Warnock warns of tough times to come, Spurs’ Walker linked, Gorkss extends deal
Monday, 13th Sep 2010 10:51 by Clive Whittingham
Neil Warnock said he was delighted with his side’s second half performance against Middlesbrough on Saturday but warned of tough times to come over the next few weeks.
Neil Warnock said it took some harsh words from the coaching staff in the dressing room at half time on Saturday to provoke Rangers’ spectacular second half demolition of Middlesbrough. The game was evenly contested and scoreless going into the break but QPR cut loose in the second half, scoring three goals in the first 15 minutes to blow the visitors away.
Afterwards Warnock said: “We had one or two choice words at half-time because I thought we could step it up a gear and be one or two yards quicker to everything. They did what I wanted in the second half and we looked a very good team for that period. We needed to enjoy it more in the second half and that's exactly what we did. We were off the leash at the start of the second half. The second goal was as good as you'll see anywhere this weekend. It was a fantastic ball from Tarbs and Hogan finished it in clinical fashion."
But speaking to the Fulham Chronicle afterwards Warnock warned of a tough road ahead. He said: “It's a great time at the minute, like a carnival or coming to a funfair for me, but the thing about football is that we also know that around the corner, you're going to get kicked in the teeth and it's about keeping level headed and getting on with it. Football is like life. Everybody has good days and bad days and good weeks and bad weeks and you've got to really enjoy it while it's going well. To get a kick in the teeth is not the end of the world. It's how we respond when we get a kick in the teeth.
“Today the lads might have thought they were doing OK in the first half and I thought they could do a lot better. I thought they took it on board and I was delighted with the response. It wasn't the 100 per cent Warnock. It was one of those constructive few words. You couldn't wish for better players than the young lads we have, but Clint Hill and Shaun Derry have given us something we didn't have and they are just as important as Adel Taarabt and Hogan Ephraim because we need a mixture in the recipe. We are also going to need the extra players we've brought in like Rob Hulse and Tom Smith. We're going to need a squad. That's vital.”
Warnock’s management seems to have given a new lease of life to several players in the QPR team, most notably Hogan Ephraim who scored one and hit the underside of the bar on Saturday. Afterwards the former West Ham man told the Daily Telegraph: “It's a lot more stable here now. We've made a lot of changes but this manager is here to stay, and he's brought a lot of good characters into the team. It's simple really. He took us back to basics and likes to play attractive football as well. People have a different perception of his style, but the football we're playing and the goals we're scoring speaks for itself. It's a good mix we've got now and I'm confident we can keep this run going.''
Words didn’t come so easily to his opposite number Gordon Strachan who saw his expensively assembled squad fail to win for the fourth time in the league already this season. Boro are currently languishing in 20th, already nine points behind QPR in the fledgling league table.
Strachan said: “At this moment it's hard to talk to people when you're in an embarrassed state. I really need to sit down and think and try to find adequate words. At the moment I don't have adequate words. There are times when you're better saying nothing to the players and then you go again later.
“The first half was a good one an enjoyable game with chances at either end," said Strachan. For the first goal we were sloppy, we lost a few tackles we should have won, and then we let a couple more goals in. It's something that has to be addressed one way or another," he said. There's always a way to come through these things, you do it through hard work, drive and determination. But at the moment it's a dark period."
Strachan’s mood probably won’t improve much this week with his current assistant manager Gary McAllister set to move to Aston Villa to link up with his former gaffer at Liverpool Gerard Houllier.
Jamie Mackie’s goal on Saturday could so easily have gone down as Kaspars Gorkss’ first of the season. The Latvian scored on international duty in Malta during the week and it was his unconventional half volley that was blocked into Mackie’s path for the third goal of the afternoon. This comes just a day after Gorkss extended his contract through to 2013 with Rangers – a two year extension to the initial contract he signed after his controversial move from Blackpool.
Elsewhere it seems that young striker Antonio German, who burst onto the first team scene at a dark time last season, may be playing his football elsewhere in the coming weeks following the arrival of Tommy Smith and Rob Hulse. Neil Warnock told the Fulham Chronicle that he is looking to loan out the 18-year-old so he gain more first team experience. Warnock said: “I think Antonio will benefit from league games elsewhere for a bit, and he can come back even better.”
Following injuries to both Bradley Orr and Peter Ramage against Middlesbrough on Saturday Neil Warnock has moved to hijack Hull City’s loan move for Tottenham full back Kyle Walker. With five games to come over the next three weeks Warnock can ill afford to lose all his cover for the right side of the defence with midfielder Mikele Leigertwood the only other option at right back if Ramage and Orr are ruled out. Hull and Walker’s former club Sheffield United are both eyeing up a loan deal, but are currently being put off by Spurs’ demands for a £200,000 loan fee according to The Mirror. He has made just two starts and one sub appearance since his form at Bramall Lane earned him a big money move to London in 2009.
Former QPR left back Ian Baraclough has been put in caretaker charge of Scunthorpe United after Nigel Adkins finally completed his move to Southampton. Baraclough made 137 appearances for Rangers after signing from Notts County in 1998 for £75,000. He scored one goal in that time, a fantastic free kick at the Loft End against Huddersfield. Since leaving the R’s following our relegation in 2001 he made another 100 appearances back at Notts County and then proved an unlikely success in the centre of midfield at Scunthorpe as the Iron rose up from League Two to the Championship. He retired from playing completely a year ago to focus on a burgeoning coaching career at Glanford Park and had been tipped to follow Adkins, and his assistant Gary Crosby, to the south coast.
Liam O’Brien, one time youth team goalkeeper at QPR, has left Portsmouth to join Conference side Eastbourne Borough on loan. Portsmouth have scrapped their reserve team this season and O’Brien, an England Under 19 international, is currently behind both Jamie Ashdown and Daryl Flahavan in the pecking order at Fratton Park. Eastbourne coach Nick Greenwood told The Argus newspaper: “It is a real coup for Eastbourne. We had other options but you can’t do much better than signing an England under-19 international so we are delighted. Liam is very highly rated at Portsmouth and has been on the bench for all of their games so far this season. As Portsmouth don’t have a reserve team he is keen to get some games under his belt and this is a great opportunity for him to get the experience of playing in a very tough, competitive league. It should be very beneficial for his development and I think that is why John was keen for him to come to us.”
- Norwich City must do without midfielder Andrew Surman for the next two months after the former Southampton man suffered a knee injury in training. Manager Paul Lambert said: “Andrew's going to be out for a little bit, he's hurt his knee and is going to be out for a number of weeks. At least a couple of months, it's a blow, but that's why you have a squad. I have a lot of faith in the lads that will come in and do a job."
- Birmingham have been linked with a £750,000 move for Crystal Palace full back Nathaniel Clyne when the transfer window opens again in January. Clyne has impressed at Selhurst Park since graduating from the Eagles’ academy and was a rumoured target of Neil Warnock and QPR during the summer.
- Coventry are hoping to tie up the signing of disgraced striker Marlon King this week. The ex-convict has been training with the Sky Blues for the last fortnight but his signing has been delayed so far. Manager Aidy Boothryod said: “It is something that is inevitable. We are sorting some things out. He looks very, very sharp and he will get goals. When he came to Watford he was hungry and had a point to prove and that's the Marlon King that we have got here now. He is ready and wants to sign. There are no problems, it is just a very delicate situation. The club have been as professional as they possibly can be in making sure we have covered all bases - that we make sure everything is right for the player, the club and everyone concerned with it."
- The much talked about Cardiff strikeforce could be reduced to a couple of stand ins at Leicester on Tuesday night. Michael Chopra has already been ruled out until November and Ross McCormack has completed his move to Leeds. Now Jay Bothroyd and Craig Bellamy have also been ruled out with calf and knee injuries. Manager Dave Jones said: “It is not a serious injury with Craig. There is nothing wrong with his knee structure but he does have a bit of fluid. He has had an injection to help it settle down."
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