FA Carling Premiership
Team: Roberts, Ready, Wilson, Wilkins, Peacock, Yates, Impey, Barker, Ferdinand, Penrice (White), Sinclair (Brevett)
On 21st August 1993, the R’s took on Southampton at Loftus Road. Don Howe later provided the following match report:
‘Les Ferdinand, one of England’s hopes for goals in next month’s World Cup qualifier against Poland, showed there is life for my old club after Andy Sinton.
Les, who has been the subject of big money transfer talk but is not leaving, got on with the job and gave his all. He has power and pace and proved a handful to the Southampton central defenders.
His leap at the back-post after 13 minutes to reach a Karl Ready cross enabled Gary Penrice to volley Rangers ahead. A real striker’s goal.
Trevor Sinclair, Rangers’ £750,000 signing from Blackpool, was used in Sinton’s old role as a right-footed outside-left. He adjusted to the Premier league well and grew better as the game went on.
If he wants to pick up goals, though, he will have to learn to be on the back-post when Andrew Impey crosses from the right.
Rangers will know he has his confidence when he tells Ray Wilkins to give him the ball and stops calling him ‘Mister!’.
Steve Yates, Rangers’ other signing from the Sinton money – £650,000 from Bristol Rovers – did a man-for-man job on Matt Le Tissier.
Le Tissier, who jarred a knee, did not reappear after the interval, but Yates had hardly given him a kick in the first 45 minutes.
But having seen Yates alongside Darren Peacock having trouble with Iain Dowie in the air, I reserve judgement on the pairing.
Tony Roberts, Rangers’ young goalkeeper, could spring to prominence with Wales this season if, as he says, Neville Southall quits the international scene. Tony is a big fan of Neville’s. He’s a Southall fanatic.
I think he could do the job for Wales. But Tony will have to work on his erratic kicking. Every now and then he fluffs one.
Rangers won a controversial penalty a minute after the interval when the ball was flicked over Richard Hall’s head. The highly-rated defender was chased by Impey, who seemed to run into the back of him.
Obviously, the referee saw something no-one else did – his award of a penalty, scored by Clive Wilson, was a big surprise.
There was no evidence that Sinton’s departure in the first week of the season had affected Rangers.
Rangers dominated the second-half. They set about their task well, and Wilkins and the disciplined, hard-working Simon Barker bossed the midfield.
Dowie deserved his late goal but it looks as if Southampton are in for another hard season.’
Next up for the R’s was a trip to Stamford Bridge.