Cisse strikes twice, Hughes praises returning Faurlin - diary
Monday, 13th Aug 2012 00:29 by Clive Whittingham
Mark Hughes praised midfielder Ale Faurlin who returned from injury with a substitute appearance in the final pre-season friendly against Ausberg in Germany on Saturday.
Rangers twice had to come from behind to draw. Bance gave Ausberg the lead from the penalty spot after his initial free kick, given for handball against Robert Green outside his area after his latest pre-season calamity, was adjudged to have struck Ryan Nelsen’s hand in the wall. An inauspicious start to QPR life for Green, and for Nelsen who was making his first appearance of the pre-season after spending time with New Zealand on international duty at the Olympics. Djibril Cisse levelled for Rangers with a fine finish, and had to do so again in the second half after Anton Ferdinand had headed a farcical own goal past Green before half time.
Ale Faurlin played his first 13 minutes of football since rupturing his knee ligaments in the FA Cup tie with MK Dons in January.
Manager Mark Hughes told the club’s official website: “Ale got 15 minutes at the end and we’re absolutely delighted for him. It’s good to see him back. It’s a huge lift for everybody. He’s a great kid and I was disappointed that I didn’t have the chance to work with from the moment I came through the door. But he’s very much in my thoughts now. Obviously he’s still got a long way to go before he’s ready for the Premier League, but you see he’s got undoubted quality – he just needs game time now.”
Hughes was less impressed with the nature of the goals QPR are conceding this summer, but praised his team for taking control of the game in the second half.
“We’re still trying a few things in mind of the big kick-off next weekend. We’ve got a whole week now where we can concentrate and put good work into the players. I felt we looked the stronger of the two sides. The way that we’ve trained this summer has been good in terms of the intensity and the quality of the work that we’ve put in. We looked the stronger team at the end, which is encouraging. All-in-all, it was a good work-out.”
QPR: Green, Derry (Taarabt 46), Ferdinand, Onuoha, Park (Faurlin 77), Dyer (Wright-Phillips 46), Cisse (Zamora 77), Mackie, Fabio, Nelsen, Hoilett
Subs not used: Murphy, Ehmer, Connolly, Ephraim, Sutherland, Doughty, Harriman
Goals: Augsburg - Bance (pen 17), Ferdinand (og 37); QPR - Cisse (33 & 55)
Following the match Jamie Mackie withdrew from the Scotland squad for Wednesday’s friendly with Australia with a calf problem. Mackie had been due to lead the Scotland attack at Easter Road in the absence of Kenny Miller.
Armand Traore and Adel Taarabt are heading abroad this week though. Traore will play for Senegal against Burkina Faso on Wednesday while Taarabt is in the Morocco squad for a game with Guinea on the same night. Once more, the logic of having a round of international friendlies in the middle of August when most clubs are just about to start their seasons is completely lost on me.
After the previous weekend’s draw with Turkish side Trabzonspor, Hogan Ephraim spoke to the official website about his recent switch to the centre of midfield. Ephraim said: “"The manager wants me to get on the ball a lot. It's a bit different from the past when I've sometimes been stuck out wide or we've been more direct, but this style of play suits me. The manager wants us to play football the way I believe it should be played and that can only benefit me."
Hughes has also had positive things to say about the trio of youth team graduates who have played big roles in the pre-season campaign. Max Ehmer, Michael Harriman and Michael Doughty all toured Germany and the Far east with the first team and impressed.
Hughes told West London Sport: “We took them, in fairness, just to expose them to the senior group and see how they dealt with it. They’ve probably played a lot better than I expected, which is a good sign because it shows that they can step up. When they’ve got good players around them they look good players themselves. We want to see young players coming through the ranks because then our fans will have a special affinity to those. I’d like to think we can see more of them throughout the season. They’re young lads and can supplement the 25, so they’re certainly there or thereabouts.”
While the first team was in Germany, those left behind played two friendly games against League One opposition behind closed doors. Mo Shariff was on target in a 2-1 defeat by Leyton Orient at Harlington, then second half goals from Rob Hulse and DJ Campbell secured a 2-2 draw with Stevenage at the weekend.
Tommy Smith has been part of that second string set up this summer, but told the Fulham Chronicle he intends to remain at QPR and fight for a place during the final 12 months of his contract.
Smith said: “I'm a London lad and my family is settled here, so I'm not looking to go anywhere else. I want to stay and fight for my place until the gaffer says otherwise. He's not said anything about my future yet, but I've got a year left to run on my contract, so I'm just working hard to get myself fit and hopefully be a part of his plans. Of course it was disappointing to miss the tours, but I think it's just a situation with the amount of new players who have come in and the amount the gaffer can take away with him.”
Joey Barton is back at Loftus Road after his training arrangement with League Two side Fleetwood came to an end. A six month loan move, first mooted by the BBC, has not been agreed with Barton Tweeting: “Fleetwood adventure is over, I loved every minute of it, great club," and Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley adding: “"We're really disappointed not to have landed the loan deal."
The Mirror reports that Fleetwood’s near neighbours Blackpool were also interested in Barton but have been put off by potential costs, despite QPR apparently agreeing to pay 80% of the player’s salary. Pool are also said to have been priced out of a move to bring DJ Campbell back to Bloomfield Road a year after selling him to Rangers.
Blackpool manager and former QPR favourite Ian Holloway said: “I don’t want to tell our fans that we might get DJ Campbell back. I don’t think there’s a chance in a million at the moment of doing that, because of his club, what they’re looking for and how much they’re paying him at the moment. He’s got another couple of years on that so does he need to take a cut or go backwards? I don’t think so. Will they pay him some of the rest of the money? I don’t think so. Why should he lose out? Whether they want him or not, they have to honour the contract. It’s nobody else’s fault other than what QPR decided to pay him when they took him on.”
Barton Tweeted this evening: “Why in the world would people say I'm signing for Blackpool? Do they just make this shite up? Hopefully, my future will be sorted this week. Still unsure myself right now, some really exciting options. Might surprise a few...”
Onwards now to the opening day of the season this Saturday against Swansea night. Who leads the QPR team out that day is still up for debate, but centre half Anton Ferdinand has told West London Sport that he’d dearly love to wear the armband this season.
Ferdinand said: “My family runs deep in this club – with Les, and Rio played here as a kid, and now I’m playing here – and to captain a club like QPR was fantastic. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it, but it’s not my decision. Whoever is made club captain will do a great job and will have all the lads’ backing. The gaffer’s brought in people who are leaders, and having as many leaders as we’ve got in our team can only be good for QPR.”
Paddy Kenny impressed on his competitive Leeds debut as the Championship side cruised through to the second round of the League Cup with a 4-0 home win against Shrewsbury Town. However the game also saw a late debut for former Blackburn and Liverpool winger El Hadji Diouf, signed on a free transfer by Neil Warnock last week. The transfer has sparked much debate among QPR fans after Warnock branded the player a “sewer rat” for goading Jamie Mackie as he lay on the field with a broken leg in an FA Cup match between Blackburn and QPR 18 months ago.
Kenny has been speaking to the Yorkshire Post about his final game as a QPR player, on that extraordinary afternoon at Manchester City. Kenny said: “Everything about that final day was incredible. I don’t think English football has seen anything like that before. In many ways, it was quite a scary day. There was just so much riding on it. Someone had said at 2-2 that the other game had finished but I didn’t believe it. You can’t in a situation like that because there is so much at stake and you have to be certain. That’s why I was still a bit wary as I walked off the pitch because I had to see or hear it for myself from someone who knew for certain. To then discover we had stayed up was brilliant.”
Marc Bircham is pulling on his boots again, juggling appearances for Aylesbury United with his duties as youth and reserve boss at QPR. Ducks boss Tony Joyce told the Bucks Herald: ““He’s not a bad player. He’s not going to play every game for us. But he can help us out as and when. He will give us a bit of experience and some knowhow. When somebody of that calibre asks to play for you, you aren’t going to say no are you? I didn’t expect to get someone of his calibre. He’s still reserve team manager at QPR. He just asked if he could join our squad on the odd occasion. Hopefully he will play more games. It all depends on his other commitments.”
Rowan Vine was sent off for two bookings as his new club St Johnstone drew 1-1 with Motherwell on the second weekend of the SPL.
Peter Ramage has agreed a one year deal at Championship side Crystal Palace following his release from QPR. Ramage made 19 starts and four sub appearances for the Eagles during a loan spell last season.
- Man City have signed 21-year-old Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell for an initial fee of £12m on a five year deal. City could end up paying as much as £17m for the England Under 21 international.
- City today won the Community Shield, beating Chelsea 3-2 at Wembley. Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri struck in 12 devastating second half minutes after Fernando Torres had given Chelsea a first half lead. Ryan Bertrand halved the deficit for the London side late on – Robert Di Matteo’s side had Branislav Ivanovic sent off in the first half.
- Liverpool have completed the £15m signing of Swansea midfielder Joe Allen.
- West Brom’s Republic of Ireland international striker Simon Cox is set to move to Championship side Nottingham Forest.
- West Ham have completed the signing of 31-year-old French midfielder Alou Diarra from Marseille for a fee reported to be £2m.
- Tottenham boss Andre Villas Boas says Luka Modric must “mentally prepare” to return to the first team picture if his latest transfer saga ends with him staying at White Hart Lane. Boas croaked: “"He's training alone. We decided to do that until his mental state is ready to return to the team. It is important that, in the coming days, he understands he must return to the first team.” Spurs will be without Scott Parker who is out with an Achilles injury until September.
- Stoke have signed midfielder Michael Kightly from relegated Wolves. The player has revealed he suffered with depression during lengthy injury spells while at Molineux. Kightly said: “"If someone would have told me that at the time I would never have agreed with them or asked for help. I needed it, it affected my personal life. My career has gone up and down the whole way, but that injury was the lowest of the low for me.” USA defender Geoff Cameron is also joining from Houston Dynamo but international clearance remains unsigned for former Rangers man Jamie Ness. Robert Huth is in hospital having tests for suspected meningitis.
- Stephen Fletcher has requested a transfer at Wolves after the Championship new boys rejected a £12m offer for him from Sunderland.
Pictures – Action Images
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