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Redknapp praises Zamora, Reading sack McDermott – diary
Redknapp praises Zamora, Reading sack McDermott – diary
Monday, 11th Mar 2013 23:05 by Clive Whittingham

Harry Redknapp was full of praise for striker Bobby Zamora after the weekend win against Sunderland, but QPR will now have to contend with potential new manager syndrome from one of their relegation rivals.


Zamora continues to play through the pain barrier of separate hip and ankle ligament problems to lead the QPR attack. Once again on Saturday an impressive first half gave way to a second period where he could hardly walk and he was eventually replaced by Jamie Mackie. Zamora was so sore afterwards he couldn’t even drive himself home and his manager Harry Redknapp praised the former Fulham man for laying it all on the line.

Redknapp, quoted in West London Sport said: “Bobby needs a hip operation and has torn an ankle ligament but has played through it. At half-time we have to keep him on the move. If he sits down it will seize up. He can’t get into his car after the game. It’s a nightmare for him trying to get in. He’s a proper bloke. You want him in your squad. He’s good for the team, talks to the boys and is an influence in the dressing room – and you need characters like that.”

The bravery of Zamora, whose attitude now seems to be in stark contrast to earlier in the season when he was playing poorly and giving interviews about not even liking football, gave Redknapp a chance to send one or two barbs the way of other squad members. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar and left back Armand Traore have both been rather fragile this season and sat out at the weekend, while Adel Taarabt missed out altogether having, according to Redknapp, declared himself unfit to play.

The Daily Mail quoted the QPR manager saying: “Taarabt wasn't fit suddenly. So I picked people who were fit and wanted to play. What's wrong with him? I don't know, he's got a little thigh strain or something. When will he be fit again? He should be fit tomorrow. “I know the ones I can trust and the ones that are not quite with us. We won't get Bobby 100 per cent fit this season with that hip but he wants to play through it - that is what you want. We had other players, one or two with little knocks, that weren't fit. But Bobby puts it in for the team. You need people like that. It's what makes your football club. You need characters.”

The victory was Rangers’ second in succession – the first time they’ve won consecutive games in two years – and Redknapp said he believed the performance was the best of his time at the club as they swept Sunderland aside 3-1. He told the official website: “We’ve been drawing 0-0 a lot but you can see goals in the team now. I had no doubts Andros was a fantastic signing for us. He’s been excellent. He can run all day and you never have an easy game against him, he’s relentless. Him and Junior gave them real problems. We played with two old-fashioned wingers and it worked.”

Townsend crowned his Man of the Match performance with a spectacular goal to give QPR the lead for the first time in the game midway through the second half. The on loan Spurs winger, who has had numerous temporary spells with clubs in the Championship, says he hopes the form he is showing at Loftus Road will earn him a regular place at White Hart Lane.

Townsend said: “I have belief in my own ability. This is my chance to show people at Spurs, here, and around the Premier League, that I am good enough to play at this level. Hopefully I can take my opportunities when they come and show everyone what I can do. I’ve spoke with Tim Sherwood a few times and Les Ferdinand has been down to a few games, so they are keeping tabs on me. Hopefully they are pleased with what they are seeing.”

If the young winger’s form continues and QPR do survive, it could be that the R’s will chase a permanent move for Townsend this summer. Jermaine Jenas has already made the move from North to West London and he also scored his first goal for the club in fine style at the weekend. The victory, Jenas believes, will strike fear into the teams around the R’s at the bottom of the league.

Jenas told Sky: "The lads are really, really buzzing. There's that belief now. The games keep getting bigger and bigger. We've got Villa next and that turns into a huge one we shouldn't lose. We were seven points off it a couple of weeks ago but I said then that if we can get a couple of wins, people start looking over their shoulders. Players think about that in games. It starts affecting their performances. If you are champing on their heels they know they can't relax. That's all we can do.”

No football this weekend for Jay Bothroyd who can consider himself unfortunate after a decent display and winning goal at Southampton the week before. Still, Zamora’s fitness issues mean he’ll almost certainly be involved again soon and he has been talking to the Fulham Chronicle about putting a frustrating personal season behind him during the closing weeks. He said: “Not getting in the 25-man squad hurt me. Myself and a few others were isolated and made to train on our own, doing double sessions, which are out of the ordinary. I thought I may not play for the club again. It was tough mentally but I stayed strong and always believed in myself. I went on loan to Sheffield Wednesday because I knew Dave Jones from my time at Cardiff. It was difficult. I was playing out of position and then I got injured. When I came back to QPR Harry gave me a chance. I've scored three in the last four so I'm happy with that. I just want to do my best for QPR and help keep us up.”

Rangers take a week off for an international break after this weekend’s crucial game at Aston Villa. There’s no Scotland call up for Jamie Mackie this time around but out of favour Samba Diakite has been added to the mali squad for their World Cup qualifier with Rwanda on March 23. This follows last week’s Brazil and Congo calls for Julio Cesar and Chris Samba respectively.

In an interesting and welcome move, the club will be screening this Thursday night’s match between the Under 21 development squad and Swansea live on the official UStream channel for the first time.

The Under 18s meanwhile stretched their lead at the top of the table to eight points from Charlton after a 1-0 win against Colchester at Harlington at the weekend. Peter Skapetis scored the only goal of the game to seal a twelfth straight win.

Finally, the win at Southampton last week was named the Performance of the Week on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday show.

Loan Watch

Not a good weekend for the various QPR players out on loan at the moment. Hogan Ephraim played as Toronto won their first home game under Ryan Nelsen’s management, beating Kansas City 2-1 with two goals from Robert Earnshaw, but there was no success for any of the other lone Rangers.

Michael Doughty was the only one to enjoy a victory, but he was an unused substitute for their 2-0 win against Kilmarnock in the SPL. Jordan Gibbons also stayed on the bench for Inverness’ 1-1 draw at basement side Dundee.

In the UK Rob Hulse missed an absolute sitter for Millwall as they drew 0-0 at home to Blackburn in the FA Cup quarter final. The winners of the replay face Wigan in the semi final providing an ideal chance to get to the Wembley final but the Lions will now have to do the business at Ewood Park following Hulse’s howler at The Den. Danny Shittu came closest to breaking the deadlock with an amazing 40 yard shot that Jake Kean had to tip over the bar.

Working down through the leagues Troy Hewitt played the last 15 minutes of Colchester’s 2-1 home defeat by Crewe in League One while Tom Hitchcock came on for the last half hour of Bristol Rovers’ 2-0 defeat by Chesterfield. Michael Harriman started and Bruno Andrade was an unused sub as Wycombe crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Rochdale.

On the continent there was no action for Ale Faurlin as Palermo lost 2-1 to Siena. Anton Ferdinand did get a rare start for Bursaspor, but he may have to wait a while for another as they lost 4-1 to Fenerbahce. Joey Barton was in fine form for Marseille as they drew a poor game 0-0 at second placed Lyon.

Former R’s

Andy Sinton’s departure as manager of Conference side Telford has sparked a bizarre chain of events that has seen the club work through four managers in 39 days. Sinton arrived at Buck’s Head in May 2010 and led the club to promotion back into the Conference in his first full season in charge but found life more difficult this term. Struggling to cope with a tight financial situation and a part time squad in a mostly full-time league, Sinton was sacked at the end of January after a run of 16 games without a win.

Telford turned initially to former Kettering and Tamworth boss Mark Cooper who joined on a non-contract, expenses only basis but was then quickly poached by new Swindon boss Kevin McDonald who wanted him as his assistant at the Country Ground. The club then turned to former Sheff Wed midfielder Graham Hyde, brought in by Sinton as a coach shortly before his departure, on a caretaker basis but when he was then abused by supporters after a 2-0 weekend defeat to Macclesfield he too has walked away from the job.

Sinton said when he left: "It's been a privilege managing Telford. I'm convinced they'll stop up. I wish everyone at the club all the best for the future." Now chasing a fourth boss in as many weeks while sitting bottom of the table, seven points adrift from safety and having played at least one more match than every other team in the bottom half of the league – salvation looks a long way off at this point.

Premier League shorts

- Struggling Reading have sacked manager Brian McDermott following their 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa at the weekend. McDermott took charge at the Madejski Stadium in 2009 and led the club to promotion last season but has paid the price for a run of four straight league defeats that leave the Royals as the bookies’ favourites to be relegated. The club’s owner Anton Zingarevich says a replacement will be appointed quickly but whoever takes the job faces a daunting task with just nine games to go and fixtures against Manchester United and Arsenal away up next.

- Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says Sunday’s late show against Stoke has ended any fears of relegation at St James’ Park, and set the club up for a tilt at Europa League success with a second leg against Russian side Anzhi taking place this Thursday. Following the 2-1 win, sealed by late goals from Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse, Pardew said: “"That's done, we won't worry about that now. What we've done is set ourselves up for what I'm hoping is going to be a special night for us. We've set the scene for that and I can't wait already. I hope we get as many people as we can afford to come to fill the place up."

- Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says his sides’ 3-2 win against Spurs on Sunday shows the progress his team has made in his first year in charge, but the victory was soured for supporters with news today that season tickets are being increased by 9% in some areas of Anfield for next season. Supporters group Spirit of Shankley said the inflation busting rise at such a time of economic strife in the UK was an “insult” to supporters who had stuck by the club. Liverpool’s most expensive season ticket next season will be £850, its cheapest £710. Everton’s cheapest season ticket is £427.

- Mind you, things aren’t exactly going well at Goodison Park either. The Toffees crashed out of the FA up at the quarter final stage with a shock 3-0 home defeat to Wigan on Saturday – a result that leaves the Latics one victory against either Millwall or Blackburn away from their first ever FA Cup final. Manager David Moyes continues to stall on extending his contract at the club, which expires at the end of the season and afterwards he said: “If the fans were disappointed in the players and their body language, if they questioned whether the players were up for the game, then that is their right and they would be right in that criticism. People always draw conclusions about my contract situation, or the fact that I have been here for more than a decade, but that game today had nothing to do with those issues. I couldn't say if this was a defining moment."

- Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, fresh from extending his contract at the South Wales club, reacted angrily after the weekend 2-1 defeat at West Brom, accusing referee Lee Mason of not knowing the rules of the sport. The Swans saw a late equaliser disallowed for offside, despite the ball being played to goalscorer Roland Lamah by a combination of Baggies defender Gareth McAuley and goalkeeper Ben Foster. Laudrup said: “How on earth can you disallow a goal when the ball comes off an opponent? It's like giving an offside after a throw-in. Everybody knows you cannot be offside after a throw-in. Equally everybody knows you can never be offside if the ball comes from an opponent. And in this case, it's not coming from one opponent it's coming from two. All season I've said that after a game we have three or four chances to see things and then we can decide whether we thought it was or wasn't. The referee only has two or three seconds. But we are talking about decisions whereas what happened with the disallowed goal is against the rules."

Parish Noticeboard

The final 100 tickets for this weekend’s trip to Aston Villa sold out this morning meaning Rangers will have just shy of 3,000 supporters to roar the team on at Villa Park. There are now just 450 tickets left for the Easter Monday trip to Fulham priced £40 adults, £30 seniors and under 21s and £20 juniors.

If you’re one of those heading up to Villa Park this weekend and you’re going by train from either Euston or Marylebone, then be aware of the following tube and train disruption in the capital this Saturday:

- No Circle Line from Hammersmith to Edgware Road. Hammersmith and City Line will continue to run on that section of line, but not between Moorgate and Barking where buses replace trains.

- No Metropolitan Line service from Harrow-on-the-Hill and Aldgate via Baker Street and Euston Square. Rail replacement bus services will run. In addition there is no Jubilee Line fro Stanmore to Willesden Green.

- No District Line between Upminster and Bromley-by-Bow – buses replace trains.

- There is no service all weekend on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line north of Camden Town. Buses replace trains.

- The Victoria Line is closed between Walthamstow Central and Seven Sisters.

- The Overground is closed between New Cross Gate, Crystal Palace and West Croydon. Further north there is also no service between Highbury and Islington and Shadwell.

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Pictures – Action Images

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isawqpratwcity added 04:04 - Mar 12
Harry shouldn't keep Zamora on for so long. BZ needs an operation and that ain't going away: he can't "run through it". If Harry's worried about alternative strikers, skew the bench towards offensive options for winnable games. It's his fault for not getting in a second decent striker last window.

Bothroyd might still do the business. Its good to see his confidence building. Especially pleasing to see a player coming back after the egregious Hughes' 'Taliban' training squad.

probbo added 08:39 - Mar 12
Its a dangerous game sacking your manager at this stage of the season. Southampton have not won a game since the bizarre sacking of Nigel Adkins and McDermott's dismissal by Reading seems particularly harsh. I can see those two teams going down now, leaving just one more space for the rest of us to avoid, which i'm starting to believe we will!

R_in_Sweden added 09:41 - Mar 12
It's looking like it could be Di Canio v Redknapp in the relegation battle according to latest press reports. Should make for interesting reading/viewing.

stonebridgers added 12:46 - Mar 12
Strange decision to sack McDermott and even stranger if Di Canio gets the job. Also Southampton beat Man City recently so have won a game since Adkins left.

tsbains64 added 13:17 - Mar 12
Sad to see McD go at Reading-think either Di Canio or Di Matteo will get the hot seat. The latter would be a prudent long term choice and knows the Championship from his Baggies days but D Canio would be better entertainment value
Impressed with BZ met him away from QPR- a true gent-glad to see him giving 150% Just need Adel to fire up now
Great update by the way

Kaos_Agent added 17:47 - Mar 12
Interesting observation from Ryan Nelsen about what he found at Toronto upon taking over:

“It was pretty easy to identify the problems,” Nelsen said. “They were major, and in all areas. I think there’s been a real leadership void here. You can have all the money in the world, but sometimes money makes you lazy. You recruit lazy, and you don’t work as hard because you expect that the money will solve all the problems. You need a culture, an identity and a work ethic as a foundation. When that’s in place, the financial resources can be used to build the house. You can’t do it the opposite way.”

TacticalR added 23:25 - Mar 12
I noticed Zamora seemed to be grimacing his way through games last season, so I don't know if that hip problem was already affecting him then. As far as I can tell, just because Zamora doesn't watch football at home has never meant he wasn't prepared to put in effort for the team.

I am finding it very difficult to make sense of the McDermott sacking, particularly at this point in time.

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