QPR v Crystal Palace – Austin and Zamora Starved of Service

Team: Green, Isla, Dunne, Caulker, Hill, Hoilett, Barton, Henry, Fer (Vargas), Austin, Zamora (Phillips)

Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Wright-Phillips, Mutch

Attendance: 18,011 (including 1,771 away fans)

As I hit the keyboard I had the worst neck ache ever – the ball spent more time in the air than I can remember for a very long time. I was worried about their pace but overall the back-four did well as did theirs because of the ‘hoofball’ tactics.

The game cried out for someone to put their foot on the ball and dictate play with Barton and Henry playing as a ‘2’ – they are too similar in that they never get forward enough to threaten the goal or have the vision to open up defences.

The final 15 minutes saw us playing with two wingers and we started to stretch play but without carving out a clear-cut chance.

I have seen too many games like this where we stoop to the level of the opposition, don’t know why, except neither side wanted to lose and it showed.

As Brian Clough once said: “If God meant football to be played in the air he would of put grass in the sky”.

Expect a totally different game on Thursday with the visit of ‘Swansalona’, our high tempo, one-touch attacking game will only do Harry!!!



It is only 48 hours since Neil Warnock was sacked as Crystal Palace manager but two potential candidates, Steve McClaren and their former manager Tony Pulis, have ruled themselves out of contention to replace him.

Eyebrows have been raised as to the timing of Steve Parish’s decision to dispense with Warnock ahead of the January transfer window opening and Tim Sherwood is many bookmakers’ favourite to replace him.

They might have snatched victory in the last seconds of the game as Joey Barton appeared to hack down Fraizer Campbell as the Palace striker raced into the box to convert the rebound after Rob Green had saved Jason Puncheon’s low drive but Mike Jones waved away the protests.

“It’s a 50/50 one,” he (Keith Millen) said of the decision. “First and foremost, we wanted a performance. I think it was really important that the lads showed a togetherness and a spirit. I was very proud of them. If you’re being a bit greedy, maybe on the counter-attack we could have nicked it but I think a draw was probably a fair result.”

This was a game heavy on industry but light on chances. Given their wretched away form, QPR cannot afford to drop many points at home, but they did not do enough to win against a spirited Palace X1.

“I couldn’t sit here and say we deserved to win, because we never,” said QPR coach Harry Redknapp. “It was a tough game. They were dangerous on the break, with their pace.” Redknapp said that he was “very surprised” at Warnock’s sacking. “I thought he was doing ok there.”

Tony Fernandes’s ownership of Air Asia meant that a minute of applause was held before kick-off to acknowledge the disappearance of an aircraft bound for Singapore on Saturday evening, as well as remembering supporters who passed away in 2014. “Far more important than football what’s happened to them people,” Redknapp said.

On five minutes, supporters rose again to applaud the former Rangers’ player Clarke Carlisle, who is recovering in Leeds General Infirmary after being hit by a lorry last Monday.

Puncheon came closest to scoring for either side as he curled the pass he received from Joe Ledley on to the post with Green well beaten whilst Charlie Austin and Bobby Zamora were starved of service in the QPR attack.

Redknapp has said that he is keen to sign a striker to his squad but is restricted to the loan market. “You need four strikers at a club. We haven’t got anyone to freshen it up,” he said. “Where are you going to find a striker on loan? People will come up with names; they’ll be useless won’t they?”

QPR emerged more purposefully after half-time and Leroy Fer showed ambition to thump a first-time volley just wide of the far post after the ball had dropped to him 20 yards from goal.

Palace keeper Julian Speroni then made a superb save from the Dutchman as Fer hit an even more ferocious effort high at the top corner which the Palace keeper somehow reached with his fingertips.

It was then Green’s turn for acrobatics as he clawed Puncheon’s curling effort over the bar as Palace began to look dangerous on the break.

Both sides came close to ending the stalemate in the dying moments as, minutes before Jones denied Palace the penalty they seemingly deserved. Steven Caulker headed Barton’s corner past Speroni but found James McArthur perfectly placed to execute a goal-line clearance.

Visiting supporters sang songs of support to Millen as he and his players left the field, continuing their questioning of the officials.

Tom Prentki – The Telegraph (extract)

There was a minute’s applause for both the Rangers/Palace fans who had passed away during the year and then 5 minutes into the game as Clarke Carlisle was featured on the big screen, he too was applauded and his name chanted.

We were winning the ball well in the early stages, but it then all went a bit flat and predictable. The best chance went to Jason Puncheon whose effort hit the post.

At half-time, a Rangers fan went down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend on the pitch to which the Palace fans chanted: “You Don’t Know What You’re Doing” following her acceptance! Also appearing during the break was the legendary Mark Lazarus.

Rangers created some good chances after the interval with Leroy Fer shooting very close and he also forced a good save from Speroni. Steven Caulker saw his header cleared off the line.

As the match was drawing to a close it looked as if the visitors were going to score a dramatic winner but some frantic defending denied them. It later became apparent that in the melee Palace could well have been awarded a penalty.

Have to say that too many of Joey Barton’s free kicks were ineffective and the midfield was generally disappointing.

Mauricio Isla had a very good game and he was my MOM.

Steve Russell