Walker extends deal, Ephraim looks for caps, gearing up for Norwich
Thursday, 14th Oct 2010 21:34 by Clive Whittingham
Tottenham full back Kyle Walker will remain at QPR until January 3 after the two clubs agreed an extension to his loan deal.
Walker was initially brought in as a short notice favour to Neil Warnock by Spurs boss Harry Redknapp after regular right backs Bradley Orr and Peter Ramage both picked up nasty injuries within five minutes of each other in the home win against Middlesbrough. Ramage’s season was finished by his knee problem while Orr faced a month on the sidelines so Warnock moved to bring Walker across the capital. Such has been the England Under 21 international’s impact at Loftus Road the short term quick fix has now become an integral part of the team and Orr may face difficult winning his place back now the loan deal has been extended up to and including the home game against Bristol City in January.
Walker has made five appearances so far, and won the LFW man of the match award twice in that time. He will either compete with fit again Bradley Orr for the right back spot, or fill in for Clint Hill at left back due to a stomach complaint, against high flying Norwich at Loftus Road on Saturday. Less than 100 tickets remain for the first v third clash against the Canaries and QPR’s players and management have been quick to remind supporters just what a tough game this one promises to be.
Neil Warnock told the Norwich Evening News that he believes the visitors are unfortunate not to be closer to QPR on the points totals. Warnock said: “I think it flatters us a bit. We could have lost two or three of these games, so we’ve done well to get the points on board. We should all be together really, we’ve been a bit fortunate. And I don’t think it flatters them at all by what I’ve heard. From the reports I’ve got they are one of the best sides in the league and if you look at the team, there’s a number of players you would pick out if you are the opposing manager.
“I think it’s great what they’ve done. I like Norwich, if I’m honest: good old Delia, the way they play. I think Paul, after their promotion, has signed some good players. His squad introductions were good and they’ve got some good players. Ten games in usually gives you a pretty good idea, but I think if we were where Norwich are I’d have been quite delighted with the start. I think in two or three of the games we could have lost. We scored at vital times and the goalkeeper’s made saves at vital times. We beat Scunthorpe 2-0 but at 1-0 our goalie pulled two great saves off and that would have changed the whole game.
“I can’t see it being a goalless draw, put it that way. I would imagine there’s a good chance that Norwich will penetrate our back line but, having said that, we are always likely to score as well. I think there might be plenty of goals in it. I know we’ve done well results-wise, but I think it’s an open league, me. It promises to be the best crowd of the season and it’ll be a good football match because both teams will want to win it. No disrespect to your Scunthorpes, but Norwich will come to win it and quite rightly. That’s why it makes for a good game. It’s fantastic, it’s so much better when the away end is full. With it being an old fashioned ground, around 20,000 will make a fantastic atmosphere.”
Newly capped Scotland international Jamie Mackie told the club’s official website he is looking forward to getting back to the club scene this weekend. He said: “Playing for Scotland was a massive moment in my career, but I love playing for QPR week in, week out. I had a taste of the top level last week and my sole aim now is to get QPR back to the Premier League this season. This is a massive game for us. They're a very, very good side, but we are too. We always concentrate on what we can do, and if we produce the quality we know we're capable of, then we'll be just fine. We all want to get three points and we're more than capable of doing that, but Norwich have made a solid start to the season and we'll have to be at our best."
Meanwhile Hogan Ephraim is keen to follow in his team mate’s footsteps and join the international scene with England, Ireland and Nigeria all able to call upon the former West Ham trainee. Scouts from the Republic of Ireland have been at recent games to watch Ephraim and the player told the Fulham Chronicle: “I qualify for England, Nigeria and the Republic of Ireland – but it will be easier to prove I’m worth a chance if we’re in the Premiership next season. The truth is you’re more likely to get looked at if you’re in the top league."
As spotted on QPR Report Gerry Francis’ one time protégé at Loftus Road Oliver Burgess has just made his debut for Binfield FC against Reading Town in the Hellenic Premier Division. Burgess burst onto the scene at Loftus Road as a teenager, scoring against Swindon Town in League One in November 2001. It was Ian Holloway who gave the youngster his QPR bow after Gerry Francis had fast tracked him through the youth set up but a terrible knee injury restricted him to just 14 appearances for Rangers before spells with Northampton, Kettering, Basingstoke and then down into the non-league pyramid. Again on Tuesday Burgess found his first Binfield appearance cut short by a knee injury – a problem that blighted what looked at one stage like it was going to be a very promising career. He was a player I liked a lot.
Another less likeable ex – Leon Knight - has pitched up at Coleraine in Ireland, the 13th club of his professional career aged just 28. Knight is currently unable to play in England as Rushden and Diamonds retained his registration after firing him 18 months ago, and then cheekily took up an option to extend the deal in the summer purely to prevent him moving to Conference rivals Darlington.
Tim Flowers who briefly worked at Loftus Road as assistant manager to Iain Dowie has been appointed as the new manager of Conference North outfit Stafford Rangers. It is his first managerial position after coaching at QPR, Hull City and Coventry. His first game is this Saturday against Nuneaton.
- The lingering question of why exactly Portsmouth haven’t been docked ten points for starting the season in administration burned ever brighter today after the club was refused permission to exit the process by the Football League. Officials have asked Pompey for clarification on four issues before agreeing to their new proposals.
- Scunthorpe have taken Burnley midfielder Kevin McDonald on a one month loan and the Clarets say they are keen to now shift former Newcastle defender David Edgar out on a similar deal if they can find a taker. The Iron have also signed Paris Cowan-Hall on a free transfer following his summer release by Portsmouth.
- Sheffield United captain Chris Morgan could return to action this weekend for the first time since September 18. He has struggled with calf and hamstring injuries so far this season but came through a reserve match with Port Vale earlier this week.
- Ipswich are hoping to strengthen their squad with another Premiership loanee before the league campaign restarts this weekend.
- Millwall midfielder Liam Trotter has been linked with a January transfer to Premiership side Sunderland.
The following Underground lines have engineering work that may disrupt fans heading to Loftus Road this Saturday:
- Hammersmith and City and Circle lines completely closed, no trains to Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush Market or Goldhawk Road from Liverpool Street or Hammersmith.
- No Metropolitan Line between Northwood and Amersham/Chesham/Watford or Baker Street and Aldgate.
- No Jubilee Line between West Hampstead and Stanmore.
- No District Line between Edgware Road and High Street Kensington, or Putney Bridge and Wimbledon.
- No central line between Liverpool Street and Leytonstone
Photo: Action Images
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When Saturday Comes #9 by wessex_exile
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When Saturday Comes #6 by wessex_exile
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When Saturday Comes #5 by wessex_exile
“Well, I can tell u my son was stood nearer the back of the Holker Street end and although he couldn't see who was responsible, he was disgusted and was very clear in telling me that the 'N' word was used by someone stood directly behind the goal nearer the front. I'm sick of hearing this, no one but the player being abused heard anything so maybe he was mistaken crap. This shite still exists despite everything that the authorities try to do because unfortunately there are still racists in every, city, town, village and hamlet in this country. [SwearFilter] scum of the earth.”
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