."
Cotterill is confident his top-flight experience with QPR will be hugely beneficial.
"I have known Harry a long time and I appreciated him taking me in," Cotterill said.
"It was was good to work with the higher-profile players like Júlio César, the Brazil goalkeeper, José Bosingwa, who won the Champions League the year before with Chelsea, and I had good relationship with the players.
"Experiencing Adel Taarabt was also good because people might think he's difficult to manage, but he's a fantastic boy."
■ For part two of our interview with Steve Cotterill, looking back on his remarkable success at Cheltenham Town, see tomorrow's Echo.
Exeter Official Site
Perryman: “It’ll be a great occasion”
16:00 9th July 2013
Steve looking forward to Rangers visit
It will be great for kids to be able to come and see their club playing against players that they’ve only ever seen on Match of the Day."
Exeter City’s director of football Steve Perryman is looking forward to the pre-season friendly against Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers on Thursday (11th July), and hopes that local youngsters will take advantage of the cheap entry to come along and see the Grecians take on the Hoops.
Tickets are just £2 anywhere in the stadium for under-18s and students with valid ID, and Steve feels that it is a good opportunity for fans to see international calibre players on the St James Park pitch.
And should he play, it would also allow fans to welcome back Jamie Mackie to the Park too.
“Kids watch plenty of football on TV and they’ll be very aware of the QPR players over the last couple of years in their ups and downs,” said Perryman. “It will be great for kids to be able to come and see their club from their local area playing against players that they’ve only ever seen on Match of the Day.
“Jamie Mackie should be a big draw too – it’s great to see ex-players back at the Park. We’ve had Dean Moxey back [with Crystal Palace], and now hopefully Mackie will be here too.”
“It’s always good to host Premiership or Championship clubs – and that’s with no disrespect to anyone else, as we’re not either of those two things. But you get to pit your skills against better players, albeit in pre-season when everyone’s getting their playing legs on again. It’ll be a great occasion for everyone.”
And Steve knows as much as most about the Hoops – as he was a frequent visitor to Loftus Road when he was a youngster himself. He also feels that the side will be a force in the Championship in the forthcoming season and will be looking to bounce back to the top-tier at the first attempt.
“I know all about the club, as I was a QPR fan – as a kid I used to watch them one weekend, and Brentford the next,” he continued.
“They were in the Third Division in those days, and previous to that in the Third Division South. Over the years they’ve come up to reach the Premiership, and even in my latter years as a player they were a force in Division One – so much so that I was the captain of the Spurs team that beat them in the FA Cup final in 1982, when Terry Venables was their manager.
“QPR are a very decent club – and Harry Redknapp likes it in Devon and likes the training facilities and the things we can offer here. Knowing Harry he’ll make them into a force to go straight back up to the top flight.”
The match kicks off at 7.30pm on Thursday 11th July. Tickets begin from £2 for under-18s and students and all tickets should be bought on the evening of the game. Click here for the full list of prices
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