Team: Cerny, Ramage, Stewart, Gorkss, Williams, Buzsaky (Agyemang), Watson, Leigertwood, Routledge, Taarabt (Balanta), Simpson.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Borrowdale, Hall, Connolly, Faurlin.
Damien Delaney turned out at centre back for the home side and he had a few things to say about his old club in the match programme: “When you have a new Manager coming in, you have new ideas, new systems, new tactics. He’ll like certain players, he won’t like certain players. Now that happens at every club when there is a change in Manager but when it happens every three months or so, like it does at QPR – you will never be successful. If you run a Football Club like that, you’ve got no chance. Paul Hart has taken over from Jim Magilton now, but I see he’s only been given a contract to the end of the season. If he does well then he’ll get an extension but there’s no stability there since Flavio Briatore took over. We played some great football, the supporters are fantastic there and on the pitch, it was great. Off the pitch, not so great. It’s been well documented how things work there – although it’s probably worse than has been documented to be honest – but that’s the way it is.”
A good turnout from the R’s faithful considering the price of the tickets. Somebody said that on the day, they had the audacity to hike them up even more to £41.00 !!! Paul Hart brought back Adel Taarabt and Damion Stewart returned after his one-match suspension. We got off to the worst possible start with the home side taking the lead after 3 or four minutes when a ball played out wide and with Ramage beaten for pace, Walters cut in and a slight deflection caught out Cerny at the near post. We picked up our game, created some chances but a lot of the time it was the final ball that was poor.
Buzsaky is not comfortable playing out wide and he didn’t look at all happy. Ipswich could of gone further ahead courtesy of a couple of free headers. Taarabt and Routledge were lively with the former having a number of efforts on and off target and with his repertoire of tricks, at times, he had two Ipswich defenders to contend with. The home side remained in the lead at the break.
Rangers started off fairly brightly after the interval with Taarabt feeding Simpson in the box only for him to shoot wide. Then Leigertwood shot over the bar following a corner from Watson. In the 63rd minute, Stead turned on a sixpence and curled the ball into the corner from the edge of the box. Stead was only playing because Ipswich had appealed against the red card he had received at Palace on Boxing Day. Although that probably sealed the match, Rangers still created a few more chances, the best of which fell to Agyemang when he headed an excellent cross from Routledge over the bar. In the 78th minute, Ipswich got their third when Stead knocked the ball in from close range. For the second successive match, some R’s fans chanted, “You Don’t Know What You’re Doing” and the home fans responded with, “You’ll Be Sacked In The Morning” and the exodus from the travelling contingent began in earnest.
Paul Hart had this to say in his post-match comments, reference the BBC Site: “I thought out first half performance warranted a better return than we got. We were unfortunate with their first goal, when it took a deflection and looped past the keeper. After that, I thought we should have had a penalty, and then we should have scored after a great cross fell to Adel Taarabt. We felt if we could reproduce our performance of the first half we’d be alright, but we lost our legs a bit. Their second goal came after a slip on the touchline and it’s hard to swallow because we’re not getting done by great goals, we’re the architects of our own downfall.”
The stats show that Ipswich had 55% of the possession, eight attempts on target as opposed to our six, but we had ten off target to their seven. It was good to see Balanta involved and he looked good. It’s not really saying a lot but we created more chances than Saturday, but it has to be said that we were playing a poor side and not surprisingly many R’s fans are becoming increasingly restless with events on and off the pitch. Thanks to Adam for the lift.