Blackburn Rovers v QPR

Team: Kenny, Hall (Gabbidon), Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Traore, Buzsaky (Mackie), Taarabt, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Zamora

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hill, Derry, Bothroyd, Smith

Attendance: 20,252

The 1st half was simply unacceptable against a team who had what we lacked in abundance….hunger, desire, passion and a will to win….Jamie Mackie apart. You have to earn the right to play your football and impose yourself. We were dreadful and got our just rewards. We were overrun in the middle of the park and unreal at the centre of defence. We were woeful.

It was obvious that we needed change after 30 minutes, but when it came it was too little too late. No doubt a lot will be said about our 2nd half comeback, but it was almost inevitable with Blackburn content on conceding ground and defending their comfortable 3-0 advantage. The players need to take a long, hard look at themselves whilst leaving the copious amounts of money they earn to one side. This was a Mark Hughes team. He’s brought in his back-room staff and his players. He picked the side and sent them out there ‘prepared’….the honeymoon is well and truly over.

Good to meet a few Indy’s, albeit all too brief. Thanks to young Finney for doing the driving.

Jimmy Murray

The team gave nothing for the 2,000+ Rangers fans to cheer about or even get on their side. The fans expect the effort, it does not matter, win, lose or draw, just give us some bloody effort. Hall was shocking and he was at fault for two of the goals. Paddy Kenny is really lacking, last season he would have been more verbal and help control his defence. Barton may think he is a class player, but nothing I could see would suggest that. I read somewhere that he covered the most area of the pitch for a Rangers player. Yes, maybe, but NO quality. How much do we miss Faurlin in that midfield, he for me could be the difference between us staying up, or going down, just a shame that he’s out for the season.

The 2nd half was a bit better in effort and maybe we deserved the couple of goals we got, but nothing more. You cannot go three down and expect to get something out of a game in the Premiership unless you are a Manchester United and we are a long way off that level. Zamora played well upfront, but until Jamie Mackie came on, no one was there to feed off him or even worry any defence in this league.

I would expect Mackie to play off Zamora in the next few games and see what happens, it could reap rewards. The midfield, to be honest I don’t know what we can put in there to transform our game, maybe the new guy coming in will make the difference ? Well I hope so. Regarding the defence, there is no doubt that we have some quality, but Mark Hughes will have some work to do to get the best out of it.

Next season, no matter what league we are in there will be lots of changes and new faces. I hope that we are still in this league, but we will have to ride our luck if that’s the case. If we are relegated, who is going to come to us unless they want a large pay back at the so called end of their careers or if Mark Hughes stays it will be to rebuild a new Rangers, only time will tell. Good to meet up with a few from the board and as JJ said it was all too brief !

I will finish off by saying, please Rangers give us some bloody effort and the supporters will really get behind you and play like you care. We as supporters will be around long after they have gone and the next generation of our great support will maybe, just maybe, start to believe !

Richardles (Perth)

Blackburn chose the visit of a revered guest to find an antidote to their Ewood Park vulnerability. While their capitulation against Arsenal seven days earlier exposed their defensive frailty, their charity this season began at home. Before Mark Hughes’s return, Rovers had lost 9 of their 12 league fixtures on their own turf; a statistic in stark contrast to the Hughes blueprint for success during his successful four seasons in the east Lancashire enclave. It took Hughes two seasons to lose that many matches on his own manor, and improvement will be crucial in Steve Kean’s team’s bid to beat the drop.

Blackburn’s first-half display – clinical and energetic – bore all the hallmarks of a Hughes side circa 2006. Unfortunately, in contrast, Queen’s Pak Rangers’ performance did not. Their defence was breached three times in the opening 45 minutes and Blackburn led by three as a result. Yakubu Ayegbeni, returning after a 3-game suspension, put them in front on the quarter-hour with his 13th Premier League goal of the season. Paul Robinson’s raking long ball found its way into Yakubu’s path from Steven Nzonzi’s flick-on and a swivel of the hips left Anton Ferdinand in his wake, as the ball was transferred from left boot to right and beyond Paddy Kenny. ” We’ve missed him and we’re glad he’s back,” Kean said.

Midway through the half, French midfielder Nzonzi doubled the advantage. His surge from half-way created uncertainty in a retreating Rangers rearguard and, after feeding Junior Hoilett on the left, he loitered on the edge of the area to stroke in a delayed return pass. However, against opponents that conceded seven at the Emirates in their last outing and without a clean sheet in any match for 10 months, QPR were always in the game and would have had a firmer foothold if Bobby Zamora’s opportunist hook over his own shoulder had gone the other side of an upright after Blackburn failed to clear a corner on the half-hour.

Confirmation that Zamora was to be defeated here for the second time this year – he was in the Fulham team who lost 1-3 to 10 men last month – was all-but delivered 4 minutes into first-half injury time when Yakubu headed Martin Olsson’s free kick across the box and Hoilett’s drive from a diminishing angle struck Nedum Onuoha’s ankles, looped over Kenny and went in off the underside of the bar.

“You can’t give any Premier League team a three-goal head start,” Hughes said. “The first 45 minutes were as poor as we’ve been since I’ve been in the door and arguably the poorest of any team I have been involved with, to be honest.”

Things almost got worse seven minutes after the re-start when Yakubu – a QPR target before the January window closed – cleared Kenny’s leap, but struck the underside of the crossbar with an audacious chip from 20 yards. Djibril Cisse, one of the strikers they did manage to acquire, was serving a ban, so it was left to the QPR substitute Jamie Mackie, who broke his leg on his last visit to Ewood Park 13 months ago, to sharpen their attack, He turned in from inside the six-yard box to expose former Ranger Bradlley Orr’s 70th minute defensive error, and then rifled in a beauty at the death to ensure that Blackburn were kept in the bottom three on goal difference.

Richard Gibson – The Guardian

Jimmy was getting over his virus so Finney was going to drive us from Barnet. However, he phoned up to say that his car wouldn’t start, but luckily a friendly local mechanic quickly helped out. With the temperature hovering around minus 9, we set off. The motorway was fine and we eventually parked up behind the ‘Golden Cup’ in the Blackburn Road. After a pint, I tucked into a local delicacy of pie, chips, mushy peas and gravy. Once inside the ground the first thing we wanted to do was display the Indy R’s flag,

Although there must of been around 2,000 R’s fans, the atmosphere reflected what we were witnessing on the pitch and was by our standards very subdued. It wasn’t until the 2nd half that the team began to get going. We had given the ball away far too often, our build-ups were far too slow and our crosses tended to be easily swallowed up by the Blackburn defence. We were stunned when we found ourselves 3-0 down after some poor defending.

Blackburn could easily have added a fourth when Yakubu’s lob bounced off the crossbar. Substitutions should of been made much earlier and although Blackburn took their foot of the pedal (relatively speaking), the real turning point was the introduction of Jamie Mackie. He took his goals really well and showed some passion which he indicated to the R’s contingent behind the goal. It’s a big ‘if’, but if we had pulled those two goals back earlier, Blackburn would have crumbled. Adel Taarabt was again very, very good and one rasping shot from him looked destined for the corner.

Why did it take us so long to really get going, where was the pride and commitment ?

Thanks to Finney for the lift.

Steve Russell