Monday Diary – R’s play down penalty row
Monday, 28th Feb 2011 22:54 by Clive Whittingham
Neil Warnock says he was delighted with QPR’s second half performance at Middlesbrough on Saturday, and both manager and captain Shaun Derry have backed Adel Taarabt in the row over the third goal.
Taarabt successfully converted a penalty for the third QPR goal on Saturday that would have given Heidar Helguson a hat trick had he scored it. Helguson has also taken penalties for the R’s this season and several players, including Derry, attempted to talk Taarabt into letting him have it. However having converted his first away goal since October Taarabt was congratulated by the whole team, with Helguon first on the scene to celebrate.
Neil Warnock said: “If Heidar had taken it and missed, I would have battered him. They tell me he was ready for the knacker's yard last season when he couldn't do three games in seven days like he does now but he uses his intelligence with great movement and he causes problems.”
Captain Shaun Derry told The Independent there had been no hard feelings among the squad over Taarabt’s decision to deny Helguson a chance for his hat trick.
Derry said: “I asked Adel to let Heidar have a chance of his hat-trick with the penalty. But then we all appreciate Adel's a goal scorer. So instead we just needed to put a smile on Heidar's face on the way home. Otherwise he'd sit there on the train with the hump all the way home, even after two goals."
Helguson did nevertheless make the division’s team of the week with his brace.
Team of the Week: Jamie Ashdown (Portsmouth), Louis Carey (Bristol City), Darren Purse (Millwall), Liam Fontaine (Bristol City), John Brayford (Derby), Andrew Crofts (Norwich), Aaron Ramsey (Cardiff), Jack Cork (Burnley), Scott Sinclair (Swansea), Theo Robinson (Derby), Heidar Helguson (QPR).
Warnock told the club’s official website that he was proud of his players’ performance in the second half. Warnock said: “The goal came just before half-time. We were a little bit fortunate with it, but we've had plenty of them go against us - like Nottingham Forest's at Loftus Road a few weeks ago.
“ I thought in the second half we were by far the better side and thoroughly deserved the victory. We were a lot more ruthless, put our foot on the pedal and scored three good goals. I thought the second was a fabulous goal, but also thought the first was fabulous too. A deflected goal will do for me - don't worry about that. It was just good to come away to a place like this and win in such convincing style. To get such a positive result in front of our travelling fans - who made the long journey - is rewarding for us all. It's another game chalked off and we're down to the last 12."
Boro manager Tony Mowbray didn’t see it quite that way, offering begrudging praise to a QPR team he felt was flattered by the final score. He said: “I think 3-0's a bit harsh. Sometimes when you're top of the table things roll for you like that. They've got some decent players in the forward line and their tactics are to let them go forward and win games. To coin a Mourinho phrase they park the bus - the full-backs don't cross the halfway line and the front four have individual talent that can win them matches. That's a formula that seems to be working very well for them this year.
"I'm not taking anything away from them - if you're top of the table after 30 games, you must be a decent side and they undoubtedly are. They've got some good individuals, a big, strong, powerful back-line and they get the job done. In journalism, you see the result and decide one team played well and the other team didn't. But I don't think there was much in it. For 40 minutes it was 0-0 and we'd had the outstanding chance of the game. When you're top of the table you're just waiting for one piece of quality from one individual to make a difference and I think that was it today. There's not very much in it. We did fine for long enough spells but the two goals in the second half killed the game as a contest.
"It's football and you have to take it on the chin sometimes when you play a team at the top of the table."
Finally, though it hardly warrants a mention any more such is the regularity of it, Gavin Mahon has extended his spell with QPR for a further month despite not making an appearance for the R’s so far this season.
Mikele Leigertwood’s incredible run of unbeaten games with Reading was stretched still further by a 3-3 draw at his former club Crystal Palace on Saturday. While too many draws have restricted the Royals’ progress up the division Leigertwood is yet to lose in any of his 14 appearances for Brian McDermott’s men. The Reading boss said after Saturday’s match: “He wasn't playing at QPR, and to be fair to Neil Warnock he likes Mikele, he's had him a few times. He was doing right by Mikele, letting him out on loan. You have to give him credit and I can only thank him for that. It's an incredible stat. People want to play alongside him, he's a leader, a great lad, we're really pleased to have him. He does the simple things really well, and when there's a tackle he always comes out with the ball. He's a box-to-box player, he scores goals as well, full credit to him."
Martin Rowlands was an unused substitute for Millwall in their 0-0 draw at home to Nottingham Forest just a day after he completed a one month loan move to The Den. Millwall manager Kenny Jackett said: “He's someone I've worked with before, when I was assistant-manager to Ian Holloway at QPR. He hasn't been involved in their squad lately, so it's a good opportunity for us to have a look at Martin over the next month."
Elsewhere it was much more of the same - Leon Clarke failed to score as Preston lost 2-1 at home to Burnley in their Lancashire derby, Rowan Vine clocked up another 79 minutes without a goal as MK Dons beat Brighton 1-0, Joe Oastler played 83 minutes of Torquay’s 1-0 defeat at Accrington, Max Ehmer played a full 90 and Antonio German the last seven of Yeovil’s 2-0 home defeat by Peterborough and Lee Brown was part of the Hayes and Yeading team beaten 2-1 at home by York in the Conference.
Richard Langley will train with SPL side Aberdeen this week in the latest attempt to reignite his playing career. Langley has been beset by knee injuries since bursting onto the scene with QPR and then enjoying a second spell at Loftus Road in the 2004/05 season following a mixed period with Cardiff City. Most recently he was playing in Thailand for Pattaya United but since then he has been coaching one of QPR’s junior sides while between clubs. Langley, now 31, is due at Pittodrie this week to discuss terms over a short term deal with manager Craig Brown.
Steve Lomas, who signed for QPR on the same day as Langley second time around, is the new reserve team manager at another of his former clubs West Ham after cutting his coaching teeth in Norwich’s academy and at St Neots Town. Lomas said: “I start work against Arsenal and there are a lot of first-team players involved, which is good. As reserve-team manager, I'll act as that little buffer between the young players coming up and the first-teamers coming down. It's fantastic for me to come back to such a great club. I had eight-and-a-half years here that I thoroughly enjoyed so to come back and help the young boys kick on and make the first team, that'll be great."
- One in and one out at Cardiff with Aaron Ramsey returning to Arsenal at the end of a highly productive loan spell while Chris Kirkland arrives from Wigan as the latest in a long series of loans for Dave Jones’ side.
- Hull have also lost one and gained one today with Liverpool winger David Amoo arriving until the end of the season to replace the injured Cameron Stewart, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan going back to Aston Villa at the end of his loan.
- A couple of nasty injury lines to bring you – Louis Carey will miss six weeks for Bristol City after fracturing his skull against Scunthorpe at the weekend while Patrick Van Aarnholt will be out for a month with a torn thigh muscle suffered in Leicester’s weekend draw with Coventry.
- Watford lost three players to injury at the weekend – Stephen McGinn, Danny Drinkwater and Andreas Weimann – and are working hard to loan in replacements. Manager Malky Mackay said: “I'll certainly be trying, it's not easy for various reasons. Clubs are cautious letting players out for 28 days. If there was a 24-hour recall it wouldn't be a problem."
Photo: Action Images
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